Is this legal

Hi all, we recently went to see a house through the local notiare, that had just come on the market. The owner had gone into a retirement home and the family didn't want to live there. the house is the end of three buildings

We saw a few properties that day and after a few days decided that this one suited us best. We contacted the notiare and put in our offer, quite reasonable for what it was. We hadn't heard anything for a couple of weeks so my wife called in to inquire whether our offer had been accepted or not. She was told that our offer could not be accepted as the farmer who owns the middle house (which is dilapidated) and the barn which is starting to fall down, has blocked anyone from buying the old mans house

The farmer has put in an offer on this property which is much lower than the one we offered

Is this legal and is it the norm, the houses shared a drive and there is another property on the road to this house that is a holiday home for some English

Frustrated, Mick

I imagine the family of the old man will want to know what the situation is! And a lot will depend on whatthe French version of deeds is..

Good luck with it - whereby are you sure you would want to live as this guy's neighbour?

All property with over 2500m² of land/garden has to pass through safer and farmers have the right to buy/pre-emption.

Best look elsewhere, Micha ;-)

thank you all for your comments, we have decided to look elsewhere, already got some more properties lined up to view. Before we found out about the farmer, we had the idea of proposing to him of swapping some of the land (if came with 5 acres) for the properties, possibly with cash also.

But hey ho, we move on, such a shame.

The notaire should have made the high likelihood of droit de pre-emption known to you, which is what it looks like. Best off out of it anyway, any applications for 'planning' things would be highly likely to be blocked by the farmer so that improvements would be hindered.

Normally, only the local commune have the droit de pre-emption but by laws vary from area to area so it's best top check. In my opinion, I'd walk away especially as the adjoining house is in a bad state, you could be paying good money for a bad deal and if the farmer has put in a much lower offer, I'd be thinking your offer is probably more than it's really worth.

In the circumstances would you be better to cut your losses with this property and continue looking? If you managed to buy it the farmer could be resentful and cause you all sorts of problems, especially as the adjoining buildings are his and in a poor state of repair already! Of course this may never happen and he could be just chancing his arm to try to grab a bargain but personally I'd walk away!

When I purchased my second property here, I was surprised to learn that it had to be offered to the farmer whose house and land adjoined the property, before the owner could accept my offer.
As I understood it, he had to make an offer equal to that which I had offered.

He declined, so I bought the house...It will be interesting when it comes to selling it!

I think your notaire can advise you...Seek their advice before going any further on this property.

The farmer may have a droit de pre-emption see or