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Get familiar with the French context

Administrative France

As prospective home owners, you probably need to know a bit about the French administrative structure:

The commune is the township (village or ville). A rural commune can be made up of hamlets (in Uzège there are a few villages made of up to 10 hamlets). Under 5,000 inhabitants, communes are villages. Above and up to 25,000 inhabitants, they are “petites villes”. In the Uzège area the cities are: Nîmes (pop. 142,000), Avignon (pop. 91,000), Bagnols-sur-Cèze (19,000). With close to 10,000 inhabitants, Uzès is “petite ville (click here to visit the town website);”

Communes are increasingly organized in communautés de communes. In Uzège, 31 communes (roughly 35,000 inhabitants in total) make up the Communauté de communes du Pays d’Uzès (click here to visit the site);

Communes and communautés de communes are organized in 101 départements, organized in 13 régions. Uzège is located in the center of the Gard département, which is north-east of the Occitanie region (formerly known as Languedoc-Roussillon).

Taxes and utilities

Taxes are levied at the local level. Utilities are either public (EDF) or private (e.g. Engie), and increasingly rely on an online commercial presence - meaning there are no local offices. Water and sewage are either public or private depending on the choice made by the local authorities (communes or communautés de communes) with a central the decision-making body called SPANC (...) and organized loosely around communautés de communes).

Foreign ownership

There are no restrictions on foreign ownership in France. Most property is likely to be freehold. EU-passport holders can stay in France (and enjoy their properties) for as long as they want – whereas out-of-EU residents have to abide by specific rules. Check with the French consulate nearest you.

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