Contract Terms and Conditions while Buying Property in France
Any case of buying a house, land, apartment or estate every time results in signing a sale and purchase contract. The interests of both the parties concerned are introduced in it, so this agreement is and will always be some kind of a «conditional» one, because the desires and preferences of a vendor and vendee both depend on certain legislative requirements and the necessity of establishing a good title to the property for sale. Sometimes the original form of the sale and purchase agreement may not include all the clauses you want, but according to the French law it`s possible to add your own conditions and make the notary officer carry out some more searches to let you know what you need. These circumstances that need to be verified are commonly known as «subjects to survey» almost everywhere, but in France this term is not used at all, mainly because such a term as ‘subject to contract’ doesn`t exist either. But anyway, every clause should be checked carefully before your final putting the signature in the sale and purchase contract.
And, probably, in France a mortgage issue is one of the most serious conditions when dealing with the clauses of the sale and purchase contract.
In this case on the terms and pursuant to the conditions set out in the agreement a mortgage can be likely obtained even if the contact itself doesn’t include a clause stating that the house or land for sale is purchased without a mortgage. But anyway, you had better add the clause about your buying the property with a mortgage to keep out of some possible future troubles relating to the mortgage matters (by the way, you are highly recommended to make all the clauses of the contract clear and explicit to avoid potential litigation or disagreement in the whole process of buying property later). As for the mortgage conditional clauses, for example, here you should insist on the inclusion of the main details of it: duration, amount, the term of its validity, etc. In France it`s pretty common when the vendee obtains a mortgage offer within 45 days, if not then the contract won`t stand good in law anymore. This period of time is undoubtedly enough for a resident of the country with a pretty stable income, but it is usually too short for a foreign purchaser who has found a suitable house or land for sale in France. So if you are one of them you had better try to do your best to get a longer period in the agreement. You may read about the mortgage in France in detail by visiting French Mortgages.
By the way, you may also make your contract include the clauses relating to buying of the adjoining land or planning consent. As for the last mentioned, so there is a certificat d’urbanisme (‘in principle‘ planning certificate) in France which you obtain to get the permission to build on the former land for sale or change the use of it. Drafting this document carefully and properly needs plenty of time, because it must include not only some general planning conditions but also the possible future objections to the entire planning consent. And if you`ve decided to buy the plot of land for sale where you`re going to build one or more residential buildings, then under the French law you are obliged to obtain either a déclaration préalable or a permis d’aménager (a development permit), the circumstances usually establish the form of the permission. The vendor is responsible for getting this permit, and after this the purchaser, in his turn, is able to submit a separate planning application for the potential development. But sometimes both the applications may be submitted simultaneously. Just follow the link Planning System to learn more about general rules and aspects of the planning issue in France.
Quite often there are the clauses introduced in the sale and purchase contract relating to the way of demonstrating the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of certain conditions, like a mortgage offer or refusal, for example, or a copy of planning permission, etc. What is more, the date by which this or that condition must be satisfied is stipulated in the contract too. And if the condition is not met within the specified time-limits, then the owner of the property for sale may easily pull out of the contract. But if you, a purchaser, withdraw from the contract by yourself without acting by due process of law, then in France you`ll never have the law on your side, because all the conditions for potential fulfillment will be reviewed in court and you`ll be necessarily asked to prove that you did your best and everything possible to satisfy this or that condition discussed.
For instance, when there is a clause relating to the obligatory obtaining of the planning consent to complete the deal, then, nevertheless, the court makes a finding to consummate the transaction, although the vendee hasn`t submitted the planning application yet or even at all. In such a case it is decided that the prospective purchaser has just abandoned the idea of possible building on the land for sale. So in general, you, as a vendee, are not entitled to use any conditional clauses to prolong the whole process of buying house, land or estate in France for getting more time to think your potential purchase decision over.