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buying half a house

Posted by notagain! - Created: 3 years ago
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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by Reveuse-918439 - 3 years ago

No there is no CGT on main residences. The immediate expense would be the normal costs of notaire fees and disbursements when you buy a property, not a cheap transaction at all. The long term complication would be if one of the partners dies, and the other is left with a half share in a property and another half share that either he can't inherit because the partner didn't make provision to override French succession law and therefore it goes to his partner's children, or, if the partner did arrange it so that (s)he can inherit, then as a non relative, (s)he will have to pay 60 per cent succession tax on the market value of half the house.

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Posted by tigre-979768 - 3 years ago

If it's a main residence would you be clobbered for CGT? I wouldn't have thought so.

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Posted by Twiglets-10060825 - 3 years ago

I have several French friends who own property jointly but are PACs for inheritance purposes & may marry when they decide  chilldren come into their life.

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Posted by Reveuse-918439 - 3 years ago

As other posters have said, I don't see any way round the fees. Whichever way you look at it, it's a change of ownership and as such there will have to be a new contract drawn up, money changing hands etc. Also, two unmarried people jointly owning a property sounds like a recipe for disaster as regards inheritance tax.

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Posted by Kanak - 3 years ago

hi notagain again...  as well as indivision your notaire may talk of tontine, SCI, etc., and messages like my last (senior moment, for spouse read partner) underlines the importance of getting the overview according to your particular situation and making sure you decide on the type of ownership before you buy, as it's difficult to change later without another bunch of charges. Only a notaire can do this.   My notaire, who began confidently in English, soon slipped back into french when it came to explaining the intricacies of property law in france.

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Posted by Twiglets-10060825 - 3 years ago

A property very near to me was owned by a single female who at the time could not afford to do the total renovation from a fournil to a house, 4 years later she met & married but could have that property put into joint names...the only way was to sell & then re-buy in both their names with enormous legal & plus value costs. Eventually she sold for a nice profit of 20000 €uros & it has now been renovated to a nice house albeit small as they were only granted permission for the original footprint. However it is something that only a Notaire can tell you what you can & cannot do legally & the likely costs involved.

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Posted by Kanak - 3 years ago

hi notagain.  I remember other threads where people like M K  have described their own experience, albeit the other way round.  'Buying into my other halfs property' could be more complicated than just handing over a % of the value and signing a paper. Property laws are notoriously complex here.  I assume if unmarried you will buy in 'indivision' (could be any proportion of the house) under the régime of separation de biens, and there are mechanisms to protect the surviving spouse, although succession tax is, as busterboy says, crippling at death. I have just spent a very valuable hour talking with my notaire about a problem of succession.  His advice was free. I know people are wary of notaires and their fees, but I have never paid for preliminary appointments, and although they are not tax advisors, they will flag up all the legal issues and suggest the best solution for you.

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Posted by Busterboy - 3 years ago

You also need to be aware of any inheritance implications - ie tax - if one of you should die  & the other unrelated owner  is to inherit!

 

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Posted by Martin King-393934 - 3 years ago

My experience is not exactly the the same as your situation.I ended up where I wished to take on sole ownership of  a property which I had in joint ownership with an ex partner.The change in ownership could only be achieved by me purchasing her half.That,of course,resulted in paying all the legal fees of a purchase and capital gains tax.

Ask your Notaire for advice.

Good luck

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Posted by Melou - 3 years ago

An interesting question . . . . the answer, of course, is that a notaire will tell you the answer, and will not charge for the advice.

But for the fun of the Forum, let's try to work it out.

If you had both set out to buy a property together in the first instance, unrelated either by family or law, the answer is yes - you can do that.

But what you now have to deal with is that one of you has to sell half a property to the other. This has to be possible - but will have (of course) substantial Tax implications. You don't say whether this is a principal or secondary home. If it's the latter, it is probably financially not worth doing.

 Which brings us to the question - why do you want to do this? What do you want to acheive?

The answer to that may be a different question . . . .