Official website of Notaires de France

State owned property


The French General Code of Public Property contains the definition of state owned property arising from dec­isions rendered by the Council of State throughout the 20th century.

  • What does the state owned property include ?

    • Thus, in addition to the property which is an essential part of other property that is part of state owned property, the public domain of a public entity consists :
      - of property that belongs to it and that is directly assigned to public use,
      - or assigned to a public service provided it is subject to special provisions that are material for this public service to be performed.

    • While entering into state owned property does not require any  instrument , the leaving from state owned property on the contrary requires the adoption of a decision of declassification of the property.

  • Specific rules of the state owned property

    • While the use of private property is mainly covered by the rules on private law, the use of the public domain requires complying with a large number of special rules such as authorisations, which are temporary and revocable, the ban on signing a commercial lease, etc.

    • Pinel Act 2014 enshrines, however, the principle that a business may be operated on public property subject to the existence of own customers.

    • Experience shows that it is not always easy to determine whether property belonging to a local authority is in the public domain or not.
      But the issue is of utmost importance as it determines whether or not the envisaged instruments can be drawn up.

    • The situation needs to be examined by a Notaire in close cooperation with the local authorities’ representatives. The Notaire responsible for drawing up the  instruments will take great care. As a public officer, the Notaire is liable for ensuring that his/her instruments are effective.

See also


The role of the Notaire