Help/Advice re a French Syndic nightmare!



New Member

So my wife and I purchased an apartment in France in 2007. Today we sold it at a huge loss. Hooray.

During the signing, it was casually remarked that there was an outstanding charge of approx €5700 to pay in additional Syndic fees. It's not altogether clear just yet, but apparently those fees were carried over from BEFORE we purchased the apartment in 2007... After much debate, we signed (basically we had no choice) to sell the apartment, but it was noted that we disputed these mysterious fees, and the notaire is now holding this amount until everything is resolved.

So we don't know what to do... Surely if outstanding these fees are from BEFORE we purchased the apartment that can't be right? There was nothing mentioned of this when we purchased the property in 2007. And if these fees are AFTER we purchased the apartment in the limbo period of 2007-2008 when the Syndic was "run" by one of the Proprietaires - and before the current Syndic (an agence) took over in mid-2008, then why were we only informed of this today, at the sale?

We just feel like we were ambushed. I can't tell you how devastated and disgusted we both feel right now. Five and a half grand is a lot of money to us, and effectively destroys our plans of purchasing something else.

So here's what I know.
Either the mysterious (and somewhat inflated) amount was carried over to when we purchased the property 6 years ago (and never mentioned until today) - which surely can't be right? Or, it comes from 2007-2008 when the Syndic was run one of the Proprietaires.
If the latter is true, they're on very shaky ground. No works were done during that time, and certainly nothing even close to that amount. There's no evidence of any paperwork, and I do have 2 emails from the former Proprietaire telling me that during the meeting that year (which we were unable to attend),some small works were to be carried out, at an approximate cost of only 400 euros to us.

What can we do?

Fine And Country

New Member
Hi there, sorry to hear about your problems. Have you tried to ask a local agent or an accountant to look into the paperwork? You might want to cross check the views of another notaire. Good luck with that.


New Member
In your situation, I would visit another notaire (with any paperwork) and ask for his/her independent opinion. There may be a time limit on how long the current notaire can hold this money, or there may be laid-down procedures for such disputes (ask!)

In the event that the sum remains disputed and the matter cannot be resolved, you might have to go to court, using an avocat. But they are notoriously expensive and if you lost the case, you might have to pay both parties' costs.

Good luck!


New Member
I understand your frustration with dealing with a French Syndic