Title deeds: Definitions, obtaining and costs

Title deeds: Definitions, obtaining and costs

09 January 2024

The title deed is the sesame that formalizes your status as a property owner. It certifies that you are the rightful owner of a property. This document is important in real estate transactions, as it ensures the security and validity of each exchange. If you are thinking of buying or selling a property through a real estate agency in Collioure it's essential to understand the ins and outs of this title, which guarantees your rights and ensures the success of your transactions.

What is a title deed?

Definition Title deeds | Paradise Real Estate

The deed of ownership is an official document certifying the ownership of a property. It is essential for all real estate transactions, whether you are selling, buying or renting a property. buying an apartment in Collioure or elsewhere in France, a donation or an inheritance. Without this precious sesame, no sale can be concluded.

Issued by a notary when a property is sold or inherited, the title deed has probative value and is indisputable before the courts. It contains the following information:

  • Property description (address, surface area, etc.)
  • Owner's name
  • Dates of acquisition and transfer of ownership
  • Encumbrances and easements on the property

Title deeds are essential to protect the rights of property owners. It enables him to :

  • Sell or rent the property
  • Building or carrying out work
  • Obtaining a mortgage
  • Contesting a third party's rights to the property

Title deeds resulting from a real estate sale

Once a property sale has been concluded, the process of creating the title deeds begins to formalize the transfer of ownership.

  1. Drafting of a sales contract between seller and buyer, in the presence of the notary: this contract details the terms of the transaction, including price, conditions of sale, and the commitments of both parties.
  1. Checking the conditions of sale : the notary verifies that the conditions of sale comply with the law and the wishes of the parties. In particular, he checks that the seller is the owner of the property, and that there are no easements or encumbrances on the property.
  1. Payment of the sale price: the sale price is paid by the buyer to the seller, usually by bank transfer.
  1. Registration of the deed of sale: the deed of sale must be sent to the Land Registry Office (Service de publicité foncière - SPF). This formality is compulsory and gives a date to the sale.
  1. Delivery of title deeds: once the deed of sale has been registered, the notary delivers the title deeds to the buyer.

The contract of sale and the title deed are two related but distinct documents. The sales contract defines the conditions of sale, while the title deed certifies the transfer of ownership.

Title to property resulting from inheritance

Title to property resulting from an estate - Paradise Immobilier

In the event of estate the title deed is drawn up in a specific way to reflect the transfer of real estate from the deceased to the heirs. This document is issued by a notary, who is the only professional authorized to draw up authentic deeds. The certificate must be drawn up within 6 months of the death.

There are several stages in the process of creating title to an estate:

  1. Opening of the estate: the estate opens on the day of the deceased's death. The heirs must then make themselves known to the notary.
  2. Inventory of assets: the notary makes an inventory of the deceased's assets. This inventory is used to determine the value of the estate and to distribute the assets among the heirs.
  3. Drawing up the deed of partition: once the deed of partition has been accepted by the heirs, the notary proceeds to draw up the title deed, taking into account the new distribution.
  4. Registration of the deed of partition: this deed is then registered with the relevant authorities, formalizing the transfer of ownership of the property to the heirs.

It is important to note that title can only be issued to heirs who have accepted the estate.

Heirs wishing to sell the inherited property must present the title deed to the future buyer. This allows the future buyer to be sure that the heirs are indeed the owners of the property and that they have the right to sell it.

Can I obtain the title deed on the day I sign my property purchase at the notary's office?

No, you can't immediately obtain title to your property on the day you sign your purchase contract at the notary's office. In practice, it takes about 1 month to obtain title to the property.

Obtaining title to the property takes some time, to ensure that the real estate transaction is legally compliant. This period is necessary to ensure legal certainty for the parties involved in the transaction.

Why must the deed of ownership be registered with the Land Registry?

One of the main reasons for registration is to establish traceability and transparency in property rights. Registering the deed with the Service de publicité foncière creates an official reference for the transaction, enabling anyone interested to verify the ownership rights associated with a property.

Without registration, ownership is not legally recognized. The owner could face difficulties in the event of a dispute or disputed ownership. This could also complicate the subsequent sale of the property, since the transfer of ownership would not be officially recognized.

How much does it cost to advertise the deed of sale?

In France, land registration is a compulsory formality that makes legal deeds relating to real estate property public. Its cost is made up of two main elements:

  • The rate of the taxe de publicité foncière is set at 3.80% of the sale price of the property in 2022, compared with 0.7% in 2011. This tax is generally payable by the purchaser of the property.
  • Assessment and collection fees are set at 2.34% of the amount of the land registration tax. These fees are payable by the notary, who then passes them on to the purchaser of the property.

The cost of land registration varies according to several factors, including :

  • The value of the property: the higher the sale price of the property, the higher the land registration tax.
  • The location of the property: the amount of the taxe de publicité foncière may vary depending on the commune in which the property is located.
  • The nature of the property: for example, whether it's an apartment, a house, land, etc.

Who should I contact if I lose my title?

If you lose your title to the property, you can apply to the notary who drew up the deed or to the land registry.

If you apply to the SPF, you can do so by post or online. If you are requesting a copy of the deed by post, you must send a deed request form, together with the information requested. For online applications, you must create an account on the land registry's website.

The deadline for issuing a copy of the deed is 15 days from receipt of the request.

Enjoyment of real estate without title

Enjoying real estate without title can entail risks and legal consequences. In fact, owning a property is not enough. To own a property, you need a valid title deed.

The risks and legal consequences of enjoying a property without title are as follows:

  • The risk of eviction: if the true owner of the property comes forward, he or she can request the eviction of the untitled occupant.
  • The risk of having to pay damages: if the true owner of the property suffers prejudice as a result of unauthorized occupation, he or she can claim damages from the occupier.
  • The risk of imprisonment: occupying real estate without title can be qualified as theft or receiving stolen goods, which can lead to imprisonment.

Delivery of title deeds for land sales

The sale of a plot of land is different from the sale of a built property. This is because the land is undeveloped real estate, and therefore does not have a building on it, and this can have implications for the delivery of the title deed.

As a general rule, the title deed for a plot of land is a paper document containing the same information as on the title deed for a property (description, owner's name, date, encumbrances, etc.).

Delivery of the title deed is important for both buyer and seller for the following reasons:

  • For the buyer: it enables the buyer to prove his ownership of the land.
  • For the seller: it relieves the seller of his responsibility as owner of the land.

Do you have a property project in Collioure? Call on Paradise Immobilier, your real estate agency in Collioure. Our local expertise and knowledge of the real estate market will be invaluable in helping you complete your transactions with complete confidence. Contact us today.

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