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Housing tax in a shared accommodation : how to be equitable ?

Updated on May 22, 2023

There is nothing in the French law that openly rules on the housing / council tax. However, tax authorities mention that a single housing / council tax is established for all the occupants of the accommodation. This implies that harmony has to prevails among all the roommates. But then, what is the housing tax? How to split it between roommates? What to do if one of the roommates doesn’t want to pay it? Find all the answers needed in this article! 

What is housing tax and when to pay it?

The housing tax is a tax due, in order to benefit the local authorities where you live. Its amount changes according to several criterias such as the municipality you are living in, your personal situation, the size and the type of property you are living in. This applies to both your primary and your secondary residence. This tax is owed for every resident of the same dwelling, who joined on January 1st of the taxation year (for example, if you have join your coliving on January 1st 2022, you will have to pay for the year 2022). There is only a single one housing tax per unit.

What does the law say about roommates and cohabitants?

Whether you are sharing the accommodation as a roommate or a cohabitant, the housing tax is established in the name of the main occupant of the rental contract. The other(s) resident(s) will have to jointly pay the housing tax. Depending on the lease, two scenarios are worth considering:
  • If the lease is individual and specific to each, the total amount of the housing tax is sent to each roommate. That’s what we’re setting up at Colivys. However, it is important to remember that roommates do not have to pay X amount of the housing tax. They must equally distribute this amount among themselves.
  • If two persons live in the accommodation and the lease is made out in both names, the housing tax is sent to one of the two. The recipient will have to pay that tax. Since the tax office do not take in charge the division between spouses/roommates, it is up to you to divide it internally. If you would like to know more, we invite you to visit the government website.

How to divide the housing tax equitably?

Whether you are two, three, four or five people in the shared apartment, the amount of the housing tax remains the same. However, the tax authority indicates that only two persons are officially taxable under the housing tax. For more equity within the shared apartment, we are inviting you to share the amount of the housing tax fairly. You can divide it according to the number of roommates in the coliving, or according to your resources or your length of residence in the apartment.

What happens if a roommate doesn’t want to pay the housing tax?

It may happen that one of the roommates may refuse to pay the housing tax. Many scenarios can confront:

  • If the roommate in question is the only one who has been officially designated as a home tax debtor, the other roommates can settle on his behalf. They will only have to make a transfer by check/cheque to the tax office. This works only if the amount of the housing tax is less or equal to €300. Beyond that, it will not be possible de pay by check/cheque

If the payment is made online, the roommate in question has no way to reverse it. He will be forced to pay the housing tax. If this is not done in time, it could be increased by 10%. 

  • In the case where two of the roommates are designated as debtors of the housing tax and one does not wish to pay his share, it is up to the second person to pay the full amount requested. If a late payment is found, it is usually the first designated person who is chase up.

If it’s one of the unnamed roommates on the housing tax, it will have to be settled within the roommates. Legally, they are not known by the administration, and therefore, have no obligation to pay this tax. The other co-tenants can call on mediators to find a solution and share the costs involved in paying the housing tax.

What are the conditions for an exemption from the residential tax?

It is possible for the roommates to get a reduction on the global amount of the housing tax. In order to do so, all roommates must receive a income tax reference (ITR) lower than the unassembled ceiling estimated at €27,761 for the year 2021. The ITR can be amended annually. If one of the roommates earns more than the tax threshold, every resident of the shared accommodation will have to pay the housing tax. This applies whether you are professionally active, employed or student. Please note that the housing tax is expected to be eliminated by 2023 for all households.

How is the Residential Tax calculated?

There is no identical housing tax. It may differ based on:

  • The borough and the city you are living in,
  • The size of your home,
  • The type of property (primary or secondary residence),
  • If you’re single, married, widowed,
  • If you have children or other dependants,
  • Your income

What are the shared housing tax cases of relief ?

You are likely already aware that the housing tax will soon disappear. A reform aimed at definitively abolishing the housing tax for 2023 is underway. To date, it has already been eliminated for 80% of tax households. In 2022, the remaining 20% of tax households received a reduction of 65% on this tax.

Coliving, the solution that revolutionizes real estate

The adventure in coliving is enticing because it shakes the codes of traditional accommodation sharing up. Coliving makes you enjoy bigger spaces to share with your roommates, for a moderate rental price in the heart of large cities. Everything has been designed so that our colivers can share moments of conviviality together throughout their stay. Through Colivys, you will have a contact of choice to accompany you during your stay. Our teams are also at your disposal to advise you when needed.