The dreaded Clause tontine

Clause tontine again!!! Can anyone help ? my ex-wife and I still own a house in France, after our divorce, which cost me very dear as I lost my house in England to her! but she has agreed to sell me her share of the French house to me, to which I have agreed, unfortunately it seems that I can’t just buy her share without selling the house. Does anyone know if this is true and does the clause tontine affect it?

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Good evening Stella,

My name is Michael Whittington.

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Hello Michael

As you are talking about a French property… this will have to be dealt with be a French Notaire… as always, there will be paper-work… and fees to be paid.

I think… that both parties have to agree to “nullify” the Tontine and transfer the ownership into a single name . The Notaire will/should take into account financial arrangements which have taken place in UK…regarding division of property etc … to decide what tax/monies (if any) are due as result.

However, you should contact a French Notaire without delay… in my opinion.

You will need to get professional advice of course. However we have a flat that we bought using a clause tontine, for good reasons at the time. I seem to recall that when we went through the pros and cons of using a tontine clause the issue of not being able to transfer easily from one to another was one of the complexities.

A clause tontine means that there is no recognition of any shared ownership. You can jointly agree to a sale of the property, or for the tontine clause to be revoked which costs quite a bit as you will need to agree a deed of renunciation first. But if you can’t agree on either you can’t apply to the Court to order this to happen, so you would be deadlocked.