The general rule is that the price you rent per month long-term is the price you rent per week holiday rental. Most buy-to-let is holiday rental due to the higher return and the increased flexibility. Plus of course the owner is able to use it whenever they wish!
Long term rental
If rented unfurnished then there is no agency cost. The renter pays the agency a one-off payment of the equivalent of one month rent as a fee. If rented furnished then the rent can be higher, but an agency will charge 10% of rental to collect the rent on your behalf and keep an eye on things. The owner has nothing to pay except for their council tax bill and any repairs that need to be made. All other costs are borne by the tenant, including utilities, building management fees and insurance.
The good news is that ongoing costs outside of the rental agency are relatively low. There is no need for special rental insurance, most insurers automatically cover seasonal renting out (though always ask). A pied-a-terre should cost around €180/year covering all risks as well as contents. Building management, or Syndic, charges and council tax are also relatively low (budget in around €1,200/year for a small pied-a-terre condo charges plus council tax). On top of this are water and electricity bills, probably €600/year combined unless renters abuse your air-conditioning.
Rental management companies, however, vary quite dramatically in price. It can cost from 25% – 50% of revenue, depending on the agency. A couple claim to charge 33% of revenue but hidden extras, such as charging extra for cleaning towels or meeting a client after 8pm, can push this figure up significantly. We have passed on clients to most of the rental agencies in Nice and can guide you to which provide the best value for money.
Our clients sometimes ask if we know a rental agency that will just do the cleaning, intending to do advertising themselves. The answer is no. We sat with a rental agency and crunched the numbers and we agree it is not economically feasible to do so. We can provide you with the numbers of freelance cleaners. There are a few “handyman” services, often an expat couple, that offer hourly rates to deal with irregular maintenance such as arranging a plumber or taking deliveries.