This article presents the key information to get before buying an apartment in Paris. In France, the seller must provide many mandatory information about the property to sale. Legally speaking, he has the duty to disclose all the information he has about his property. He is responsible under the law: in case of non-compliance, he cannot be exempted from the hidden defects guarantee. Courts treat offenders severely: in cases where the seller has concealed some important information, the buyer can obtain a price reduction or even the cancellation of the sale. Sometimes, if he has suffered serious prejudice, he can even receive a compensation.
As this information gives a clear idea of the real estate to the buyer and enables him to make his decisions, no doubt that it is highly recommended that he carefully reviews it before giving his free consent. In cases where the buyer does not read the language sufficiently to fully understand, he could call on a trusted third-party service that can assist him from the start of his apartment hunting, ideally from the first visit or from the selection of apartments meeting your criteria. If you find yourself in this situation and wish to ensure your investment decision, I will be glad to help you and offered my skills.
For more information, please read my article: Why hire a property hunter for your home in Paris?
Regarding residential properties in Paris, there are three kind of legal or technical information to be provided. I suggest the following presentation: First information about the ownership, then about the commonly hold building and at last about the apartment itself.
Information about ownership
In a commonly hold building, it is important to ensure that some part of the commonly owned areas has not been added to the property without the required approval and deed. It can be done by comparing the descriptive schedule of division to the flat ground-plan. The descriptive schedule of division is a document containing the precise definition and constituency of each volume of a condominium. In case of differences, it is important to verify that the integration of common areas to the apartment have been voted and approved at a general meeting of co-owners.
In France, a property to sale must be the property of the seller. It falls to the “notaire” (civil law notary) to ascertain the authenticity of a title of property. French “notaires” are lawyers who have public authority to draw up contracts in an authenticated form.
To identify the owner, the “notaire” checks the continuous ownership chain over a period of 30 years. It is also necessary to redeem any pre-emptive rights or to check any town-planning easement or mortgage on the property. As the complete mandatory information will be appended to the sale and purchase agreement and to the deed of sale as well, the “notaire” will check whether there is a legal impediment to the sale.
Information about the condominium
Keep in mind that co-ownership is by far the majority in Paris. Therefore, the seller of an apartment in Paris must give you the following documents:
The commonhold regulation and the descriptive schedule of division;
The maintenance logbook ;
The minutes of the general meetings over the 3 last years;
Financial information such as
The amount of current expenses of both provisional and off budgets over the 2 last years
The amount due by the seller to the co-ownership.
The sums due to the co-ownership and suppliers…
The global technical diagnosis if it was carried out. This list of works necessary for the maintenance and conservation of a building is compulsory only for buildings over 10 years old which are subject to an insanitary procedure. Its realization must be submitted to each annual general meeting.
Information about the apartment
Certificate attesting the exact surface area of the concerned batch (mandatory by the Carrez law).
The seller must give to the potential buyer many surveys called “dossier de diagnostics techniques” (DDT).
Abestos diagnosis: This document mentions the presence or the absence of asbestos in the materials used to build or renovate the apartment. For all buildings built before the January 1st, 1997.
Lead diagnosis: This document is a report done to review the effects of lead on the health and the threshold not to be exceeded. For residential buildings build before January 1st, 1949.
Gas diagnosis: A check of the indoor gas installation must be done if more than 15 years old. In case of renovation, a certificate must be provided.
Electricity diagnosis: A check of the indoor electrical installation must be done if more than 15 years old. In case of renovation, a certificate must be provided.
Hazards and soil pollution statement (ERP): In Paris, even if rarely, some zones can be affected by flooding. There are covered by a prefectural decree.
Energy performance certificate (DPE): This certificate is a rating scheme that sums up the energy efficiency. It also includes recommendations to improve the energy efficiency.
Termite report: for the areas delimited by prefectural decrees.
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