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Everything you need to know about the title deed

Posted by Michel on April 27, 2022

Document of paramount importance, the title deed confers a legal right on a property and makes it possible to certify its possession by a natural or legal person. Necessarily written, it sets out the rights of the owner on the building but also on the plot of land and can be opposed to any protester.

Sometimes not well known, the attributions of the title deed are nevertheless essential and when it is lost, the process to obtain a copy must be carried out as soon as possible. Focus on the essentials to know about this document to be archived carefully.

How does the title deed appear?

It is a legal and legitimate document prepared by a notary during the transfer of property ownership. This might happen as a consequence of a sale, a gift, or a death. If the property is brand new, the title deed is the deed issued at the time of delivery.

In all other circumstances, the original document, also known as the “minute,” will be issued by a notary, who must retain it for 75 years, or 100 years if a minor appears in the deed. It may be forwarded to the Departmental Archives service or the National Archives once this time has passed.

It is important to note that the purchaser of real estate does not receive his title deed on the day of the signing of the deed of sale; instead, the notary will publish the latter with the Land Registry Service and register it with the tax authorities, which protects the transaction from any future challenges. The buyer must wait an average of three months for the final title to be delivered. Despite this, a certificate of ownership is provided upon signing of the deed of sale, allowing the purchase to be justified.

The contents of a title deed

The title deed must include enough information to allow exact identification of the property in all of its components, as well as its type and intended use (home, business, factory, etc.) and the lot on which it is constructed.

We find there:

• A precise description of the property,

• The marital status of the various parties carrying out the transaction,

• The name and full contact details of the drafting notary,

• Cadastral references,

• The date of the transaction,

• His price,

• All of the terms, conditions and charges under which the transaction takes place,

• Easements that encumber the property,

• The origin of the property, in the title itself or in its annexes.

The property’s ownership history is well documented for at least the past 30 years: in addition to the owners’ names, we often discover references to their age, country, and even occupation.

The taxes collected during the transaction will also be described in full. The numerous necessary diagnostics, updated town planning papers, and any document attesting to the changes done to the property throughout the many prior ownerships shall be included in the annexes.

Finally, having a property does not always enable us to dispose of it as we wish: the property may be designated as a historic monument or included on the supplemental inventory of historic monuments in whole or in part. This is a public utility easement that is connected to the land and documented on the mortgages.

What to do in case of loss?

The title deed is required for every action involving the property, including, for example, its selling or renegotiation of its loan. If you can’t find it in your archives, you may call the notary who created the deed, who, as we’ve seen, retains a copy. This request, however, will be subject to a cost.

Second, go to the Land Registry Service and obtain a copy of the title deed, either in person or online. The copy is also taxed, with a maximum fee of 30 euros in the worst-case scenario.

Note that, in any situation, the cost of the request does not constitute a sale: title documents are regarded as “hors commerce.” The payment of a certain amount thus represents a contribution to the expenses of unarchiving and copying.

The title deed is unquestionably the most significant document that an owner has, since it allows him to transfer his property to a third party and, as a result, convert his property into cash if he so desires.

If you are about to purchase a property, don’t forget to prepare all of the documents that the notary will require to prove your eligibility (at the very least, an identity document), your ability to pay for the property (loan offer or proof of savings), and, if applicable, the arrangement made if you are also transferring another property. All of these details will be utilized to create the deed of ownership, which you will need to file in a secure location in your house. Even though it is not certified original, keeping a replica produced by you with a loved one might be comforting.

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