In this month's issue of French Property News I look at the importance of studyng a number of documents that you can consulted before taking a decision to buy a French property - or not. These include the cadastral plan of the area where your chosen property is situated; the plan local d'urbanisme which will define whether a particular sector is for example zoned for housing, commerical development or designated as 'green space; and the plan de prévention des risques naturels which is the report concerning risks such as fire, flooding or other hazards, and how these make affect what can or cannot be constructed. These documents should be available via the estate agent, the notaire handling the transaction or from the mairie.
If you are considering buying a property such as an apartment within a co-ownership building, essential documents to consult include the rules of the syndic (building management) governing issues such as sub-letting, keeping pets or working at home. Also important to study are the recent reports of the annual general meeting of co-owners which will give an idea of any expenditures voted (for example, for external painting or modernigisng the lift), the cost of which will be inherited by the new owner. The latest reports of the syndic should be provided by the estate agent or notaire.