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Illegal building without Planning Permission


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We will be signing final contract in a few weeks and starting to get paranoid. The house we are buying has had quite a few modifications in the past(I believe early 1970's). I have recently read about some nightmares of people buying properties after finding out that changes and extensions were built without planning permission. I understand that the notaire does not get involved with this search like the UK solicitor does with UK property. Has anyone come across this problem if so what did you do to protect yourself. Thank you in advance for any advise.
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  • 3 weeks later...
Uh oh. You could be letting yourself in for a nightmare here.

Check first with the Mairie to see what, if any, planning applications have been made in the past. You don't have to give too much away - just say you're interested in what work has been done on the house prior to purchase.

We helped a client with a similar problem to yourself and resolved the issue by making a planning application for the modifications already done. In this case, it was successful, but it's a risky business. If they refuse planning permission then you're a bit stuck.

Caution is probably the best policy in this case. You can check instantaneously at the Marie what applications have been made and make your decision based on that.

Good luck!

Ben Symons
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