The registered letter is not there for picture for Realtors!
This is what the Court of Cassation reminds us in a decision of 21 March 2019. (Court of Cassation 3rd Civil Chamber No. 18-10.772).
The Court declared that it “was incumbent on the real estate agent to verify the sincerity, at least apparent, of the signature appearing on the advice of reception of the registered letter addressed to the purchasers”.
As a reminder, Article L.271-1 of the Construction and Housing Code states that the notification of a sales agreement is only regular if the letter is delivered to the addressee or to a representative with a power to this effect.
In this case, the purchasers were a couple. The husband signed the recommended for himself but also for his wife.
The judgment of the Court of Cassation shows that it has a very strict interpretation of the article.
On the one hand, the Court considered that the withdrawal period did not go against the wife who had not signed the recommended one herself. [And who did not give a mandate to her husband to do it]. This interpretation is logical because the acquirers must actually receive all the documents. Otherwise, the Court considers that the consent is not fully informed.
On the other hand, the Court of Cassation went further by imposing a verification obligation on the real estate agent. In the present case, the sellers had jointly and severally bound the agent in payment of the immobilisation allowance for not having verified that the purchasers had correctly received the notification.
There is no doubt that this decision should alert estate agents, agents and even private sellers. All must carefully check the conditions of the notification concerning the date or the signature affixed to the recommended.