2. Preliminary Contract for 'Off Plan' French Property

  1. Purpose of Contract
  2. Deposit
  3. Cooling-Off Period

2.3. 'Cooling-Off' Period

Once the contrat de réservation is signed you have a ten-day 'cooling-off' period, during which time you can withdraw from the contract and receive a full refund of your deposit.

The ten-day cooling off period does not start until you have received a copy of the contract documentation, which should be sent to you by recorded delivery. It does not matter that you may have been handed a copy by the developer at the time you signed the contract. There must be formal, certified confirmation you have received the contract, which can normally only be achieved by a recorded delivery receipt.

If you withdraw from the contract beyond this date then you will lose your deposit, unless you are able to invoke one of the permitted reasons allowed by law, e.g. failure by developer to proceed in accordance with preliminary contract.

If you are seeking a mortgage to fund the acquisition, then it would be best that this was in place (at least 'in principle') before you signed the preliminary contract. If not, then you must ensure that a conditional clause is inserted in the preliminary contract, making signing of the final VEFA contract subject to you obtaining a mortgage.

If the developer is agreeable to this clause a time limit will be imposed. In some cases a developer will have access to a mortgage lender for their clients, but whether on terms more or less favourable than you could obtain elsewhere, only you can judge.

If you are happy to proceed with the preliminary contract, then the final VEFA contract will be signed when full details of the proposed development are known, and the contract documents have been prepared by the Notaire.

Next: VEFA 'Off Plan' Contract

Back: Deposit

The Guides to France are published for general information only.
Please visit our Disclaimer for full details.