Property enquiry

Could someone tell me what the term “Vente viager” means.

Is that where you buy a property but the seller has the right to live there for the rest of their life? If so it’s a bit of a gamble, the price is based on their life expectancy but they might die well before or well after the date given.


This link will help you… take your time and check each section. There are several possible ways of this working… and you really do need to understand the ramifications. In my opinion, if you are seriously interested in going down this route… you should have proper advice

exactly that, it’s an investment/gamble - you pay a large(ish) first payment then a monthly rent/amount but the person continues to live in the house until they die, when they do die the house/property is yours.

I’ve always wondered…
If the person benefitting from the viager has to leave the property to go to say into a nursing home , does the viager become obsolete or can the person sub-let his or her part of the property ?

They own no part of the property to let. They have sold the property but retained the right to live there giving them the equivalent of equity release.

It can be complex, depending on whether or not specific clauses are included in the process…

but basically the buyer pays money to the seller throughout the lifetime of the seller…and cannot occupy the property until the seller dies…

“Le débirentier ne peut occuper le logement qu’au jour du décès du crédirentier.”

Does that mean that the buyer and the seller can be living in the house at the same time?

John… the phrase I have quoted… is quite clear. Only after Death…

But… perhaps there are different legal paths that can be followed. You really need specialist advice…

Did you look at the link?

Yes, I understood what you had said, originally, then somebody mentioned something about “Their Part of the House” that what made me ask!
I did not look at the link as I don’t understand French. But thanks for posting it.

OK so to clarify, basically:
You buy the house for an agreed (much lower than market value) price. It’s then legally your property, with all the obligations that come with owning property eg taxe foncière.
The previous owner carries on living there as before.
You pay the previous owner an agreed sum of money each month for the rest of their life.
On their death, you can then move in/rent it out/sell it, as you wish.
So it’s an investment, rather than a way of buying a house to live in, and as Andrew says it’s a gamble because depending on how long the person lives, you might end up making the monthly payments for just a few months or for decades.

Hi John… if your understanding of French is truly limited… it is even more important that you take professional advice before entering into any purchase/ financial/legal undertakings…

Yes, my understanding of French almost non-existant, but if I ever see a black cat eating a red apple, I’ll know what to say. I will be taking legal when the time comes, I don’t think this type of arrangement is for me.


Thank you John, that’s priceless! :rofl:

Or…The monkey is on the branch!