6. Handover and Delivery of 'Off Plan' French Property

  1. Handover & Delivery
  2. Non-Conformity
  3. Defects
  4. Retention

6.2. Non-Conformity of the Property

As a general rule, the dwelling must conform with that specified by purchaser, who has right to refuse something different, called a défaut de conformité.

However, if there are only minor differences, then it may well be indefensible in law to refuse to accept the property. It all depends on the detail of the contract and the scale of non-conformity.

Where the changes are significant then you are entitled to ask, either that they be put right, or terminate the contract and claim damages and interest.

It is irrelevant that the developer may have issued a completion notice to the planning authority and received an approval from them confirming the property complies with the planning consent.

The obligations of the developer relate to those contained in the VEFA contract and not in relation to the planning application.

So, for instance, if a parking space was included in the contract and it is not provided, you are entitled to terminate the contract and seek full reimbursement and damages. Similarly, the courts have found in favour of purchasers where the collective television aerial had not been installed, where telephone points were not omitted and where cupboards were missing.

Your statutory rights enable you to bring an action for non-conformity for up to 30 years following handover of keys.

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