Buying and selling
Posted at May 31, 2016

6 Elements to Consider Before Buying an Apartment in Paris

You have found the Paris apartment of your dreams, and you believe you’re ready to sign the sales agreement. Remember these 6 important details before putting pen to paper:

  1. Ask for all technical diagnostics
    The seller of a property should provide the buyer with a dossier de diagnostics techniques (DTT), or technical diagnostics file, that will be annexed to the promesse de vente (preliminal sales agreement). The diagnostics that should be provided are:
    - Loi Carrez (surface area according to the criteria for properties within a copropriété, or co-ownership)
    - Lead
    - Termites
    - Asbestos (in buildings constructed before 1997)
    - Status of gas installations (where necessary)
    - Status of electrical installations
    diagnostic performance énergétique (Energy Performance) and Greenhouse gas
    - Natural and/or technological risks
  2. Check the surface area!
    If the surface area of the lot expressed by the seller is different from the one mentioned in the co-ownership rules, it could be that certain common areas (closets, hallways, attic space) have been annexed without permission. This situation could fall back on you because the co-op could ask restitution of the common areas or bill you for those specific areas in order to make it legal.
  3. Be aware of any upcoming building renovations as well as works already performed
    To know the planned works or the level of unpaid charges (if necessary), ask the seller (or his syndic – property management company) for the following documents:
    – The billing statement of property charges of the past two years.
    – The official documents from the last three assemblées générales (formal meeting with all co-owners)
    If extensive work has been done in the apartment (walls taken down or a electrical toilet system being installed), check that it has indeed been approved by the syndic.
  4. Pay attention to external noise
    Ask the neighbors and the gardienne about the general environment of the building. Here are a couple good questions to start:
    - Is there a hip café or bar near the apartment? (in this case it would be a good idea to come back to the apartment’s neighborhood at night)
    - Are there young children living in the apartment just above the one for sale?
  5. Inquire at the Urban Planning Department of the Mairie (city hall) to see if any construction has been planned in the neighborhood, and above all, if it will obstruct the view(s) from the apartment.
  6. You have 7 days to decide
    Some documents may unfortunately be given to you at the promesse de vente only. Study them carefully and if you’re not sure, you legally have 7 days to change your mind, and retract your commitment without losing your deposit.

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