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Property Register France

Land Registry in France

Updated on Friday 31st January 2020

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Properties in France need to be registered at the French Land Registry. The French tax authorities, namely the French Ministry of Economy and Finance, manage all issues regarding the registration of land in France. The official land registration system is available online and it applies to any urban and rural properties. Our lawyers in France can provide detailed information about the registration process and the necessary documents.
 
We can also assist you in purchasing and registering properties with the Land Register in France.

The French Cadastre

 
The cadastre is the official system for land registration in France. Cadastre plans for land and parcels in France are also available at the local mayor or a local notary but the French Government has implemented a system that makes it even easier to view land and building plots by using the official website of the French Cadastre. The cadastral map of France is available online and consists of almost 600,000 plans in image or vector format. Using the website, individuals can search the available maps using the address of the land or building.
 
The computerised land registry ensures an efficient and secure land registration service. The online version of the French Cadastre allows the user to view land and building plots, measure their area, print the plans or order hard-copy versions. An archive is also available and it may prove useful for interested individuals.
 

Functions of the French Land Registry

The French Land Register, also known as the French Cadastre, falls under the supervision of the tax authorities (the French Public Finances Department). The Land Register has several functions, among which we name the following:
 
  1. its main function which is that of maintaining information about all the land plots registered in France;
  2. keeping and updating information on the owners of various types of properties in France;
  3. registering title deeds for those who purchase real estate in France (including foreign citizens and companies);
  4. issuing information on existing property titles to parties interested in real estate due diligence;
  5. providing information on property sale transactions (this function was enabled in 2018).

 

If you need assistance in accessing the Land Register, our lawyers in France can help you obtain the necessary information.
 

Information provided by the Land Office System in France

Different tools are available online for individuals who want to obtain information about a specific parcel and the cadastral record. Measurement tools are also available. The plans provided online do not show personal information about the owner. In order to receive information about the properties owned by a certain individual, a request can be made to obtain an extract cadastre. The form can also be obtained at the local land registry office.
 
Our French lawyers can help you obtain all the necessary information from the relevant French authorities. Before purchasing a property in France, it is advisable to perform a real estate due diligence to ensure that the property is a safe purchase.
 

Buying real estate in France and registering it with the Land Register

 
As mentioned earlier, one of the most important roles of the French Cadastre is to maintain all information on property titles updated. This implies for those buying residential and commercial real estate to register the properties with the Land Register after the purchase is completed. Those who want to buy real estate in France will first need to verify the property to be purchased. The search can be completed with the Cadastre when it comes to property title verifications and with the tax authorities for encumbrances.
 
Once the pre-sale agreement has been signed, the parties must convene the terms of the final transaction and sign the sale-purchase contract. It is important to know that the transaction must be completed before a public notary in France. The notary will verify the legality of the transaction and approve it.
Once the property is bought, it is the new owner’s responsibility to register it with the Land Register. Our law firm in France can help foreign citizens purchasing properties here to register them with the Land Registry.
 

How to register a property with the French Land Registry

The registration of a property in France implies completing a few steps. The first one refers to the registration of the sale-purchase agreement after the parties have signed it. This stage of the procedure is completed by the public notary in front of whom the contract was signed. Before filing the contract, the notary will be required to:
 
  • - verify the transaction with the Civil State authority in regard to the seller of the property;
  • - verify the criminal records of both the seller and the buyer of the French real estate;
  • - check the validity of the transaction with the regional office of the Land Registry;
  • - verify the property with the Urban Development Authority and for any mortgages;
  • - verify the seller with the bank in which the money from the transaction will be deposited.

 

At the same time, the new owner must pay the fees related to the registration of the property. When it comes to the fees and taxes which need to be considered when buying real estate in France, one should know that the buyer must pay the property registration fee which is now set at 3.6% of the value of the property. Then, the notary fees must be considered which ranges between 3% and 8%, depending on how old the property is. Other taxes which need to be considered are the value added tax which is imposed only on the sale of new buildings at the rate of 20%. There are no VAT charges on properties older than 5 years.
 
A 1.20% tax of the value of the property must also be paid to the commune in which the real estate was registered. Our attorneys in France can offer more information on the steps which need to be completed when buying real estate, the taxes and fees to pay and the registration with the Land Register. It should be noted that it may take a few months for the property title in its final form to be issued by the Land Registry in France.
 

The real estate market in France

 
France is one of the most appreciated touristic destinations in Europe which is why it attracts large numbers of foreigners interested in purchasing vacation homes here. In 2018, the French real estate market was quite prolific considering:
  • - it registered a 1.3% increase in property sales in the 3rd quarter of the year;
  • - the total increase reported at the end of the year was of 5.8%;
  • - the property prices also rose by more than 2% during the entire year;
  • - Paris remained the most expensive city in the country with an average price per square meter of 9,200 euros.
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Please contact our law firm in France for any issues regarding real estate.