Help with Géomètre please!

Hi everyone, I need a bit of help please. I'll explain - Our garden consists of 2 plots of land ( both are constructible) and we are thinking of selling the 2nd plot, which serves as part of our garden. There are quite a few reasons for this, but mainly because my husband is now working in Frieburg in Germany and we are still here in Crolles. We are probably going to sell our house too and either move to Alsace area or Frieburg or maybe back to Scotland! Things are very much in the air at the moment, but one thing is for sure we can't be apart for much longer! Sorry, to get to the point, does anyone have experience of Géomètre's and how much their fee is to come out for a consultation and measure up your land etc? Also is their a particular type of Géomètre i should be calling? The whole thing gets me all uptight, trying to figure it all out - it's crazy even after being here in France for almost 11 years! stupid i know! Any help will be much welcomed. Thanks very much everyone!

Oh, I know so well this concept of privilege. My neihbors want me to be in one queue while they can go via the back door, openly stating, “my dad is an architect born here” or “I am the GP, born here”, not noting that we have three new Gps now.
I think I may SF now with the support from this group. Such a relief. When alone it is easy to lose perspective. I dare not chat with so called neutral neighbors, as they are non such.
Onward with the battle.

There is, needless to say, tension between the DREAL functionaries who are 'professional' public servants who do this job and know all there is to know (blah-dee-blah, as if they do) and the people they consider lay people who are elected therefore not professionals and think they can do what they have since the Revolution or even earlier but don't know the real rules. Our neighbour played on that and when we chimed in it was part of the 'war' that forced the maire at the time to resign. Even then it took over a year to clear the backlog of pending applications that were apparently sorted out in two piles: friends, to be approved quickly, and others, to be kept waiting or rejected.

Our mayor worked on the PLU for our village for 6+ years, then he retired. I think it “did him in.”

Thank you Brian, I will follow all your advice.

Especially soothing is your comment that the Maire has not kept up and that locals think if they spout certain words often enough that insinuates knowledge, which is out of date.

Big problem around here is that there is resentment about rich foreigners and so if you are well-informed and seeking only reform then that is resented. Implication is that to be born in the quartier automatically bestowes information.

It is very tiring, as the lawyer I had has now been usurped by being given an unelected place on the village council (first ever) and I am having to go it alone.

To others who have responded I thank you too. Your advice is sound providing there isrelative normalacy in your region. I live in a village founded in 12th century, if not before, so there are many levels of laws and misconceptions.THe Plu is for most part not known by owners whose families have farmed for 800 yrs.

I will slog on and look forward to sharing this task.

Your best bet is to check with your notaire, then go past the maire to the district/cantonal planning people, if necessary to the department. Since the Plan Local d’Urbanisme (PLU) has gradually replaced the old Plan d’Occupation des Sols (POS), maires have often not kept apace. Our previous maire was like that, his replacement is now very correct and now this commune only signs off all planning once it has been dealt with by the Direction Régionale de l’Environnement, de l’Aménagement et du Logement (DREAL) although the commune is perfectly entitle to make small planning decisions. The latter is probably what it is considered in your case. You are perfectly entitled to go the DREAL though. We had to, along with a neighbour, when a 'developer' was trying to walk roughshod over us. He backed down and without going into the whole story (which has appeared often enough on SFN) our neighbour has got what he was trying to get for nearly 20 years although he had permission and we have fended off what was potentially looming over us. DREAL take these issues seriously and if you have a land ownership issue their decision will be your best weapon. Bornage and servitude are used lightly and often with an assumption that if either word is used often enough that the person will win. Recent planning regulation does not play that game.

I am sorry for your situation.

I am just a layperson so not sure I can help much. When we wanted to obtain a permis de construire on our boundary line, we could not find all the relevant bornes. We were advised that the cadastre is not 100% accurate.

We hired a geometre who located bornes, drove new ones and gathered all the people with whom we shared borders to sign that they agreed with his findings, that the bornes were not to be altered under pain of severe penalty, etc. It turned out our neighbor’s fence was one metre in on our property. It was not substantial fencing and he moved it the next day.

Unfortunately, if the bornage was in your neighbor’s favor, I believe it “trumps” the cadastre plan. However, there are also, I believe, rights based on undisputed continuous use–if you have been using the land in question without contest for more than xx years.

My only suggestion is to consult a notaire or avocat. If it were me, I would start with a notaire, usually a short, initial consult is at no charge.

Surely it's your land if you have the proof ? Do you have all the relevant Actes Authentiques for the land ? Have you been to the Cadastre and checked the documentation ?

My neighbor is claiming property based on the bornage, and is planning to put a fence in the middle od my parking, with a permit de construire signed by the mairie.
The cadastre shows that I own three plots of land, two in his garden.
I have had this land since 1959.
What to do.
Everybody seems to side with him.
So why have I paid taxes on is land for all these years.
Maybe I should ask for a refund from him.
I paid 2,500 for the geometre report.
Now the information is being used against me.
Ideas please.
Feeling furious

This reply is years late, but while I have some information I mostly have questions.
The bornage is the survey, the measurements of the actual physical land. A geometre can cost a fortune. I have just paid 2,600 euros, and there is still no resulution to the fact that on the cadastre, a fiscale definintion of plots of the land, I own three plots and have since 1989.
A neighbor who arrived in 1997 has taken possession of 2 parking places (a huge issue in this overcrowded village), and declares himself owner based on an ancient bornage, never updated to represent ownership of the lots.
I am stymied by not being part of the “clan” where all yhe professionals are related in one way or another.
What to do? How to get justice is really my concern. I was hit in the face by one of the clan, and my property and car etc have been vandalised.
Please do not say go to the Maire. He is the worst of the lot.
Now my legal insurance is trying to duck out as this case is anything but straight forward.
Anybody with ideas will be adored for my life time.

Hi Gwen, We had our little 5000 M2 done this time last year and it cost 2,774. Very formal process with letters sent to neighbours by Geometre, then he met with our neighbours to agree boundaries, then agreements signed by all and the cadastre updated. Not an inexpensive exercise but all the bornage is now in place and there can be no misunderstandings. An important thing for you to think about is what is the minimum land needed to build. In our commune it is 4k!

The guy who moved there is an IT guy, Raphael Proust. Not exactly sure what he's doing, but it's a small world so Craig might well bump into him.

I am working, but at lunch time I tend to look at stuff. :-) No hols apart from a weekend trip back to Scotland at the end of the holidays for my Dad's 90th birthday.

Ahh Ian, what is the name of your ex colleague. Craig is bound to know him as it is not that big a place. Craig has an appt in Neuf Brisach just on the French side of the border and about 1/2 and hour from Soitec. It is better financially for us to live in France - quite a bit actually with regards to tax implications. Craig would have loved to have lived in Freiburg but maybe if we move!!!

I know what you mean - my skis have not seen the light of day this season and probably won't either - it is much like yourselves, too many other things going on. Caelan has football matches and tournaments almost every weekend too.

Shouldn't' you be working? Or are you on Holiday this week!

Ahhh, of course, I should have made the connection. I have a colleague who went there two or three months ago. I see that you could live in France rather than Germany, but I don't know quite how much that would complicate things.

We're all fine, thanks. I'm enjoying the snow so far, but have not skied at all this year as I need to get new skis, and there have been other more pressing things happening.

Good luck with the changes, it's a pretty stressful process.

Hi Ian,

How are you both? Yes it is a permanent job with Soitec in Freiburg. He started there in November. Yes it is quite a change for us all. He loves the job but hates being away for us! The weekends are way too short now. i will give Vial a call thanks. How are you enjoying our very cold and snowy winter? Skiing much? Take care.

Thanks everyone for all your advice. Apologies for not thanking you all sooner. In reply to some of your answers: Our garden is two plots on the same parcelle. We already have the plot numbers etc as we have been in contact with the lovely helpful planning and urbanisme lady at our Mairie. Unfortunatly is is not a straight line across measuring of the land. We could have access up the lane beside our house to the "plot" but our neighbour wanted 30,000 euros for the privilege (he would love our plot of land!) In my opinion he is a greedy bugger and told us he would buy it from us for 30,000!!!!! We have already got permission to take the access from the side of our house, which runs alongside the lane of our neighbours up to the plot. It means losing some of the garden of the house plot. So in essence it would be an L shaped measuring by the geometre. We are allowed to do this as long as we put back the remaining stone wall. I need to get the house valued as one plot and as two. and work out the difference and to see if we would gain much. Problem is, i guess is that we need a geometre to come and measure the land and to tell us how much we would have on each plot to enable the estate agents to come and tell us what we will get. Money is very tight and how much it will cost for a geometre will be hard to find if it is anything up to the amounts everyone is saying. But we need him to get the house valued. i am going to call a couple of agencies when i finish doing this and to get a better idea. Truth be told i don't think i want to leave our house, we have been in it for nearly 10 years, our kids have been brought home from hospital etc to this house - call me a sentimental lassie! It isn't even a pretty house or ideal for us, except a nice big garden - i tell everyone who is coming to visit - look for the ugliest house in the street!!

I know that we can't really stay here if Craig (my husband) is up in Germany on his own and being miserable on his own too. being a weekend dad doesn't work for him and our kids miss him so badly, as he is always a hands on father. i can deal with it because, i know he has no choice at the moment. We have always said that if we move, it will be back to Scotland. There isn't any work for Craig here. I moan about living in France sometimes and still miss many things about the UK even after being here for almost 11 years. But i think recently has showed how much i must like it! Sorry for ranting a bit.

Thank you all again for all your help - Survive France comes to the rescue again!

Just had to agree with this one. The geometre came here asked us where we thought the boundary should be - took our word for it popped in the yellow poles and charged us 300 euros for same!

Hi Gwen,

The bilingual helpline can help you with this, not least because we have dealt with several such cases in the past, and are dealing with one of two plots for a subscriber right now.

Firstly: You state "your garden consists of 2 plots of land (both are constructible)...."

Immediate first question: How do you justify your statement that they are "constructible"? Do you have a current C.U.? (Certificat d'urbanisme). If you do not, you do not know for sure that they are "constructible". If they are in a zone defined as "constructible" in your Commune's planning document, then they may well be constructible but it will depend what that documents says is allowable in that zone.

Second question: You state that you have "two plots". Do these have separate parcel numbers (one for each "plot" which should appear listed on your deeds (Acte de Vente).

What to do? Well, if you really want to sell one, or both, as building plots you must first obtain a "Certificat d'Urbanisme opérationnel" - otherwise you have nothing of value to sell.

Here is the form for that:

Once you have your C.U. (which will be valid for 1 year only - except in certain circumstances when it can be for 2 years) you will have to arrange for the relevant parcel to be marked out by a "Geomêtre Expert", not just any geomêtre. This "géometre expert" is the only person legally able to define, register and thus legalise the limits of the parcelle(s) you wish to sell. And this has nothing to do with the boundaries shown on the official cadastre because the limits will have to be agreed, usually with an on site meeting, with all the neighbours whose land abuts yours and probably a representative of the Mayor of your commune. If agreed, the Geomêtre Expert will place "bornes" - official markers - defining the limits of your parcelle(s). This is not a cheap exercise!

I hope that is useful basic information? If you need more help with this do please contact me. You will find a link on my profile.

Good luck.

I'm flabbergasted back Glen! I have nothing to add, the less said about them the better. Is that alright?

I have a friend buying about 6 (yes 6) sq m and the maire told him it would be about the same! He even found out that a small part of an outbuilding of his was on communal land! He should have picked that up at purchase of course.