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We bought a property in France last year and in June 2015 it was ours we moved here in July 2015. We have renovated the house ourselves along with the help of family members as the house was not habitable however we did live there during the renovations from new roof down. We want to sell our house now and move to a bigger one as not much space here. We have been informed by the notate and immobiler that we have to live here for 18 months and also told 2 years or the previous owner can claim any profit we make on the sale which is not going to be anything as the renovation work cost more than the house was purchased for. We don't have the receipts they are asking for as we didn't know we had to keep any and most were lost in the renovations anyway as we were constantly having to buy materials for the renovation. Please can you give the correct advice regarding this as I am getting conflicting information from the notaire and immobile. Many thanks in anticipation

by Jacqui on 01 Mar 2016
Guillaume Barlet

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Dear Jacqui,

It appears that the risk mention is of “lésion” which is effectively a prejudice or loss. In France, a seller can rescind a property sale agreement if the sale price is less than seven-twelfth of its actual value. The actual value being evidenced by the price you wish to put the property on the market. Such claim can be made for 2 years after the first sale.

This is in particular correct when the property has not been modified and is in general not a problem when renovations have taken place. Your objective is therefore to evidence that you have made improvements resulting in a logical change in value. Evidence includes contracts with builders, invoices for materials, planning authorisations, pictures and generally any element showing these changes.

The other issue which seems to be highlighted is capital gains tax (CGT) payable on property which is not your main residence. Once again, this is a question of proof and largely depends on circumstances: either you prove that it is your main residence and no CGT is payable or you prove that some or all the works are deductible mitigating the CGT liability.

It seems preferable to seek further advice.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,

Guillaume Barlet-Batada

by Guillaume Barlet on 06 May 2016

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