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Real Estate Glossary
Authentic act

Contract must be drawn up by a notary to be published in the mortgage office and make the act enforceable against all third parties. The authentic deed is mandatory in terms of real estate sale. It is therefore a pledge of security for the signatories and a legal instrument. This type of document, which is proof of its date and its content, is indeed of proof and enforceable.

Private deeds

They are legal acts drafted by the parties to the act or by a third party if the latter does not act as a public officer. Unlike authentic deeds, private deeds are not subject to any formalities except the signature. Since 2000, in France, the signature can be electronic.

General meeting of co-owners

Meeting in which the members of a co-ownership participate at least once a year. The co-owners vote on the items on the agenda (work in the common areas for example). The decisions adopted are the subject of a report. The general meeting is convened by the trustee of the building; it can also be requested by the co-owners if they wish (extraordinary meeting). Depending on their importance, decisions must be adopted by majority (simple or absolute) or unanimously.

Property Damage Insurance

Property and Casualty Insurance is part of the Construction Insurance. This insurance covers the damages falling under the Decennial Guarantee and is necessary for the regularization of the Authentic Deed of Sale. It allows the owner to be reimbursed quickly, without having to seek the responsibility of the various stakeholders on the site (architects, contractors, builders, developers …).


Complementary act to an initial contract established between the different parties (seller and purchaser), whose object is to supplement or modify the clauses of the initial contract.

Refund capacity

Also known as the debt ratio, the repayment capacity is the maximum amount a borrower can release per month when current household expenses and expenses, including loans, are deducted. The repayment capacity is calculated and expressed as a percentage of net income. The average standard is set by the banks at 1/3 of the available monthly income (33%).

Condominium fees

The co-owners have the obligation to contribute to the payment of the expenses of the co-ownership. Article 10 of the law of July 10, 1965 distinguishes between types of charges: charges for common utilities and equipment and charges for the preservation, maintenance and administration of common parts. . We distinguish the rental charges recoverable, the owner can be reimbursed by the tenant, and non-recoverable charges. The list of recoverable charges is set by the decree of 26 August 1987.

Recoverable charges

Expenses paid by the landlord, but legally incumbent on the tenant. In the case of residential leases, they are classified in three broad categories: those payable in return for services rendered related to the use of the various elements of the rented property; current maintenance expenses and minor repairs to the elements of common use of the rented property; the right of lease and the taxes which correspond to services which the tenant profits directly. The list of rental charges is fixed by a decree of August 26, 1987.

Sales agreement

This is a reciprocal commitment: By signing a compromise (or a synallagmatic promise of sale) the seller agrees to sell a property on specific conditions, while the buyer agrees to acquire on the same terms. For the drafting of the sales agreement, the parties can do it alone or assisted by a professional.

Union Council

Mandatory collegial body that assists the trustee and controls its management, its members are appointed by general meeting among the co-owners. Its operation is organized by the co-ownership regulations.


Coefficient of land use: the C.O.S. is used to define the relationship between the land area and the right to build the net floor area (S.H.O.N.). A C.O.S. of 0.4 allocated to a plot of 500 m2 can build 500 × 0.4 = 200 m2 S.H.O.N., if the land use plan (P.O.S.) allows.

C.O.S residual

Defines on land where there is already a construction, the right to erect an additional construction. If on a plot of 500 m2, there is already a house of 160 m2 (S.H.O.N.) And that the C.O.S; is 0.4 can be built 40 m2 (S.H.O.N.), if the P.O.S. permits.

Right of first refusal

The right of first refusal is the faculty held by a public authority to acquire by priority any purchaser a property for sale and for which an acquirer has been found. Between the signature of the pre-contract and the final signature, the notaries will communicate to the community holding this right the conditions of the sale, in order to allow him to exercise or not his right of pre-emption within a period fixed by the law. If the community does not exercise its right of first refusal, the sale may take place for the benefit of the original purchaser.


Many people are co-owners of the same property or the same mass of property. There is a tendency to speak of co-ownership when this situation has been desired and is the subject of a particular organization. It can be for example succession (a person dies leaving several heirs) or post community (dissolution of the community of property between spouses). It can be universal, that is to say on a mass of goods or in a particular way that is to say to relate to one or more specific goods.

Lot of condominium

Delimited and bounded parcel forming part of a subdivision. As part of a building, private part (housing, cellar, parking) and share of the common parts of a condominium.

Millths and Directors

Each co-owner has a share (or parts) of the co-ownership. This share is expressed in directors’ fees (a certain number, which relates to the total of all the shares can be expressed as a percentage). Most of the time the condominiums are divided into thousandths of shares, hence the current name thousandths, which are in fact thousandths expressed in the form of a thousand. The determination of the number of directorships is free: 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 … it all depends on the size of the condo and the number of lots.

Condominium regulations

Written document that governs the rights and obligations of co-owners. It is established by a professional according to the indications of an expert surveyor and if possible of the builder of the building. It defines the different lots (apartments, cellars, car parks …) with for each indication of its geographical location, its floor, its area and the number of fees it represents for the payment of charges. It specifies the common parts and the privative parts and defines their conditions of enjoyment (For example, the prohibition to exercise a professional activity in the building). It summarizes all that one needs to know about the rights and obligations of the co-owners of a given building.

Joint property

Voted by a general meeting of owners, the trustee is elected to ensure the day-to-day management of the building, from the accounts to the application of the rules of the building.

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