Expropriation in France: What is the release procedure?

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The release procedure is an administrative procedure. It allows the owner of a property subject to planning regulations preventing it from enjoying it, to induce the recipient of the easement to acquire the property.


What is a release procedure?

The owner may benefit from a right of withdrawal when :

  • The land has been reserved by a "Local Urban Plan" (PLU) where the land is located in an urban area or to urbanize and has been the object of an easement (Article L152-2 of the Code of the planning)
  • The land is included in a ZAC "Concerted Development Area" (Article L311-2 of the Town Planning Code)
  • The land has been the subject of a request for authorization concerning works, constructions or installations and the competent authority has taken a decision of suspension of decision (Article L424-1 Code of town planning)

The community or public service has a period of 1 year from the reception in town hall of the formal notice to decide on the purchase of the property.

  • In case of agreement, the price must be paid within 2 years of the same reception.
  • If there is no agreement, the expropriation judge must be seized. It must pronounce the transfer of ownership or not of the property concerned and the selling price (including the re-employment allowance) of the property is fixed like the expropriation procedures (without taking into account the provisions that justified the right of abandonment.

The formal notice procedure

It is specified in articles L230-1 to 6 of the Town Planning Code.

The owner must put in residence the beneficiary of the easement (commune, urban community, department, region ...) to acquire the encumbered property.

The formal notice is sent by the owner (In case of indivision: all the undivided and in case of dismemberment of ownership: the bare owner and the usufructuary) to the town hall of the municipality where the property is located. The notice must include the elements likely to identify the property. She mentions the people who can have rights on the ground (tenants, farmers ...). The other interested parties are put on notice, by advertising, to assert their rights within a period of 2 months.

If the acquisition request could not be formulated by the deceased owner, the beneficiaries, under certain conditions, can request the acquisition within 6 months of the opening of the succession.