As we wave goodbye to our new friends from Cap Breton in Nova Scotia, it was interesting to hear how much they loved the gite they stayed in during their visit. But, at a time when many people look to buy a French gite to boost their incomes, there still seems to be some confusion over holiday letting arrangements in France.
Many gite owners, like Geoff Botley of nearby historic Carcassone, become exasperated over messy guests. He says that many families when on holiday go completely wild, wrecking his property and smiling indulgently while their children run amok. Another owner, David Middleton, agreed when one family staying at his villa in the Var, on the Mediterranean coast, smashed up the place and then denied all knowledge. He said it took 11 hours to restore the villa completely after they had left. However, another owner, Rosa de Javel, has a different view. After renting holiday gites for over 30 years, she knows a thing or two about the subject. She says that if you're not prepared to do some cleaning then the simple answer is not to let out your property at all. She added: 'People don't go on holiday to do housework. That's why security deposits were invented. After they leave and you open the door, always expect the worst.'
So, for all new gite owners looking forward to letting out your property: beware. If a family's first comment after arrival is 'oh, it looks so clean', it could mean that their own home back home isn't as clean as this, and they're likely to leave it in a state they're used to, i.e. a mess!
Ah well - nothing comes easy in life. I think I'll stick to chez-nous with Him indoors. At least, after 41 years together, I know what to expect!
......................P.S. Don't miss tomorrow's episode of 'I'm NOT a celebrity - get me published'