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What Legal Fees Can You Expect?

Post 6 of 11
What Legal Fees Can You Expect?

There are three types of legal fees associated with purchasing a property in France. Costs for all three combined will total approximately 8 – 10% of the purchase price for a second hand property and 4 – 5% for a new property.
These fees and costs are generally called frais de Notaire or notary fees as they are all paid via the notary.

Change of ownership fees (Frais de mutation):

A fee is charged when property in France is transferred from one owner to another. This fee, legally fixed by the authorities, is based on the agreed purchase price of the property and on whether or not it is old or new. The notary is responsible for collecting this fee and transferring it to the local or regional administrative bodies.

Charges for mortgage security (Frais de garantie):

Whenever you take out a bank loan in France to finance your French property, the loan is secured with a charge on the property.

  • First charge on propertyIf you buy an old or a new existing property involving a transfer of ownership, the security associated with this loan is called a first charge on property (“PPD – Privilège de Prêteur de Deniers”).
  • Contractual mortgageHowever, if there is no transfer of ownership – as in the case of refinancing an existing loan or requesting an equity release – or you are purchasing a property under construction, the security is contractual mortgage (“Hypothèque Conventionnelle”).

To encourage the purchase of old or new existing property, first charge on property fees (PPD) are based on a lower rate than those for a contractual mortgage.

Notary Fees (Frais de Notaire):

The notary’s fees include the cost of various formalities as well as the performance of certain acts, such as the deed of purchase and the registration of the mortgage. These fees, called “émoluments”, are based on the purchase price and the amount borrowed. Notary fees are legally established by the Chamber of Notaries and are usually non-negotiable.

This article was written by French Mortgages Made Easy