Monday, July 13, 2015

Simplifying the rules when buying a French apartment

Following the widespread criticism of the loi Alur, the French government has announced imminent changes to the procedures for buying and selling apartments and other types of property situated within a co-ownership complex or condominium.

Under the loi Alur, promoted by the then housing minister Cecile Duflot, owners are asked to provide large amounts of extra documentation detailing the history of the building in which the property is situated, including any works undertaken and planned, and detailed accounts going back several years. These have to be provided by the syndic (the building managers) before a would-be purchaser signs a pre-contract ('compromis de vente') and at which point he/she is entitled to withdraw - creating additional costs for the owner/vendor for the work needed to compile the dossier.

The new procedures have created serious delays, of up to three or more months, before the 'compromis' can be prepared and hopefully signed, and in some cases have increased the number of documents required from 30 to 300 or more pages.

No detailed information about the proposed changes is as yet available and is awaited in a decree promised for mid-September. The only detail announced is that documents may be sent in electronic form rather than hard copy, but their is no indication about how the quantity may be reduced.