Disagreement on price fixing following a pre-emption decision
Purpose of the decision
When a property is put up for sale in a pre-emption zone, a public entity has the possibility of acquiring the said property in preference to any other person, for an often derisory price.
In this case, on November 22, 2019, through a notary, the owner of a T2 apartment and a cellar, made a Declaration of Intent to Alienate (DIA) for a price of 315,000 euros. This price includes an agency commission of 15,300 euros.
By a decision of February 18, 2020, a public land institution exercised its right of pre-emption, and proposed to buy the property for the sum of 182,000 euros, including agency commission. That is 58% of the property than the desired price. The owner refused the proposed price by registered letter dated March 23, 2020. Thus, the public land institution referred the matter to the Judicial Court of Nanterre on May 6, 2020, so that the expropriation judge could set the price of the pre-empted property.
Thus, the judge of the expropriation had to evaluate the surface of the property and to determine which criteria will be applied to define its price.
According to the public land institution, the property was worth 188,108 euros, i.e., 6,200 euros / m2, based on a surface area of 30.34 m2.
In order to retain such a price, the EPF based itself on two elements:
- The state of the property: there are elements of loss of value which would lower the price (difficult access to the cellar and to the common parts, electrical installations not up to standard, deterioration of the facades)
- Elements of comparison: the EPIF has retained that the property is not in line with the evolution of the real estate market over the period 2009-2020, and has been estimated at a much higher price than similar apartments.
Finally, the public land establishment, retained for only surface, 30.34m, invoking the Carrez law to exclude the surface of the attic from its calculation.
To these grievances, the owner denied any element of loss of value. Moreover, she estimated a surface of 62.04 m2, including the surface on the ground of the attic. Especially since she had carried out work in order to increase the living area. She was followed in her reasoning by the Government Commissioner.
Thus, her calculation is the following: 6500euros / m2 by retaining a surface of 30.34m2 + 3000 euros by retaining a surface of 31.70m2 (corresponding to the surface on the ground of attics in exclusive enjoyment), that is to say a total of 292.000 euros.
After considering all of the arguments developed by the parties, the judge dismissed the Etablissement Public Foncier’s claims.
The expropriation judge determined the surface area of the property to be 40.12 m2, taking into account only the living area of the attic of 10.16 m2. To evaluate the property, the judge compared it to similar properties in a geographically close area.
Thus, by judgment dated February 09, 2021, the Court of Nanterre has :
- Set the purchase price of the property by the Etablissement Public Foncier at 263,250 euros.
- Ordered the Etablissement Public Foncier to pay Mrs. L the sum of 15,300 euros (including tax) as an agency commission
- Ordered the Etablissement Public Foncier to pay the sum of 5,000 euros on the basis of Article 700 of the Code of Civil Procedure