Get information on French real estate property

Looking for information about a property or wishing to know whether a person owns real-estate in France? Wondering about what information you can get? Unsure whether you should have us carry out a name-based search, or a property-based one? We're here to help!

Who can get information on French property?

Anyone may request information about a property. The official real estate information service has 10 days to answer you, although in rare cases getting a reply can take twice as much.

What kind of information will I get? 

Official information on French real estate is available from the land and property registry. Searches differ depending on whether you wish to obtain details of transactions that occurred over the period preceding 1956, or since then.

Searches made through France's land registry records will provide details on the legal situation of a building or a piece of land, including ownership and transactions data regarding either one or more designated buildings or land plots. You can, for example, obtain the following details:
• A property's successive owners' identity, including the name and dob of the current owner;
• Historical transactions values e.g. the price the property was sold for;
• Details of all charges, mortgages and other encumbrances recorded against the property's title;
• Copy title documents such as sale deeds, or property transfer certificates issued following the last owner's death.

Search types

When doing a property-based search, the information we source from the land registry takes the form of a summary of all entries recorded over the past decades, including all transactions dates and nature, buyers and sellers' names and dob, etc.

For searches made against a person's name, the registry will provide us with a single document listing all properties that are, or were, in the individual's name. From there, we will make additional searches, as regards each property, to retrieve their ownership and transactions records.

When searching French property records, we can combine one or more properties' details with the name of one or more persons whom you believe have an interest in immovable property.

Please note that France's land & property registry is decentralised. There are over 140 local individual registry offices over the Country. It is therefore crucial to ensure that searches are being submitted to the relevant property registry whose jurisdiction covers the property's location, failing which the results will be inaccurate or will incorrectly yield a nil result.
As each search form sent to each registry generates some costs, this also entails that undertaking nationwide real-estate ownership searches, to check is a person or a business owns property in France for example, is costly: The searches should focus on specific geographical areas instead, to ensure the process remains cost-effective. 

Can copy documents be obtained too?

Yes, following an initial search that lists all transactions, we can help you retrieve official copies of those documents held by the French land registry. Such documents include, amongst other things:
- Lost title deeds;
- Property transfer certificates issued following a former owner's death, as part of the deceased's French succession process;
- Deeds formalising a donation or gift, made by an individual, to his children or his spouse;
- As applicable, the condominium's by-laws;
- Charges recorded by creditors e.g. mortgage agreements or Court orders entered by creditors against the property owner and for which the said property has been turned into a collateral guarantee. 

French Land Registry Searches