6. Local Searches on Buying French Property

  1. Introduction
  2. Capacity of the Parties
  3. Title Searches
  4. Pre-emption Rights
  5. Planning Searches

6.3. Title Searches

The notaire will verify that the seller has good title (titre) to the property.

The process of verification will establish whether or not there are other persons with an interest in the property, or there are any charges outstanding that must be repaid as part of the sale.

The existence of other interests in the property, such as easements, cannot always be entirely verified by a check on the deeds as there are other methods by which such interests may arise.

Accordingly, the law provides legal recourse for the buyer after the sale, in which the seller is liable to pay up to twice the sale price to the buyer if legitimate third party interests in the property are later discovered.

However, given the vicissitudes of any legal process you would be well-advised to ensure the issue is discussed with the seller and formally cleared as part of the conveyancing process.

Where third party creditors are discovered during the investigation into title the notaire will arrange for these creditors to be paid from the proceeds of the sale. If the amounts are greater than the sale proceeds then completion cannot take place, unless the notaire is satisfied that the seller has other funds available.

Next: Pre-emption Rights

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