Gossip ripples through Reminiac

Nicola Harrington - guest blogger living in France with 7 holiday rental gites
Nicola Harrington

Moving to a new town or village always seems to cause some gossip and at the moment, Reminiac is no exception: a new family has moved to the village. This is quite an event for our little community and tongues are wagging: who are they, and which property did they move into? Some people say that they are renting the large white house in the centre of the village, and others say they will be renovating a house on the outskirts of Reminiac. Not sure where people are getting their information from, but they certainly sound very convincing when sharing it.

Even the school is buzzing with the news. At midday, Iona was bursting with excitement. ‘Two or three more children are coming to school. We don’t know which class they will be in or if they are boys or girls but if there are three new children we will have 27 children in the school.’ Our local school is so small, three new pupils will make such a difference, so this is definitely good news for the community. I, too, get carried away with curiosity and rather excited at the prospect of meeting our new neighbours.

Best to find out from an official source

Accidentally by chance, I bump into the mayor’s secretary. Does she have any news? Does she know who the new residents are?

Mairie in Gironde, France

‘Not yet, she replies, but as soon as a family arrives in a rural community they must introduce themselves to the mayor so that we can fill in the relevant forms about the parents’ origins, ages, professions, and the children’s ages, etc.’ Don’t the French love their bureaucracy!

Maire wearing tri-coloured scarf celebrating marriage in France-bride-groom-witness

‘They may not introduce themselves to the mayor’ I say, painfully aware that we didn’t formally introduce ourselves when we arrived 10 years ago. Then I feel very sheepish when she replies:

‘They must, it is the law.’

Editor’s note

When moving to a new town or village, French citizens must advise the Mairie of their new residence. This way, they can be added to the Liste Electorale, enabling them to vote in elections. It is called “L’obligation de déclaration domiciliaire”. The law specifies that any change of principal residence must be declared to the town hall (or Mairie) of the municipality of the new domicile. This declaration is mandatory even if there is no change of commune.

The most commonly accepted proofs are an Attestation (proof of a contract) or bill less than 3 months old for water, electricity, gas, and fixed telephone established in your name by this company. A certificate of home insurance less than 3 months old or a non-handwritten rent receipt also less than 3 months old.

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