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House hunting in France during lockdown: What you need to know

With Brexit just around the corner, many Brits are keen to get a move on with their house hunt. However, with Covid-19 and a second lockdown in France (and the UK), it has made the process much more complicated.


ON IT Translations is here to simplify it for you.


The French government has provided information with regard to what is authorised and what is forbidden during lockdown when it comes to the house-buying process. ON IT Translations has compiled this information into a handy and clear table, as seen below.

Here is more detail on these restrictions in relation to each stage of the house-buying process.


Already bought in France

If you have already bought a property in France, the process will mostly continue as normal. Public services remain open so you can still use their services, for example, to check the land registry (plan cadastral).

You are allowed to carry out renovation work and/or move into your property during lockdown. Remember to fill out the attestation‘ form before you move!


Currently buying in France

If you have found your dream property in France and have signed a compromis de vente, the next stage in the process will mostly continue as normal. This means that all the necessary steps in the lead up to the final signing can be carried out (e.g. diagnostic tests).

When it comes to signing the final deed of sale (acte authentique), you can do so via video link with your notary. If this is not possible and there is no other solution, then you are allowed to go to your notary’s office to sign in person, as long as you strictly adhere to preventative measures (e.g. wearing a mask, social distancing, etc.).

Likewise, if you need to sign for a loan or insurance forms, banks and insurance companies remain open.


Wishing to buy in France

The main sticking point for many foreigners buying in France, and for estate agencies alike, is that physical property visits are not currently authorised. While this is very disappointing for those of you searching for a property, all is not lost! Estate agencies remain open, so you can still contact them via phone or email. You can continue to search for properties online and if any of them take your fancy, most estate agents can organise a virtual visit.

This may not be an ideal situation, but let’s look on the positive side: it’s a great time to research as much as possible vis-à-vis locations, properties, mortgages, currency exchange, etc. Once lockdown is over, you will be so well-prepared for buying your dream home in France!


If you would like to learn more about, or refresh your French property terms, take a look at my previous blog post here.

Don’t forget, ON IT Translations is here to help with all your language needs during the house-buying process. Send us an email at clara@onittranslations.com if you have any questions or would like a quote.

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