The role of the "Notaire"
In France, the conveyancing process is undertaken by a notary. Your solicitor or the French tax authorities. A "notaire" is a publicly appointed official who is responsible for ensuring that the property is habitable (ie, no irregularities) and that the purchase or sale is carried out and legal verifications are made. As “notaires” are personally responsible for the establishment of the contracts, they must be objective in the advice they give and be impartial in their dealings with the parties involved. A “notaire” represents neither the seller nor the buyer but the French Government. Therefore, the same "notaire" usually acts for both the vendor and the purchaser. This is not mandatory and you can appoint your own notaire if you wish. The fees (paid by the purchaser) are fixed by French legislation (+ local fees).
Rates and taxation
- The "taxe foncière" amount depends on the size and the location of the property. The tax is paid by the owner of the property on the 1st of January of each year with payment due in the final quarter of the year (owners of new constructions are exempt of tax payment for the first two years).
- The "taxe d'habitation" (local services tax) covers the services and maintenance provided by the local council.
Capital gain tax
If you have owned the property for less than 30 years, you must file a capital gains tax declaration, even if you have no tax to pay. Capital gains on real estate made by individuals are taxed at the rate of 19% + 15,5 %.