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Purchasing a French Property

  • When buying a French property, the Contract is followed by a Deed of Sale, as it is in the UK. However, unlike the UK, you sign your Contract on Day 1 and are then subject to suspensive conditions (get out clauses).

  • You are given a 10-day cooling off period in case you change your mind.

  • You sign your Contract first and apply for a mortgage afterwards. The same applies to any other suspensive condition.

  • We provide a detailed report on the Contract stating all relevant terms and conditions. A full translation is not necessary.

  • We liaise with the French Estate Agent and/or French Notary. This ensures all changes and conditions are acceptable to the vendor.

  • A French Notary has to be involved and he prepares the draft Deed of Sale. We examine the draft Deed and report on it to you fully in writing. Where appropriate we recommend certain changes particularly concerning inheritance matters.

  • Matters which we concentrate on include outline planning permissions, adverse rights, boundaries, rights of access, and generally making sure that you will get what you expect without any disappointing surprises.

  • French Contracts now all come with compulsory reports call diagnostics on, depending on the precise circumstances and the area where the property is located, asbestos, risks of lead poisoning, electrical installations, gas installations and energy performance. If the property has a septic tank there must also be a report on it. There is also a compulsory report on natural, technological and mining risks. We examine all of these papers, and briefly tell you what matters.

  • We also cover purchases of flats and building plots and off-plan sales. French Contracts for the sale of flats now compulsorily come with the Minutes of the three most recent Annual General Meetings of the Association of Co-owners, and the three most recent sets of accounts. We normally deal with the most recent year only. In our opinion the legislation is going over the top.

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