Anyone used l'huissier?

I understand a huissier is a legal person who draws up a party wall agreement. We definitely need one of these as the little old chap next door has a dodgy lean to against our house which already has signs of cracks and movement away from his house. He took me inside to show me his house one day and the cracks ran the whole length of the floor breaking his carrelage and meaning his bathroom wall tiles had fallen off into his bath. He keeps plastering over the crack but it appears to me the problem is he built a lean to over what used to be a passage way between the two houses (they used to be detached). I suspect his foundations under the passageway are nowhere near as deep as the house (which has a cave with wine cuves below) so hence there is movement.


As we are planning on doing some excavation beneath but inside the foundation walls of our house we need to ensure this is all logged and signed.


Anyone done one of these? What was the process? Anything to look out for or should I prepare in advance before doing it? I've been told the cost is around 300 euros.

Thanks for this, really useful to know what to expect.

I think it was all agreed with the previous owner as there was a big falling out between 2 families in the village which ended up in court - proceedings of which are documented in many pages in our title deeds. There was an exchange and we now have a right of access down a chemin by vehicle to access our back garden. I have no problem with the fact its built on, just that its been badly done and is pointing all the rain water sloping directly onto the side of our house. The lead flashing they put up is damaged and as such it has caused water to go into our house. Not a problem currently as its not habitable but I wouldn't want to do all the work on the house and then find we get water in because of the 'dodgy lean to' as I've now nicknamed it.

We used a huissier in 2010 - and he was excellent - tell him in advance why you want him, your fears, and what you want to do or achieve - and he will arrive with his camera, and then do a fantastic report with his stamp over each and every photo so they cannot be "trucage'd" After his initial report, we feel that he missed out a few things we had said, so called him back. He did charge us another EUR 100 but it was worth it and we now have a legal document that is binding. You can see our constat d'huissier here at https://docs.google.com/uc?export=download&id=0B0AgZzD5S2e6NDcxZTQ3MTQtZDI3OC00ZmVkLWJhNTQtZTM0ZjZhZGRlNDQ1&revid=0B0AgZzD5S2e6UysrQ0tjRlgrZ3BFVXlzZXlGZUZBV251Z2JvPQ to get an idea of what it contains anbd we put it in the cloud for everyone to see. Note This is the second one which is 33 MB - the first one is 80 MB - you will be asked loads of questions about whether you want to download it etc etc but I assure you PDFs cannot contain viruses.

used ond, but for dept collection, didn't bet the money (now in lawyer's hands) but were efficient in what they did. Cost around 600 euros but commletely different task! didn't use the for the ├ętat des lieux when we bought the business but recommended to do so, no problems not having done so.

Suzanne -- look on the useful links page. There's a section on huissiers. Never used one myself but gather they're extremely efficient. If you think he's built over what was originally a passage between the two houses, a trip to the mairie could be productive. Did he have or need planning permission? What is on the cadastre?