Le­gal rul­ing could af­fect es­tate agents

Living France - - Les Pratiques -

A re­cent case in France’s Supreme Court sug­gests that buy­ers of French prop­erty can sue es­tate agents if they have drafted the com­pro­mis de vente with­out tak­ing rea­son­able care to en­sure that the con­di­tions in­cluded are ‘work­able’. The court ruled that Ar­ti­cle 1999 of the Civil Code al­lowed the buy­ers to sue the es­tate agent for a re­duc­tion in com­mis­sion af­ter they dis­cov­ered that they could not build on the land they had pur­chased for €450,000, as there was a covenant in place pre­vent­ing any build­ing on the land which was not men­tioned in the com­pro­mis. The com­pro­mis also claimed that the land mea­sured 1,000m2 but af­ter sign­ing, the buyer also dis­cov­ered that the land in fact mea­sured less than 1,000m2. The com­pro­mis de vente had been drafted by the es­tate agent, rather than a no­taire. As a re­sult, agents have been ad­vised to avoid draft­ing a com­pro­mis, and if they do, buy­ers are ad­vised to ob­tain any rep­re­sen­ta­tion in writ­ing. Buy­ers who find they have been mis­led by an agent should claim against them im­me­di­ately, and the com­mis­sion fee should be held by the no­taire pend­ing res­o­lu­tion of the dis­pute.

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