Droit de Pre-emption

OK where to start! Well, we were looking for some storage/lock up/workshop space in the village, somewhere to put those boxes, store those tools, make that pallet table etc etc!!

What we found was the shell of the Old Bakery, 4 walls and a roof, all sound as a pound, but will all the internal partitions removed ready for renovation by the owner. Nice little overgrown garden with mature fig tree too.

Lovely price as the English owner is now in his 80s and just wanted to off load (he'd already partitoned the house and sold off the back bit).

Compromis de Vente signed weeks ago, date for signing the Acte on 5th November - then Fireworks today - the Notaire sent an email to sday she was embarrased, but the Mairie was considering exercising their Droit de Pre-emption, or to put it in another way, a pre-emptive strike!!

We will know after the "Council" meeting on Monday. The feeling amongst friends is that it is the price that is stimultaing interest from the Mairie - the price of a good second hand car.

Ah well, que sera!! The first time we have ptentially fallen fowl of the French "system"!!

Our last maire tried that a couple of times, feathering 'friends'' nests it would appear. It had happened earlier, whereby the council would buy the property using their droit de pre-emption, discover they could not afford to do anything with it then sell it on at a small profit. The maire does not appear to have made a penny himself because the more recent ones fell through when people got stroppy knowing that person X who is one of his chummies was interested, etc... A compulsory purchase was tried on one 'abandoned' house too, but the children of the owner who had died nipped that in the bud by threatening various things including telling a journalsit from the regional rag.

Thanks Nick

My reply button is not working correctly - but fingers crossed that you can get somewhere with Suzanne’s suggestion.

Thanks for the tip Suzanne. Although we wanTed a storage area, this property is, in fact, 120 sq metres with a small garden! I suppose we will just have to wait until after the council meeting on Monday. Hopefully the Mairie will encode it’s too big a project for them to take on. Might be worth an appeal though if it does go through, thanks agin

I was aware of the law on this but didn’t see it coming in our case. We are buying from an English chap, so didn’t use an estate agent other than a friend of ours who ran his eye over it for us. It’s the price that it’s going for that must be the reason the Mairie’s interest.

Ah we’ll what will be will be, nothing ventured and all that

Don't give up. This happened to French friends of ours, they presented a case of why they needed the garage (they run a B&B and wanted to offer customers off street parking thereby alleviating the parking problems in the centre of Pezenas and put an emphasis on supporting a small business) AND THEY WON! The Mairie pulled out and agreed to them buying the garage.

Can you present a good argument as to how the garage will help you in some way with a business/support the community etc?

Oh dear, it’s one of those quirks. The agent/notaire should have pointed this out to you when you signed the compromis.

Pardon the typos, written in a hurry whilst fresh on my chest!!