Property Forum Q & A : Rentals and property management

Recent questions received through the Property Forum and featured on Riviera Radio 106.5FM Property Thursday.

The first question comes to us from Julie in London:

I am looking at renting a house with 4 bedrooms in or close to Cannes. The rent people are looking for May to August are very high, do you have any advice to help people find value for money in these summer months?

Yes, Julie, it is true, home rentals in Cannes during the peak season do run high, lets face it, the French Riviera is one of the world top leading summer destinations, but there are small pockets of neighborhoods where you can find potentially lower rental rates. If you are looking to be near Cannes, I would recommend looking in Le Cannet which is very close to Cannes and is an area that offers lower priced homes and apartments in comparison to Cannes since it is set back from the beach. Basically, on the French Riviera in summer time, rentals near the beach are prime locations and that comes with a price tag. So try to stay back, even on the other side of the A8 to find lower rates.  But also remember, May and September rentals might also offer some discounts as well as inquiring about any last minute deals.

 The next question comes from Mary Cork in Ireland, and her question is:

I am going to buy a house in south of France, but I don’t know there areas so well. I am thinking of renting for a year in a few different areas to find the one I like best.  I want a secure area, good places to go within walking distance and I want to be close to the sea.Can you help me narrow down the 4 or 5 best areas?

Well Mary, obviously the south of France covers a very large area, but speaking specifically of the French Riviera, you will definitely want to see areas such as Antibes/Juan les Pins, Cannes/Mandelieu, Nice, Villefranche and Beaulieu. These are all areas with many expats who live there and you will be able to have easy access to the beach, shops and restaurants, and more importantly the train station where you can hop on to check out other areas along the Riviera. If you have never been here, I would recommend renting a place so that you can visit all these wonderful small towns and cities to determine where you want to be.

 And the last question comes from Jerome and Angela in Monaco and their question is:

We have had a bad experience with a company managing our property and we want to find a new company to deal with our property. We are starting to feel they are all just after fees and to do as little as possible. We are finding it stressful.  Is there a preferred agency, or a few key questions we should ask of a new agency. We are French but like to deal with a strong company who can deal with English and Russian business.

Your first conversation with a property management is very telling about the way they do business. Can they in fact easily talk to you in Russian and English or your desired language?   You can ask them specific questions about their pricing and what it all includes, But more importantly, always ask what their prices do not include.  Oddly enough, a great question to ask is how much do you charge to change a light bulb? If you get an outrageous price, you can get a quick idea that the rest of their services are probably way over priced as well.

I conferred with the property management company that we use at Nice Properties and they explained that fairly priced property managers is a telling sign that they are looking to establish a long term quality relationship with their clients and not just get the most out of the short term,and for that reason they are usually the ones that have been established for many years with a good reputation that give the best service.