What is a deed of ownership?

The deed of ownership is a notarial deed that certifies that the persons, legal or natural, mentioned by it, are actually the owners of the property. Whatever the nature of the property (house, apartment, land, etc.) and the means by which it was obtained (purchase, donation, inheritance, etc.), the deed of ownership is mandatory and indisputable.

How do I get a deed of ownership?

There are different circumstances by which to become the owner of a property: purchase, donation, inheritance, etc. These situations, even if the purpose remains the same, have their own procedures, as well as documents relating to each case.

Deed of ownership and sale of immovable property

When buying a property, the first step to seal the transition from buyer to owner is the signing of the authentic deed of sale before a notary. This first official and mandatory document constitutes proof of your quality as owner of the property concerned until receipt of the deed of ownership. The latter will be sent to you in the months following the signing of the deed of sale. Indeed, the notary must, after drafting, send this document to the land registration service. Once the deed of ownership has been validated by the tax authorities, it is returned to the notary who will provide you with a copy.

Deed of ownership and succession

During a succession, the transition from one owner to another is done without a financial transaction. There is therefore no authentic deed of sale, but an act of acceptance of the succession. The property is confirmed by a real estate certificate (or certificate of ownership) which constitutes the deed of ownership of the heir(s). It must be drawn up within six months of the death of the owner of the property. It must also be registered with the land registration service, just like the deed of ownership in the context of a sale. In the same way, this document will be essential to prove ownership, but also to sell the property following the succession.

What is the deed of ownership information?

Like any official notarial deed, the deed of ownership contains so-called ad validitatem information  ; that is, the absence of any of this information could render the deed of ownership null and void. It is therefore crucial to include essential elements such as:

–         the identity of the owner(s) (surname, first name, date and place of birth, nationality, full address);

–         the description of the property (complete and precise address);

–         the sale price, if the property results from a purchase;

–         the cadastral references of the land (cadastral section, lot number, address, surface);

–         the history of previous owners, if any;

–         the origin of the property (purchase, donation, inheritance, etc.);

–         easements, if there are any (right of way, right of draw, etc.);

–         the identity of the notary in charge of drafting this deed;

–         the date and signature of the parties;

–         annexes (technical diagnosis file, invoices, mortgage, etc.)

The owner then receives a copy of the deed of ownership. The notary, meanwhile, keeps the original, also called “the minute”. In the event of loss, theft or destruction of the deed held by the owner, the latter may request a new copy from the notary responsible for drafting it.

How much does a deed of ownership cost?

The deed of ownership is one of the notarial acts performed by the notary during a real estate transaction. They are therefore part of the acquisition costs, also called notary fees. The cost of the deed of ownership corresponds to the costs of the property security contribution, i.e. 0.10% of the sale price of the property.

How long does it take to receive my deed of ownership?

If the signing of the authentic deed of sale makes you the owner of the property, you will have to wait to obtain the deed of ownership that attests to your quality as owner of the property. Indeed, if the administrative formalities within the notary office are completed for you, the notary will, for his part, continue the steps. Following the signing of the deed of sale, he must register it in the land registry before authenticating it. Once these formalities have been completed, he will send you a copy of the document, the validity of which is confirmed by the stamp of the tax authorities. The average time to receive the deed of ownership is one month.

I have not received my deed of ownership: what should I do?

It is sometimes possible not to receive the deed of ownership in the months following the signing of the authentic deed of sale. If this is the case, you just have to contact the notary in charge of the file. The drafting of the deed of ownership is necessarily followed by its archiving. The notary thus owns what is called “the minute”, that is to say the original of your deed of ownership. He will be able to make a copy and send it to you if you have never received your copy.

Please note that if you have forgotten the name of your notary, or if he has closed his office in the meantime, you can always contact the Chamber of Notaries. This professional association represents the interests of the notaries of each department in communications with the higher notarial bodies. It also manages relations between notaries and the general public. The Chamber of Notaries will therefore be able to find the notary office that registered the deed of ownership, and if necessary, the contact person who will issue you a copy of this deed.

What to do in case of loss of title?

Sometimes special circumstances intervene in the lives of homeowners: fire, flood, burglary, etc. In this case, the loss of important documents can be added to the long list of problems related to claims. In the case of the loss or destruction of a deed, it is quite possible to request a copy. To do this, simply contact the notary, or his notary office if he no longer practices, so that he can provide you with a duplicate. This is made possible by the systematic archiving of original deed of ownerships by the notary, called “the minute”. The recent copy produced by the latter has the same legal value as the old one. It always allows you to prove your status as the owner of the property in question.

You can also make this request to the land registration department of the place where the property concerned by the deed of ownership is located.

See more guides

Deed of sale: definition Learn all about the details of the costs associated with the sale or purchase of a property.
What is the promise to sell? The unilateral promise of sale: commitment of the parties.