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Live in a French court building

Hundreds of disused courts that closed last year are up for sale, often a bargain prices

PROPERTY-hunters seeking an unusual new home in France can choose from hundreds of former court buildings that have been put up for sale.

A major reform of France's judicial boundaries has seen 200 courts close their doors and merge with others in nearby towns.

Many communes are now desperate to find buyers for the disused buildings because the cost of maintaining them is eating into the municipal budget.

Prices start at about €200,000 - but the renovation costs can be high and there are restrictions because many of the buildings are listed.

Courts up for sale include Forbach (Moselle), Hayange-en-Moselle and Bar-sur-Seine in the Aube.

Other buildings in Barbezieux (Charente), Château-Salins (Moselle) and Avallon (Yonne) have already found new owners. The latter, measuring 800m², went for just €325,000 but the renovation costs have been estimated at €1m.

France's judicial boundaries were redrawn at the end of last year - the first major reform since they were created by Napoleon I.

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