8. Terms of Contrat de Construction de Maison Individuelle (CCMI)
The Contrat de Construction de Maison Individuelle (CCMI) is a contract that is normally signed through the auspices of a Notaire.
The Notaire is under a legal obligation to advise you about your rights and ensure due procedure takes place. However, the quality of the advice is vary variable, so you need to have your wits about you.
Our strong view, as we set out in our pages on Buying in France is that you should appoint your own Notaire to act for you in the whole process.
The contract can provide conditional clauses to the benefit of the client regarding planning consent and mortgage finance, but it is strongly recommended that both planning and finance are in place before you sign the contract.
We review the main aspects of this contract, as follows:
- Cooling Off Period
- Specification of Works
- Contract Price
- Stage Payments
8.1. Cooling Off Period in a French Building Contract
If you do NOT sign in front of a Notaire, then you have a seven-day ‘cooling off’ period, during which time you can withdraw from the contract and receive a full refund of your deposit.
You must be notified by recorded delivery letter of the start of the seven day cooling off period, which commences the day following receipt of the letter. The letter must also contain the plan and details of the property.
Whilst you may also be given a copy of the plan and documents on the day you sign the contract, it is of questionable legal validity that this signifies the start of the cooling off period. The law specifically states that there should be clear evidence, via a recorded delivery letter (or delivery by a bailiff), that you have received the documentation.
Accordingly, if you have any doubts, you would be best advised to leave the signed contract on the table and ask the builder to provide you with formal notification in due course.
If you wish to withdraw, you will need to do so in the same form, that is, by letter by recorded delivery to the builder, in which you have no need to state your reasons for withdrawing from the contract.
If you withdraw from the contract beyond this date then you will lose your deposit, unless you are able to invoke one of permitted reasons available in the contract e.g. default by builder, no mortgage.
Next: Specification of Works
The Guides to France are published for general information only.
Please visit our Disclaimer for full details.