cropped Motherwell photo by Jase Mueller
After meeting with the owner of the flat, her agency and our lawyers, the sale of the apartment is back on for the 28th April. So what happened?
Well, all buildings have what's called a copropriété that handles the running of the place, including all the legal stuff. Each copropriété is covered by a set of rules that set out what is and what isn't allowed by law, but this has changed a few times over the last few decades. Despite the fact that all copropriétés are supposed to update to the new rules, the building in which we are buying our apartment still uses an old set of rules dating from 1952, and these state they no-one owning property in the building has the right to split it up and sell it separately.
As our seller is doing exactly that (splitting the apartment and the cellar), our lawyer stopped the sale.
However (still with me?), the new rules override this, and allow anyone to sell all or part of their property as they see fit. So the problem is that the new rules allow it, but that they haven't yet been adopted by the building, even if they have voted to so do at the end of the year.
In order to make sure that there is absolutely no problem for us, our seller will now have to:
- guarantee that she will pay all fees arising from the split of the apartment and cellar, and
- pledge that if for some perverse reason the new set of rules re not voted in, she will reinsert the cellar into our lot, meaning that there is no problem for us to buy.
In return - and if the later arises - we pledge to give her free and exclusive access to the cellar for ten or twenty years. Problem solved!
The lawyers are drawing up the papers now, and I can get back to the flat and hack away at the lino some more. Lovely.