French home boundaries causes sale issue

We had a geometric survey advising boundary shifts but cannot get our mairie, which owns the adjoining land, to sign them off, so we cannot sell our house. What can we do?  P.M.

27 February 2019

Bornage – clarifying the boundaries by a géomètre-expert – can be done amicably if both parties agree. If one party does not agree with it, as with the mairie in your case, it requires court action (bornage judiciaire rather than bornage amiable).

In bornage amiable, to make the process binding, both parties need to sign a procès-verbal de bornage document. It may also be filed at the service des hypothèques by a notaire.

The latter is optional but ensures the findings are safe against being contested by buyers or heirs.

From what you say, the mairie is refusing to sign this, therefore the solution is an application for bornage judiciaire to the Tribunal d’instance, and if you wish you can be represented by an avocat.

The court will appoint a geometer to redo the bornage and if one party disagrees with the findings,  the judge decides. The bornage is formalised by a court judgment.

The cost of bornage is normally shared between the parties and in court the judge apportions amounts.

Bornage costs depend on the job’s complexity and the geometer’s tariffs, and are generally higher for bornage judiciaire than amiable.


Question answered by Sarah Bright-Thomas of Bright Avocats

Tel: 05 61 57 90 86 -

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