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Specialist in French Property Law Strap Line

The most advantageous vehicle for your purchase and ownership

The agent immobilier (estate agent)

The notaire

The purchasing process

The UK surveyor in France






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The legal process

General points for consideration

In this guide, we seek to provide an overview and introduction to the system of property transfer in France. British and Irish nationals encountering the French civil law system for the first time can find this confusing as they meet a number of participant individuals and organisations that are superficially similar to those that are familiar from home but that can operate very differently. Whilst not every case is similar we shall as far as it is possible attempt to introduce them in the order in which those individuals and mechanisms are generally encountered.

To begin let us address some key issues you might find worthy of consideration before embarking upon the legal process, or should you be a first time purchaser, even the search for the right property.

Although in common law terms this is putting the cart before the horse, under the French civil code it is advantageous to give serious thought to planning your estate before embarking upon a specific purchase. Under French law there are constraints that will apply to your ownership & inheritance position regardless of which particular property you choose to buy. It is therefore useful for any prospective purchaser to ask him/herself the following:

  • What is the purpose of the purchase? Will this be a permanent residence, holiday home, future residence, investment, or commercial enterprise?
  • Who is the purchaser? Are you planning to purchase in a sole name or jointly with a partner, wife or husband?
  • Is there a benefit in purchasing through a French property owning company?
  • How is the purchase going to be financed?
  • Is there a benefit to purchasing within a SIPP?
  • Who does the purchaser wish to inherit the property?

Having addressed these points and arrived at a conclusion it is then possible to set about finding your property with the confidence of knowing what needs to be achieved not only in negotiating the acquisition but in how the purchase will be structured to best suit you.

You may instruct us to help with your concerns at any stage of the purchase but we emphasize that early preparation affords the maximum flexibility and the minimum of stress leaving you free to enjoy the process and reap all the benefits from your French property purchase with confidence and peace of mind.

We are specialists in French law and French property conveyancing. We only deal with France. By virtue of our dual qualification and bi-lingual, bi-cultural experience, we can look at the system in France from an Anglo Saxon point of view in consideration of the interaction between the two systems. We are here, and if need be, there for you, safeguarding your interests.

26 Forth Place ▪ Newcastle Upon Tyne ▪ NE1 4EU

29 Throgmorton Street ▪ London ▪ EC2N 2AT

Bureau de liaison ▪ 57 rue d’Amsterdam ▪ 75008 ▪ Paris ▪ France

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