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The urban right of pre-emption

Preemption rights / Servitudes / Local taxes

The law allows municipalities (or certain public establishments) to define, within their territory, a zone in which they may purchase real estate in preference to any other buyer. This is called the urban right of first refusal.

The owner of a property located in this zone must inform the municipality if he decides to sell his property. In practice, it is the notary, when he receives the sales agreement, who fills in and sends to the commune a DIA (Declaration of Intent to Sell). The DIA indicates the price and the conditions of the sale.

The municipality has a period of 2 months, from the date of receipt, to indicate its intention to pre-empt the property.

If the commune waives its pre-emption or remains silent, the sale continues under the conditions set out in the compromis.

If the commune notifies the seller of its wish to pre-empt under the conditions communicated in the DIA, the preliminary sale agreement ends and the sale is concluded between the commune and the owner.

If the commune notifies the seller of its wish to buy the property at a lower price than that communicated to it, the compromis also ends. The seller has a period of 2 months to accept or refuse the proposed price, or to renounce the sale. If he refuses the price proposed by the commune, the commune may refer the matter to the Court of Justice, which will set the conditions of the sale.

To know: The commune that pre-empts a property must pay the price within 4 months from :

  • - either the decision to buy the property at the price indicated in the DIA or accepted by the seller,
  • - or the final decision of the judicial court, if the matter has been referred to it by the commune.