Tuesday, June 21, 2011

EU pilot scheme aims to guarantee 'legal certainty' when buying property abroad

The European Union has been funding a pilot scheme set up by the European Land Registry Association which offers buyers of property outside their own country legal protections that could be enforced by the laws of their home country.

The scheme has been tried out in Holland and Spain using a system known as CROBECO (Cross Border Electronic Coveyancing). As a result Dutch law could apply and compensation awarded in cases of breach of the purchase contract for a property in Spain.

The ELRA points out that the sales transaction could even be processed in the buyer's home country by a local conveyancer, making buyers more confident of purchasing property abroad, as the scheme is gradually extended to other European countries.

How this proposal could eventually affect property purchases in France remains to be seen. French notaires currently enjoy a monopoly of property conveyancing in France, and even if British buyers choose to employ a local lawyer to check the purchase contract, it is the accuracy of the original (French) documentation, combined with the notaire's local knowledge, that ensure that the transaction is transparent, legal and fair to both parties.

Further information Daily Telegraph Overseas Property Section, Sean O'Connor 15 June 2011. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/