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General comments

Everything can be sold en viager - Dwelling places or commercial property - Furniture, jewellery, paintings and even capital There is no age limit for selling en viager (even occupied) because there is a buyer for everything and rates corresponding to all ages. It is often pointless to wait until one is older in order to obtain a higher rate of viager rent – the missed monthly rent payments during this period are never recouped.


A viager can be resold. All the conditions of the initial deed of sale must be respected and in particular the exact amount of rent due; it is then the first Débirentier who banks the bouquet the day the notarized deed of resale is signed.
One can sell en viager even if there are children. This is often the chosen solution for a number of Sellers in order to settle their estate during their lifetime (breakdown of all or part of the bouquet, for example), thus avoiding any possible problems amongst the heirs. 


A sale en viager comes into being on the notarized signing of an authentic deed of sale. The drawing up of this deed requires a great deal of care and the inclusion of certain specific clauses. Given that the viager is a contract of greater or lesser duration, everything should be taken into account at the beginning so that reciprocal undertakings are respected thus ensuring a smooth relationship between the two parties.

Examples of clauses with important consequences:
btn The split of charges and works between the crédirentier and the débirentier.
btn Index linking of the main rent and any future increase.
btn Relinquishment of usage.
btn And, most importantly, the clause known as ‘privilege of the seller and resolutive action’ which guarantees payment of the viagère rent to the Seller.


Viagères rents benefit from advantageous tax reductions:
btn 30% up to 50 years of age - 50% between 50 and 59
btn 60% between 60 and 69
btn 70% from 70 on

The reversionary rent is free of inheritance tax on the death of the first partner (article 793-1-5 of the CGI).

The French Inland Revenue applies this scale based on the age of the older seller. The age is calculated on the day the original deed of sale is signed and the tax reduction remains the same for life (if a seller is 69 years old the day of the sale, he will benefit from a reduction of 60% for life whereas if he waited until he was 70, he would have 70%).


The viager, mainly occupied (only 10% of transactions are en viager libre), is a useful solution to several current concerns such as:

btn retirement (for the Seller who benefits immediately as well as for the Buyer who is planning his)
btn housing (possibility for the Buyer to obtain a city centre property, for example, where building programmes are rare and prices out of reach)
btn financial investments which can often be uncertain
btn inheritance concerns (second families, for example, or where there are underlying problems between children)
btn heavy taxes payable to the State when there are no direct heirs -...and others, depending on individual cases

We strongly recommend that you contact a viager specialist (even if it isn’t our agency) for the best information and guidance, depending on your circumstances, and, above all, to ensure that through the drawing up of a professional and appropriate initial contract of sale, the duration of your viager is problem free. Venance GAYMARD