Surveys – The seller must provide certain compulsory certificates and reports at his own cost. These will cover things such as lead, asbestos, termites (depending on area), energy performance and what is known as a SPANC (Service Public d’Assainissement Non Collectif) report which will indicate whether the septic tank meets the latest environmental hygiene standards. Mortgage providers in France rarely insist on a structural survey.
The Role of the Notaire – In France a Notaire handles most of the conveyancing tasks commonly carried out by a solicitor in the UK. These include local searches and the drawing up and exchange of contracts. He will also collect any taxes due. The notaire acts on behalf of both seller and purchaser but it is the buyer who pays his fees (approx. 5% of the sale price.)
Inheritance Law – French inheritance laws generally take precedence over UK law for any property owned in France and specify that the estate of a deceased person is shared between his or her children. It’s a good idea to seek specialist legal advice if this is likely to cause an issue, particularly where a property will be jointly owned.
Our Top Tip
Don’t forget the fun things! Stock up on food, wine and local produce you enjoyed while in the area.