A real estate glossary provided by leshypotheques.com

This real estate glossary from hypotheques.com is a guide to the definitions of terms and expressions used in the world of Land Registration and real estate.


Absolute Compliance (principle of)

The principle of absolute compliance originates in article 9 of decree n°55622 dated January 4, 1955.

"Conservators are required to deliver copies, excerpts, and lead certificates only for physical persons or corporate entities expressly listed in the requisition, and when a requisition pertains to a specific building, only for this building. Any error in spelling of surnames and given names or listing of surnames in the civil records order and the dates of birth of physical persons in the designation of corporate entities, or in the designation of buildings, releases conservators of liability, due to the inexactness of information they may supply in light of the documents published. It would be the same in cases of non-concordance between information in these documents and in the requisition, although the latter are exact.”


In French, ADSN is the abbreviation used to designate the Association for the Development of Notary Services. This is a "1901 Law » type-association, and it is administered by a Board comprised of seven members, all of whom are notaries.

The purpose of ADSN is specified in its statutes: "The implementation of all possible means to improve and develop services rendered by the French notary profession to clientele under all possible forms."

(Source and information on www.groupeadsn.fr)

Asset Ownership

Asset ownership refers to possessions or real estate property that belongs exclusively to one spouse, whether it was acquired before or during the marriage, through succession, donation, or inheritance.

Authenticated Deed

The authenticated deed is the act received, with required formalities, by a public officer (example: a notary) competent to draw up a formal document in the place it’s drafted.

It is distinguished from a private deed signed only by the parties, which does not imply the presence of a competent drafter, and which can be regulated in any location, including abroad. The authenticated deed is executory by its own right, just like a judicial decision.


BIEN database

The BIEN database (Base d’Informations Economiques Notariales, in French) designates the database of Economic Information compiled by Notaries. It refers to a record managed by the notaries of France, allowing users to collect and process information from the deeds registered.

Bundling Reference

The bundling reference designates the reference of the notarised deed published with the Land Registration service. With this reference, one can order a publication or any authentic deed (sales deed, succession, community partitioning, etc.).

C - D

Cadastral Matrix

The cadastral matrix is an administrative sub-document pertaining to the cadaster which inventories all the parcels of land in every community and lists the ownership.

Cadastral Registry

The cadastral registry is the group of maps and administrative files that accounts for all the real estate properties located in each French community and which also enters their value. It also includes the cadastral map, the cadastral matrix and the registry of subdivisions.

The cadastral registry has a purely fiscal value as it is used as a basis for calculating local taxes.

The cadastral registry is the intellectual property of the General Taxation Administration. It is divided into communities, each of which is divided into sections, which are then divided into plots. Each plot designates one or more parcels, which is the indivisible unit of the land registration.

(Information on www.cadastre-gouv.fr)

Civil Court

Superior Court, known as TGI in French, is a common law jurisdiction whose mission is to pronounce judgment on civil matters.

(Find out more)

Civil Record

An individual’s Civil Record allows that person to be identified. The civil record includes the last name, first name, and the date and place where the individual was born. This is also the term given to the public records office that records and archives birth, death, and marriage records.


Co-ownership applies when the ownership of a single building or group of buildings is spread across several persons or several lots. Co-ownership is based on co-ownership regulations and on the creation of an association to unite all co-owners.

Corporate Body

In law, a corporate body is generally composed of a group of individuals forming a company, a civil commercial entity, or an association. It is this company that is endowed with legal personhood and not the individuals that make up the company.

Court Officer

A court officer is a ministerial officer tasked with announcing legal decisions and applying them.

(Source on www.linternaute.com)

CSN or High Council for Notary Professions

The only professional body competent to make declarations on behalf of all the notaries in France, the High Council for Notary Professions is an organisation for the public good created by the ordinance dated November 2, 1945. The CSN contributes to considerations on trends in law, and it provides opinions on legal projects and regulatory texts being drafted.

  • It represents the profession before public authorities,
  • It determines its general policies,
  • It contributes to the evolution of the notary professions,
  • It provides collective services to the notary professions.

(Source and information on www.notaires.fr)

Deed of Sale

The deed of sale, also called the property title, is an authenticated contract which concludes the sale of a property between a seller and a buyer. The deed is signed in the offices of a notary.

Division Description Statement

The division description statement is a document that identifies the division of the lots of a co-owned property. It is generally included in the regulations of joint ownership.



A property right, which is a real right, may have limits called "easements". An easement is a right bearing upon a thing, and in real estate, easements are linked to property. For example, easements may pertain to the view of a property or to a right of passage.


Emolument is the compensation earned by a notary. This compensation is therefore called "negotiation emoluments" and is proportional to the value of the property. Negotiation emoluments are regulated and are added to compensation for the drafting of deeds. Notaries exercise their functions under the supervision of officers of the court.

(Source available on logisneuf)

Eviction Indemnity

Eviction indemnity is the sum the owner has to pay the renter to serve as financial compensation for non-renewal of a contractualised lease.


For Land Registration, expenses refer to the amounts due to the Land Registration service. This is a tax collected by the State for processing, for example, a request for a mortgage statement, a cadastral certificate, or a copy of a deed of sale.

Expert Real Estate Valuation

The expert appraises the market value and the rental value of a real estate property using various methods (by comparison, by capitalisation, etc.). The Expert in real estate valuation is impartial and transmits the results of his or her work in the form of an appraisal report.

F - G - H

Full Ownership

Full ownership designates the property ownership with full usus (use) and fructus (benefit) of the property. The owner may then dispose of the property as he or she wishes by living in it, by selling it, or by renting it, and claiming all the benefits derived from that property.


A guarantee is protection taken out by a lending organisation that allows it to ensure reimbursement of a debt in case of failure on the part of the lender. A guarantee is generally taken out at the moment a bank loan is contracted, and it may take various forms: mortgage, Privilege of the Money Lender (PPD, in French), collateral, security.

I - J - L


This pertains to real estate property that belongs to several owners. The rights for each owner are the same. Indivision may occur in several instances, like succession, donation, or deed of indivision.

Judicial Expert

A judicial expert is a real estate professional registered in the court of appeals and assigned by the courts to work on a file under legal examination. The role of the expert is to contribute a technical opinion (which is a real measure of rigor and seriousness) for the benefit of the court that requested his or her services.

Land Registration

The Land Registration refers to a service performed by the State through the "Land Registration Service" administration. This is a service notaries use systematically in order to register all deeds pertaining to the legal situation or to any transaction related to a real estate property.

Land Registration Service

The Land Registration Service is the name that has replaced the "Mortgage Registry" as of January 1, 2013.

This public service is managed by the General Division of Public Finance, which is tasked with the registry and archiving of all property (or real estate) transactions and each real estate document for the territory of France.

This information is transmitted and updated by notaries who, as officers of the governmental branch, have the obligation to record each of these transactions with the Land Registration Service.

Life Annuity

A Life Annuity sale consists of selling a property for payment by a life annuity, which the acquirer (the grantor of the annuity) must pay for the duration of the life of the seller (the grantee of an annuity).

The acquirer may benefit from the property before or after the death of the seller. Generally, the annuity is calculated on a portion of the price of the property, called the “bouquet.”


A lot designates a private section, generally in a residential complex with a building or group of buildings managed by an association.

M - N


The Mortgage is one of the forms of guarantee taken out by the lending organisation, which permits the latter to ensure the payment of a debt contracted for the purchase of a real estate property. The mortgage is the most widely used guarantee, but it is still more costly that the Privilege of the Money Lender (PPD, in French).

Mortgage Bureau

Formerly known as the "Mortgage Registry", since January 1, 2013, the Mortgage Bureau has been known as the Land Registration.

This is a French fiscal administration within the General Administration of Public Finances (DGFIP, in French), located in 354 offices across the country. Its role consists of maintaining a registry of every single real estate transaction related to property, possessions, and owners. The Mortgage Agency publishes and conserves each record and formality related to a property.

Notaries prepare and transmit authenticated acts to the State Agency.

Mortgage Inscription

Mortgage inscription is the administrative procedure within the Land Registration Services that involves inscribing a property mortgage (or guarantee). Once the inscription is completed, the lending organisation receives a ranking determined by order of arrival if the real estate property is subject to the lien of several mortgages.

Mortgage Registry

Since January 1, 2013, this designation no longer exists and has been replaced by the Land Registration.

Mortgage Requisition

A mortgage requisition is also called the "mortgage record request". Specifically, this is the request for a copy of the real estate property’s mortgage statement in order to learn of any guarantees currently in force listed for the said property.

Mortgage Statement

A mortgage statement is a document held by the Land Registration public authority, which is where the legal status of every real estate property in France is contained. The Land Registration conserves a record of publications, mortgage registrations, and any burdens over a real estate property (example: an easement).

Natural Person

In law, a natural person is an individual endowed with legal personhood. To fully enjoy his or her legal capacity (rights and responsibilities), a natural person must be an adult (minimum 18 years).


Officer of public law, the notary is a legal officer entrusted with an assignment of public trust. He or she is involved in all areas of law: family, property, probate, commercial, rural, etc., acting on behalf of the State, appointed by the Minister of Justice, the notary confers upon the deeds he or she drafts a measure of seriousness and authenticity.

(Source and information on www.notaires.fr)

Notary Fees

Notary fees are the mandatory fees to be paid during a real estate transaction. They include taxes paid to the Public Treasury, emoluments, and expenses.


Private Deed

The private deed, unlike an authenticated deed, is an agreement drafted and signed by the parties without the approval or the presence of an officer of the public administration, like a notary. It is used for example in the context of the sale of a property, a work contract, or an insurance policy.

Privilege of the Money Lender

The Privilege of the Money Lender is one of the forms of guarantee taken out by a lending organisation to ensure payment of a debt contracted when a real estate property is purchased. This guarantee applies only to properties that have already been built.


The term "property" designates everything connected to properties that are built upon or not built upon, whether they are buildable lands or lands with buildings already constructed.

Property Book

The Property Book is a legal institution present in the three departments of Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, and Moselle, equivalent to the land registration service for the rest of France, and it provides the same service.

The registries of the Property Book list the real rights of property owners, and for each bearer of the titles of these rights, any easements and burdens representing liens on this property.

The Property Book service is conducted within the District Courts and so it falls under the authority of the Ministry of Justice. Tasks are completed by judges, called Property Book Judges, assisted by court clerks.

Property Title

The property title is a legal document also called the "deed of sale" because it refers to the authentic deed drafted by a notary to designate the identity of the owner of a real estate property as well as the conditions of acquisition (examples: sale, donation, inheritance, etc.).

Property Without Usufruct

Property without usufruct designates the possession of a real estate property where the owner does not have usufruct. Property without usufruct always implies usufruct that has been conferred as a right to another party (who enjoys usufruct but who is not the owner).

R - S

Ranking (of the mortgage)

The mortgage ranking designates the order in which the creditors are inscribed, to guarantee the reimbursement of sums loaned in case of the borrower’s failure. The number ranking corresponds therefore to the first creditor who has taken out a guarantee, and that creditor will be the first to be reimbursed from the totality of amounts that are due to him or her.

Real Estate Assessment

A real estate assessment is devised to calculate the value of a real estate property according to the model best adapted to that property. A better term to use would be “price determination” rather than “appraisal”.

Real Estate Expert

Real estate expert is a generic term that designates a professional with competency or particular expertise that pertains to real estate (residential, business or real estate property, commercial property, etc.).

Real Estate Property or Building

Literally, real estate property refers to property which can not be moved (as opposed to moveable property). "Real estate” refers to any type of permanent housing or land.

In current usage, a building corresponds to a group of apartments or spaces in a single building.

Real Estate Valuation

Real estate valuation is the process, based on market tendencies, through which a price is given for a property to be offered for sale. It is generally included in the brokerage mandate offered by a real estate agent.

Real Right

Real right is the direct power of a person over a thing. In real estate, property right is a real right, which means that the owner holds direct and immediate powers over his or her property (usufruct, right of use, and right of residency).

Registration Form (mortgage)

The mortgage registration form is a document prepared by a creditor (for example, a bank) and delivered to the Land Registration service. This document allows users to take out a guarantee on a real estate property. The registration date on the registration form received by the public authority allows users to establish the ranking of that mortgage.


There are two types of securities: real and personal.

Real securities (security and mortgage) are guarantees that are taken by a creditor on a real estate property to recover the debt.

Personal securities are guarantees taken out on another person (solvent) who commits to paying off the debt in case of failure on the part of the debtor.


Security is one of the forms of guarantee used by the lending organisation to ensure the payment of a contracted debt upon the purchase of real estate property. The particularity of securities is that the guarantee is taken on a real estate property in the possession of the borrower and which the borrower has to substantiate.

T - U


Tele-requisition (which is related to the term "requisition”) designates a means of paperless exchange used between the leshypotheques.com company and the Land Registration Services.

Thus, tele-requisition refers to the digital issuance of mortgage statements.

Use (right of)

Use refers to the right a person possesses over a real estate property for use, habitation, along with receiving revenue linked to this property.

Usufruct (usus)

Usufruct is a right that confers the right of usage (usus) and the right to benefit (fructus) from a property belonging to another.

The property in this case is divided into two rights: the property without usufruct (owner) and usufruct (usufructuary). The usufructuary has the right to use or to inhabit the property, or perhaps to earn revenue from it (example: rent, interest), provided that the person ensures the conservation of the property.

Usufruct is a temporary right as opposed to property right which is imprescriptible.


Value, intrinsic

This corresponds to the actual price of an identical construction by deducting depreciation, dilapidation and/or obsolescence rates.

Value, market

Market value is the estimated sum of money for which a building would be exchanged, at the date of valuation, between a consenting buyer and a consenting seller in a balanced transaction, after adequate advertisement, and where the parties have both acted in full awareness, with prudence and without pressure.

Value, reconstruction

This refers to the value of a property constructed with current materials and technologies.

Value, rehabilitation

This refers to the current value before rehabilitation, meaning the sum of work to be conducted to bring comfort levels up to standard.

Value, rental

This is the annual financial compensation that may be obtained on the market for the use of a real estate property through a rental contract.

Thus, the rental value corresponds to the market rent obtainable from a real estate property according to the usual clauses and conditions for leasing for a category of properties and for a given region.

Market rental value is expressed exclusive of tax, exclusive of rental fees, and exclusive of all other types of taxes reinvoiced to the taker.

Value, statistical

The statistical value is a cold value of the real estate market, referenced in the notaries of France BIEN database, which indexes more than 10 million registrations. The leshypothèques.com company is authorised to access the BIEN database thanks to a national partnership with the High Council for Notary Professions (Conseil Supérieur du Notariat, in French).

Value, yield

This refers to the yield actualisation value by DCF (Discounted Cash Flow).

Sign up for our newsletter