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Notaire Fees for Property Purchase in France

Notaires charges are set by the government, but that may well soon all be coming to an end.

The following table shows the notaire fees that are payable on the purchase of an existing older property.

In reality, a significant part of what is generally known as 'notaire fees' actually comprises the conveyancing tax, or stamp duty, as it is known in the United Kingdom. This tax is payable at the rate of 5.09% of the purchase price, although it is 0.715% on newly constructed properties.

The table also excludes estate agency fees, which the buyer frequently is expected to bear, although, in the end, that is entirely a matter for negotiation between buyer and seller.

The fees payable may vary slightly from those shown, depending on individual circumstances. Thus, the fees will be slightly higher if there is to be a mortgage on the property, or if the property is being purchased through a French property company, a Société Civile Immobilière.

If you require very particular specialised advice, the notaire is also able to charge for such advice, although this is not usual, and s/he is required to say in advance if any additional charge for such assistance will be payable, including the amount of the charge.

Notaire Fees on Property Purchase
Purchase Price
Stamp Duty
Land Registry
Notaire Fees
Total Cost

Source: Chambre des Notaires, Ile de France

End of Fixed Rate Tariffs?

We may well be drawing to the end of an era of fixed charges by notaires, for France is under considerable pressure from the European Commission to end the special legal and monopoly status granted to notaires, including the use of such tariffs, although not the level of stamp duty.

Last year they found themselves on the losing side in a judgement of the European Court of Justice, who considered that the protected status of notaires was contrary to EU competition law.

France has begun to concede some ground, by abolishing the condition of French nationality for notaires. They still retain their monopoly on conveyancing and fixed tariffs, but a study into the evolution of the status of notaires is being undertaken by the newly elected government of President Hollande.

Related Reading:

This article was featured in our Newsletter dated 04/09/2012

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