I have lost property deeds for French home - how do I get a copy?

Certified copies of ownership deeds may also be needed by those who inherit a property

Copies of lost property related documents can be reissued

Reader Question: I am moving within France and cannot find my property documents. Am I able to get replacements?

If you have lost your property deeds it should not be too difficult to obtain a copy although the process varies depending upon the precise document lost. 

Immediately after a deed of sale was signed, the notaire working on the transaction will have issued you with an attestation de propriété (sometimes called an attestation immobilière). 

This acts as a temporary property deed whilst the notaire informs the Land Registry of the purchase, and acts as proof you are the property owner whilst this is being processed. 

It can take around six months for the process to be completed after which your notaire will issue a certified copy of deed of ownership (titre de propriété), either in person or via post.

The original version of this document – known as the minute – is kept in the notaire’s office for 100 years (or given to whoever takes over from that notaire when they retire or die). 

After this point, it is transferred to the departmental archives where the property is located. 

Read more: Buying and selling a home in France: What is the viager system?

Who do I contact if I lose these documents? 

If you have misplaced either of the former documents, you should contact your notaire, who will be able to resend you a new authenticated copy. 

The notaire is likely to charge a fee which can vary between each office. 

Notaires can also issue a new certified copy to those who inherit a property and cannot find the original document, provided their names are stipulated in the will. 

You can also request a copy of the titre de propriété from the Land Registry office (service de la publicité foncière et de l'enregistrement). 

If the property was purchased after 1956 you can ask for a copy using this form. It costs between €6 and €30 depending on the department in which your property is located. 

If the property was purchased before 1956, you must use this form.

Read more: How long do I need to keep old French documents?