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  1. Iceni,

    I don't think there is an actual crime of trespass in France (as far as I know), but what a gendarme friend told me is that if a person deliberately goes onto clearly marked private property, is challenged and refuses to move off smartly, thus creating an 'incident', then that person is considered to be in the wrong, and can be arrested.

    As I said before, it all comes down to common sense and basic good manners - I know there are some well behaved walkers out there, but some people (french and other)behave in an appallingly arrogant fashion, and I have no sympathy for them whatsoever when they come unstuck.

  2. Pixie,


    As far as I know there is no specific law at present aimed at walkers, but if you are found on private land and the owner doesn’t wish you there, then you are obliged to move on (you could theoretically be arrested for a breach of the peace).


    Is it not evident however that the person erecting barbed wire fencing and putting up signs does not wish to have strangers on his/her property?  There are so many places to walk, I just don’t see why anyone would want to go out of their way to antagonise. Someone mentioned the consequences of such thoughtless action – if my father-in-law caught someone “snooping around” on his land, I rather think it would be pistols (or shotguns) at dawn!  (I'm only half joking!)  If  I were out walking and wanted to cross what was obviously a private property, I would like to think I would have the common courtesy to ask first.  As long as one is polite, the answer is usually yes, and if it is no, again one should have enough respect for that person’s wishes, since it is they that own it and have to pay tax for the privilege.
  3. It doesn’t matter what the legalities are, it comes down to respect for other people and their property. It is quite clear that this landowner does not wish to find you on his land – I just hope you are ready for the consequences when he does.


  4. OK, who am I? My age? My sex? My nationality? Where do I live? 

    Should you find out, to judge me on these characteristics alone would be considered by most ordinary people as small minded, sexist, racist, ageist .... and yet here we have a person doing that very thing.

    Plato, you must have been hurt in some way in the past to harbor such hatred, and if a response is what you have been looking for, then in some twisted way your wish has come true. When oh when will people stop judging each other so superficially? The human being is an individual - judge him or her on their actions, not their looks, speech or birth place.

    This is a horrible thread. I'm off for a long cup of coffee and a choc chip ...

  5. What is even stranger (unless I'm mistaken, because I'm not sure how it all works) is that a person, say a UK national who hasn't paid in any NI contributions during his or her time in UK (mother at home, for example) only has to work in France for a limited period of time (60 hours?) to be entitled to full social cover.
  6. Does anybody know what is supposed to happen after the two years is up?
  7. Apart from tea which is cheaper to buy in big boxes, I always buy local, but I thought the EU was all about being able to buy one's car in Belgium, marmelade in Spain, sausages in Germany ... I'll be very glad when this Europe thing is all sorted out (won't see it in my lifetime probably), but wouldn't it be pleasant if people could live wherever they liked, buy what they like without having to justify it?
  8. Honestly, Will!

    Knowing something to be true (as in having had real life experience of it) and proving it to be true are often two different things.

    99% of the time I would go along with you - most notaires are fairly straightforward,  honest and helpful, except when there is a conflict of interest.  Now who do you think they're going to favour - the guy in the town hall, his friend the architect, his brother-in-law or you, the complete outsider with no discernible local or regional influence or power?

    You can try complaining to the competent authority, but they are state appointed fonctionaries too, and bat for the same team. Why do you think there are horror stories out there?  Loads of people with over-fertile imaginations, or because these things really do happen?

  9. " in France the notaire handling the transaction is an independent government-appointed official and thus impartial."

    Don't you believe it!!  Most of them have a more than nodding acquaintance with the local politicians, architects, etc.  You won't pay any more by appointing your own notaire (preferably someone outside of the other one's canton), and it might avoid a "conflict of interest" shall we say, where the commune / maire's son / daughter / second cousin once removed etc etc might want to buy what you're interested in ... 

    As for translation, you have every right to invite a third party to a signing (compromis, acte authentique etc), as long as the seller doesn't object to the person in question .. make sure you get someone perfectly bilingual and not shy of asking possibly awkward questions!

    PS: Don't believe a word anyone tells you if they won't confirm it in unambiguous writing.

  10. Just a very small point, but perhaps worth mentioning: most people on this thread refer to the demonstrators in Bourbriac etc as being "french" - officially correct, but I am sure many of them consider themselves to be breton first and foremost. A bit like a french person calling a welshman or scot "anglais".
  11. I totally agree!

    If french people can get grants in GB, the reverse should happen.


  12. Val,

    Why do the Brits seem to despise each other so much?  You were (I presume) happy to make the move to France, yet seem to dislike the idea of anyone else enjoying what you have.  What kind of attitude is that?  So what if someone has an accent to cut with a knife, at least they are trying.  What were you like when you arrived?

  13. A friend working as négociatrice for an estate agency approached me and asked whether I would be willing to pose as a prospective purchaser and view properties sold by competitors, find out where they were and pass on the details. I turned the offer down, but the reason they do this is that are so many individuals chasing that elusive sale these days, they are quite prepared to “steal” properties from other agencies! 

  14. Ron,

    I was only talking about the area of France where I live : before the latest property boom took off (1999 - 2000) estate agents here in Brittany had far more houses on their books than clients, and were very blasé about handing over a set of keys and a vague map and sending said clients off to find the house. I know because I often used to accompany them as interpreter. These days the market has got so ridiculous that estate agencies actually employ spies to visit properties up for sale by competitors !

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