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The New Standards

The classification procedure for furnished tourist accommodation is in place. The application of new rules, after the Ministerial Decree of 8 January 1993, aims to improve the marketing of rental properties for tourists and adapt to customer requirements.

The obligatory pre-classification visit by Aravis inspectors allows for accurate grading. A check is required every five years. A Practical Guide to Renting out Furnished Accommodation, containing a variety of information which might improve your rental income, is available on request.

The accommodation capacity of the property is related to the number of rooms and the total surface area (except bathroom and toilet).
A minimum area of 12 m2 for the main room is required in the case of a studio for two people (building code), an area of 7m2 per additional room is required (1 star) - 8m2 14m2 main room and extra room (2 stars)
The maximum capacities are determined as follows:
* 1 room 4 people
* 2 rooms 6 people
* 3 rooms 8 people
* 4 pieces 10 people, etc ...
Corner booths and mezzanines are not considered as rooms. However, their area is included in the total area.
Sloping ceilings: any area less than 1.80m will not be counted as living space.
Need to have a second bathroom for a capacity of more than 6 people.

For classification 2, 3 and 4 stars, the details make the difference and also create a pleasant environment.
* Floors, walls and ceilings: uniform plaster, paint and ceilings, no stains, clean upholstery (not torn or detached), well maintained floors, regularly renovated.
* Windows: windows with shutters, (roller shutters or blackout curtains). It must be possible to totally block out the light in any room where there is a bed.
* Furniture: it should be adapted to the current way of life - consistency and quality are required.
There should be some decorations on the walls. Check the quantity and quality of hangers.

* Beds: the dimensions are:
single bed 0.80 m x 1.90 m
0.90 m x 1.90 m for 4-star classification.
(For the record, since March 1997, Gites de France require that all categories have beds of 0.90m)
European standards
double bed 1.40 m / 1.90 m or 1.60 m / 2.00 m
Tolerance of 1.30 m width for sofa beds in 1 and 2 stars
* The state of the bedding: comfort and cleanliness are paramount.
Low-profile or box sprung bed base: slatted or "comfort". Remove mesh springs and horsehair and avoid wool. Mattress: BULTEX 35 kg, 40 kg AREIAL, LATEX from 75 to 83 kg density.
The mattresses must be clean on both sides, and preferably covered with a removable washable cover. An undersheet is necessary and may be waterproof or not (the difference being in the comfort). For new bedding, it is advisable to use a shaped under sheet which is waterproof on one side and fleece on the other and add another cotton draw sheet to be washed more often. Please note, very light PVC draw sheets are uncomfortable and often tenants do not use them.
Beware of bunk beds! New standards are required: must have a ladder and a fixed security barrier. "Prohibited for children under 6" should be clearly marked on the top bunk. New beds should have an NN identification number. If beds are unstable, they must be replaced or fixed securely to the wall. There are also new standards for fold-down beds.
An owner may be liable for any accident if he provides a customer with equipment that does not fulfill legal safety standards.
Pillows and bolsters should be preferably synthetic, washable and hypoallergenic. Feathers should be avoided. There must be covers for pillows and bolsters. Two wool blankets (fleece) or one duvet is recommended per person. It is advisable to include a duvet cover and a light, printed bedspread which can be used as a bed cover.
In 3 star accommodation, there should be a pillow and bolster per bed.
* The lighting: a lamp is required per person, so provide 2 lights for a double bed. It is advisable to put spotlights on the wall. For a sofa bed, a halogen lamp is perfect. Provide visual comfort, without disturbing others who may be sleeping in the same room. For bunk beds, wall-mounted lamps or spotlights are best suited. Lamps with clamps are dangerous for children.

The bathroom must be situated fully within the property. It is necessary to have a vent (opening to the outside) or mechanical ventilation. If 7 or more people, two shower rooms, one with independent access, are needed.
The toilet should be inside and ventilated. If 7 people or more in 3 star, a second toilet is needed.

It is obvious to have:
- Hot and cold water at the sink with mixer taps.
- Minimum 2 hotplates - 4 hobs are needed for 6 people and are required in the 3 star category
- An oven - in 3 star, a rotisserie is not sufficient and the presence of a microwave oven does not preclude the necessity of an oven,
- Ventilation (mechanical or otherwise),
- Complete sets of tableware (matching crockery and enough stainless steel cutlery): number of persons x 3 up to 4 people and 2 x number of people from the 5th person
- Aluminium cookware should be replaced with stainless steel suitable also for hot plates.
- Pressure cooker
The list of equipment needed is printed in the appendix "kitchen equipment".

For a 3-star classification, in addition to mandatory compliance, you must have:
- A minimum area of 16 m2 for the main room, extra room 9 m2
- Good quality crockery, preferably white earthenware
- A dishwasher (from 5 people).
- Color TV, pleasant interior decor, warm furnishings and impeccable bedding
- A set of garden furniture with table and chairs.

A washing machine, dryer, microwave, telephone and freezer are needed in 4-star, with one main room of 18 m2 and 10m2 extra room. The decoration and furniture must be of high quality.

Tip: make a snow shovel available for winter, marked with the apartment number and also board games.

"Log Book", "Guestbook": it is advisable to leave a folder containing information for the customer (set of tips and instructions for or location of: water meters, electricity, use of appliances, as well as useful addresses - resort brochures, magazines and why not your favorite places!)

It is also good to leave room for suggestions from tourists.