Guide to Legal Process of Buying Property in France


Glossary of French Property Terms


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


A

abonnement - standing charge

acompte - deposit, sum paid in advance

acte authentique - legal paper drawn up by a public officer empowered by law

acte sous seing privé - private agreement in writing with no witnesses

acte de vente - a conveyance or transfer of land

accueil - reception

acquéreur - purchaser

acquérir - to buy

affaire - bargain

agence - agency

agence immobilière - estate agent

agent immobilier - real estate agent

agios - bank charges after an overdraft

alimentation - supply (water, electricity etc.)

aménager - to convert

aménagé - converted

ancien - old

à rénover - to renovate

à restaurer - to restore

arrondissement - administrative district of Paris

artisan carreleur - tiling expert

artisan maçon - builder

ascenseur - lift

assurance décès - life insurance

assurance décès, invalidité, incapacité - covers death, invalidity, incapacity

atelier - workshop

attenant - contiguous

attestation d'acquisition - certificate that the property purchase was completed

attestation de propriété - proof of ownership of a property

attribution de juridiction - formal signing of a purchase contract

autorisation de prélèvement automatique - direct debit


B

bail - lease to tenant

bailleur - landlord

balcon - balcony

banque de consignation - the bank where the notaire places the deposits

bâtiment - building

béton - concrete

bilan (de santé immobilier) - survey (house)

boiserie - woodwork

bon état - good condition

"bon pour achat" - following signature of contract ("good for acquisition")

bord de mer - by the sea

bord de rivière - by the river


C

cadastre - local town planning register recording details of land-holdings

campagne - country

carrelage - ceramic tiles

carte professionnelle - granted to estate agents to carry out business

carte d'identité - identity card

caution - security deposit/guarantee

cave - cellar

cellier - store for wine and food

centre commercial - shopping centre

centre des impôts - tax office

certificat d'urbanisme - zoning certificate (equivalent to a local authority search)

cession - transfer of ownership or rights

chai - wine cellar

chambre - bedroom

charges comprises - service charges included

charpentier - carpenter

chartreuse - chartreuse or charterhouse (former religious building)

château - castle

chantier - building site

chaudière - water heater

chauffage - heating

chauffage collectif - communal or shared heating

chauffe-eau - hot water tank

chaumière - thatched cottage

chaux - lime

chèque - cheque

cheminée - chimney

chêne - oak

clause particulière - special condition

clause pénale - penalty clause governing performance of an agreement

clause suspensive - conditional clause needed for the sale to reach completion

climatisation - air conditioning

cloison - partition

clôture - fence

colombage - half timbering

colombier - dovecote / pigeon house

comble - attic

commission comprise (C/C) - agency commission included

commission non comprise - agency commission not included

communauté - joint estate of a husband and wife

compromis de vente - contract for sale and purchase of land

comptant - cash purchase

compte séquestre - deposit in an escrow account pending certain conditions

compteur - meter for water, gas, electricity

conditions particulières - special conditions

conditions suspensives - conditional terms stated in the pre-sale agreement

conseiller fiscal - tax advisor

conservation des hypothèques - mortgage / land registry

constat d'huissier - factual statement by a bailiff which is irrefutable in court

constructible - land which is designated for building under local planning scheme

construire - to construct

contrat de réservation - the purchase contract used for purchase "on plan"

contrat préliminaire - preliminary contract (see contrat de réservation)

convention - agreement

copropriété - co-ownership

cour - courtyard or yard

couvert - covered

couloir - corridor

crédit immobilier - mortgage

crépi - rendering

cuisine - kitchen

cuisine équipée - fitted kitchen

cuisine meublée - fully equipped kitchen


D

dallage - paving

dalle - flag stone

date de livraison prévue - expected date of completion

débarras - box room

décennale - 10 year warranty provided by artisan

délabré - dilapidated

déménagement - moving house

demeure - building, prestigious property

dépendance - outbuilding

dépôt de garantie - deposit paid when renting or buying a property

devis - bill estimate

disjoncteur - electric trip switch

droit de passage - right of way

droit de préemption - pre-emptive right to acquire the property instead of purchaser

droit de succession / donation - inheritance / gift tax

droits d'enregistrement - stamp duty paid by the purchaser


E

éclairage - lighting

écurie - stable

emoluments - the scale of charges of the notaire

encadrement - framing

enregistrement (droits d') - registration of the title of ownership

ensoleillement - in sunshine

entretien - maintenance

équipé - equipped

escalier - stair

espace - space

étage - storey

état des lieux - inventory of fixtures (and conditions) in beginning or end of a lease

évier - kitchen sink

expert comptable - chartered accountant

expert foncier - professional to check on the state and value of the property


F

fer - iron

ferme - farm

finitions - finishings

FNAIM - national association of estate agents

fonds de roulement - capital supplied by flat-owners to meet unexpected liabilities

fôret - drill bit

fosse septique - septic tank

foyer – fireplace

frais de notaire - total to be paid to the notaire on top of the sale price


G

géomètre - surveyor appointed by the notaire to certify the dimensions of the property

gouttière - gutter

grange - barn

grenier - attic


H

haie - hedge

hors taxe (HT) - not including sales tax

huissier - bailiff or process server used to record evidence during legal proceedings

hypothèque - mortgage - where the property is used as security for the loan


I

indivision - joint-ownership

inter horaire - time switch

interrupteur - switch

isolation - insulation


J

jardin - garden

jouissance - right of possession occurring with the transfer of ownership


K


L

lavabo - wash basin

lave-mains - hand basin

laverie - laundry

lingerie - washing room

location - rental

location - renting (tenancy)

logement - accommodation

loi scrivener - protects borrowers from lenders and sellers on property purchases

lotissement – housing estate

"lu et approuvé" - phrase accompanying signature of contract ("read and approved")


M

maçon - builder

mairie - town hall

maison de campagne - country house

maison de maitre - gentleman's house

mandat de recherche - agreement giving power to estate agent to look for property

manoir - manor house

marchand de biens - property dealer

mazout - heating oil (domestic use)

menuiserie - woodwork factory

meubles - furniture

moquette - carpet

monument historique - listed building

mur - wall


N

neuf - new

niveau - level

notaire - notary


O

occupation - occupant of the premises (either tenant or occupant without good title)

offre d'achat /de vente - offer to buy or sell property which is not a binding contract


P

paiment comptant - cash payment

papier peint - wallpaper

parquet - wood floor

parties communes - common parts of buildings

parties privatives - parts of the building restricted to the private use of the owner

peinture - paint

pelouse - lawn

permis de construire - planning permission

pièce - room

pierre - stone

pilier - pillar

piscine - swimming pool

placard - cabinet

plafond - ceiling

plain-pied - single storey

plâtre - plaster

plomberie - plumbing

plus-value - capital gain realised on the sale of the property

portail - garden gate

poutre - wooden beam

prélèvement - direct debit

prêt immobilier - mortgage

prieuré - priory

prise - electric socket

propriétaire - owner

propriété - property


Q


R

raccord - connection

radiateur soufflant - fan heater

rénové - renovation

réservation - the deposit paid in a contract de réservation

réservation, contrat de - contract for the purchase of property

résiliation - cancellation of a contract

restauré - renovated


S

SAFER - national agricultural land agency with pre-emptive rights to buy land

salle de bain - bathroom

salon - living room

securité sociale - French national health system

séjour - living room

sol - ground

sous-sol - underground / basement


T

TTC - toutes taxes comprise - including sales tax

TVA - taxe sur la valeur ajoutée - value added tax

tantiéme - common areas of a co-propriété owned with other apartment owners

tapis - carpet

taxe d'habitation - rate levied on the occupation of property

taxe fonciére - local tax on the ownership of property

terrain - grounds

testament - a will

toit - roof

tontine - joint ownership

tout a l'égout - main drainage system


U


V

verger - orchard

vestibule - entrance hall

vitre - glass

volet - shutter


W


X


Y


Z


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