A-Z of Property Terms





A
abri - small outbuilding, shelter
a
compte
- deposit, normally 10% of the purchase price
acte authentique - deed of sale
agence immobiliere - estate agent
attestation d'acquisition - certificate of purchase

B
batiment - building
bail - lease
bien - possession, property
bon de visite - form signed before a viewing to nominate the agent that you first saw the property through
bricolage - DIY, do-it-yourself
buanderie - laundry

C
cadastre - local town planning land register
carte professionelle - professional estate agency qualification
caution - security deposit
cave - cellar

certificat d'urbanisme - land use certificate
charges - maintenance or service charges
chauffage - heating
clause penale - penalty clause in an agreement
clause suspensive - conditional clause within the compromis de vente
combles - attic, loft

compromis de vente - sale contract (equivalent to exchange)
condition suspensive - as per clause suspensive
contrat de reservation - equivalent to the compromis for purchases off plan

copropriete - co-ownership 
COS - coefficent d'occupation des sols, the density of construction permitted on a piece of land, e.g. a plot of land of 1000sqm with a COS of 0.15 could have 150sqm of habitable space built on it

D
dépendence
- outbuilding
devis - estimate of works
DPE - from 01-Nov-06, a diagnostic de performance énergétique has to be provided by a vendor before the Compromis is signed.  It grades the property (A-G) in terms of its energy efficiency
double vitrage - double glazing
droits d'enregistrement - registration of ownership title

E
EDF - Electricite de France, the national electricity company
étage - floor/level
état des lieux - schedule of condition
expert comptable - chartered accountant

F
FAI - frais d'agence inclus, agent's fees included
FNAIM - Federation Nationale des Agents Immobilier, the national estate agents association
fonds de roulement - sinking fund within a service charge
fosse septique - septic tank

frais de notaire
 - notaire's fees, usually payable by the purchaser

G
GDF - Gaz de France, the national gas company
géometre - measurement surveyor who produces the official floor areas
grenier - attic

H
haut gamme - top of the range
HT - hors taxe, net or without tax
huissier - bailiff, often used as an independent witness on schedules of condition
hypothèque - mortgage

I
immobilière - estate agent
impot - tax
individuelle - detached
indivision - joint ownership

J
jouissance - right of possession (also means orgasm!)

L
location - rental
loi scrivener - law protecting consumers against lenders and sellers
lot - land registry plot (apartments)
lu et approuvé - written with signature, literally 'read & approved'

M
mairie - town hall
mandat d'achat - agreement allowing an agent to search for property of behalf of an acquirer
mandat de vente - sales agreement
mètres carrés - square metres
meubles - furniture
mitoyenne - semi-detached

N
notaire - notary
nue-propriété - reversionary purchase conveying no occupational rights until the surrender or death of the life tenant

P
panneau immobilier - estate agent's board
permis de construire
- planning permission
pièce - room (e.g. 2 pièces = 1 bedroom apartment)
plus-value - capital gain
prêt - loan, mortgage
promesse de vente - same as compromis de vente
proprieté - property

R
rafraichir (à ) - needs redecoration
refait à  neuf - newly renovated
rénover (à ) - needs renovation
residual SHON - where a chalet in its own grounds can be extended or another property built (see COS and SHON) 
rez-de-chaussée - ground floor

S
salle d'eau - shower room
sans vis-à -vis - not overlooked
SCI - société civile immobilière, a company or entity established purely for the ownership of property
séjour - lounge, living room
SHON - surface hors-d'oeuvre nette, the amount of habitable floor space that can be built on a particular plot of land, determined by the COS.
sous-sol - basement
surface habitable - habitable floorspace

T
terrain - land
toit - roof
tontine - joint ownership
très bon état - very good condition

TTC - toutes taxes comprise, including tax
TVA - taxe sur le valeur ajouté, Value Added Tax (VAT)

V
vendu
- sold
viager - a life annuity purchase, where a property is purchased with a life tenant in occupation
vue dégagée - open view
vue imprenable - uninterrupted view

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