A Château For Show


France is renowned the world over for its outstanding collection of historic buildings, but it's little known that owning a building of French historical importance, in need of preservation, comes with some financial advantages.

Cistercian abbeys, simple barns, châteaux, ancient fortresses etcetera, all have one thing in common; they have the potential for preservation and protection under France’s cultural heritage scheme, known as Monument Historique (MH), supervised by the DRAC (Directions Régionales des Affaires Culturelles) – the Ministry of Culture.

Buildings may be listed as Classé (Grade 1), for properties considered of national importance, or Inscrit (Grade 2)) for structures of regional or local value. Sometimes just a single element is protected; perhaps a unique staircase, monumental fireplace or on occasions even garden balustrades and other stone structures, while the rest of the building can remain unprotected.

  • Interesting grants for restoration work of Historic Monuments can often be obtained from the Ministry of Culture for both Classé and Inscrit buildings, so contacting the Cultural Affairs regional office to discuss your project is always advised.
  • Many of the costs you pay towards renovation, interest, guardians, insurance and so forth, relating to the protected part of the building, are deductible at 50% from your taxable income. However, these costs can become 100% deductible if you open the property to the public for a certain length of time each year.
  • Owners of historic monuments, who are fiscally domiciled in France, and with approval from the Ministère des Finances may, under certain conditions, benefit from Income Tax reductions and Value Added Tax deductions, for the sums they spend on the conservation of their building. In order to benefit from these you must keep the property for 15 years or more. 
  • As well as Income Tax advantages, under certain conditions there are often Inheritance Tax advantages too.

Leggett is often asked if it is possible to create a business in a historic monument? As long as the requirements imposed by the planning officer, the Architecte des Bâtiments de France (ABF) and all the specific conditions regarding the business (in particular Health & Safety) are met, then these beautiful historic buildings can make wonderful wedding venues, film locations, spa hotels …

Current British TV Shows, such as “Escape to the Château” and particularly “Escape to the Château DIY” are having an astonishing effect on the Château buying market in France. Leggett see an enormous surge in visitors to their websites after the end of each show, with viewers in search of their dream lifestyle. Leggett currently have over 120 Châteaux to choose from at www.leggettprestige.com


Telephone: +33(0)5 53 60 84 88 / Email: info@leggett.fr


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