We recently advised in the purchase of a significant property in the South of France. It came to our attention when carrying out enquiries for the client that the property appeared to be affected by a future road widening project by the local Commune.

The notaire had obtained an official document called a "certificat d'alignement" (alignment document) in which the property was NOT shown as being affected by a road widening scheme

On advice from us, the client required the Vendor to obtain a formal "arrêté d'alignment" (decision on alignment) before completion. This was inserted in the contract as a condition suspensive (condition precedent). When this document was finally produced it did in fact show that the property WAS included in a road-widening scheme and part of the garden land would potentially be lost in the future. The client was able to check the area in question and as this did not unduly affect the future enjoyment of the property decided to proceed with the purchase. Should this not have been the case and the property had been seriously blighted by the proposal, the client would have been able to withdraw from the purchase without penalty as a result of the condition which we had included in the contract.