Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Thursday, February 21, 2008

French Land Registry plans now available online

The French Tax authorities have now made available online the land registry plans (cadastre) for large areas of France; useful if you want to check out the extent of a property or a location before you visit.

The new website allows you to view land and building plots, their surface area measurements, print the land map that you can see onscreen (although the viewing window is a little small), or you can order (by post) full sized paper copies of the plans for just €9.50 per plan section.

Right now it appears that the site is still being rolled out across France with some communes being present but a few not yet available (e.g. near to me in Brittany I could find maps for La Cheze, Plumieux, Josselin and St Ettienne, but not Brehan or Rohan).

The map below shows the current state of rollout:

Obviously aimed directly at the overseas purchaser market the site's been launched with both English and Spanish versions available, and they're pretty well produced as well with lots of well written help as to how to navigate, use and query the cadastre records. I'd be surprised if the UK land registry is anywhere near as 'overseas' friendly as this one with providing foreign language variants.

A couple of caveats I did notice though, firstly that the maps are not fantastically detailed, there's little topographical information (say compared to the UK Ordnance Survey plans) and there's no details of title boundaries (as is the case with the UK plans).
You therefore have to take the results presented with care and ask the owner (or their agent) for precise details of which plots of land are actually included in the sale - our own Brittany Gite for instance is actually made up of 4 different plots of land (see our own cadastre picture).
Unfortunately our commune's not yet available on the database so I couldn't check the detail of maps against the Cadastre plans we had when we bought the house.

Second caveat, unlike the UK land registry site, there's no details available either as to personal ownership of each plot, nor the price paid by the present owner.

Having said that though, it's a good useful reference site and definitely worth a browse if you're looking to buy in France.

You can view the site at French Cadastre

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  • Thank you for this useful information Geoffrey.
    I also found another site in English about the French Land Registry:
    It seems enquiries can be made in English, to get someone's property records, find out whether a French property is mortgaged, or retrieve a French property Deeds etc.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 04, 2014  

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