cooling off period "to be continued...."

Yet again another decision made by the High Court on 14th February 2018 regarding the cooling off period in France. This time the Notaire is directly involved because the claim was made against him by a vendor.

A contract to sell a property was signed between vendors and purchaser. To notify the cooling off period to the purchaser, the Notaire sent separate two registered post letters. The first letter was returned to him with the mention "undeliverable" and "non identifiable letter box", the second letter with the mention "unclaimed". The purchaser refused to complete the transaction and the vendors assigned him in payment of the penalty clause . A Judgement rejected the vendors’ claim who tried to engage the responsibility of the Notaire.

The Court of Appeal of Nimes condemned the Notaire to compensate the vendors on the ground that the two registered letters addressed to the buyer were not received,
and therefore the cooling off period had not started. However the high court censored the decision. The court considered that the second letter was notified to the purchaser, who decided not to collect it.

It is important to remind the parties that the cooling off period starts the day after the first notification to the purchaser and not the day after he collects it. Indeed, despite not collecting his notification, the purchaser benefited from his cooling off period and the responsibility of the Notaire could not be engaged.

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