Legal Question in Real Estate Law in France

when does discharge of water from a fosse under a neighbour's farm land where no servitude exists become an inalienable right?

Asked on 8/11/17, 4:04 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

F Cordiez French Lawyers Solicitors ECD Avocats & Solicitors

Good afternoon,

French case-law differs, depending on whether the spetic tank, or just the drains, are situated under a neighbour's land.

In some instances judges take the view that neighbours' claims are time-barred after the standard 30-years time limit has elapsed. The onus is on the spetic tank's owner to establish that the said septic tank's drains have been in place for at least 30 years.

In other rulings, judges have taken the view that the 30 years time-limit does not apply because the situation or 'servitude' was not apparent, or because the septic tank has not been in continuous use over the 30 years period.

Even where the situation has become time-barred, local authorities have extended powers to require that the septic tank system be made compliant with current standards. This happens where a property gets sold for instance. In such a case, the fact the septic tankk system, or part of it, is situated on a third-party's land entails that the system is not-compliant, thus property owners, or the property's buyers, are legally required to have a new septic tank, or the tank's drains, replaced in the correct location on their land.

I hope the above is of assistance.

Kind regards,

Fabien Cordiez

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Answered on 8/11/17, 5:13 am

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