Rue de la Huchette at the crack of dawn.
Keeping the Burlars Out of rue de la Huchette
by Adrian Leeds
Thursday, September 4, 2003
Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
The first time I came to Paris, I stayed in a hotel at the corner of rue de la Huchette and rue de la Harpe. This image I captured recently at the crack of dawn on my way to the apartment International Living has just purchased, is the very scene I witnessed upon landing here that first day in 1979. Today, September 4th, is my 9th anniversary as a Parisienne, not a tourist in a hotel in the Latin Quarter.
The renovation work has started on the rue de la Huchette apartment. There is much to do, but the first order of business was to have a new lock installed. Not surprising, a new lock which took less and 30 minutes to install, was just under 1000 Euro!
M. Olivier Chaslot, an attorney and president of the Copropriété lives just below. In his beautiful office lined with ancient tomes, he showed me where a water leak had soaked one wall to a sponge-like condition removing the surface plaster, exposing a hand-painted wall from the 18th century.
In his files was a history book outlining the homes along rue de la Huchette. It explains that this street or path was first opened at the beginning of the 13th century when there was the draining of the lands bordering the Seine, never having changed the name. Connecting rue du Petit-Pont and place Saint-Michel in a straight line, but slightly “deformed,” rue de la Huchette still contains beautiful houses typical of the 18th century.
At this number (4-6), the Maison Rangot was constructed in 1729 in place of two “older” houses for Balthazar Rangot, an engineer for the house of the Duke of Orleans. Rangot sold the house in 1736 to Abroise-Charles Guérin, an attorney in the Parliament. A photo accompanied the description from the turn of the 20th century.
As we stood in the elegant salon with its four three-and-a-half-meter high windows overlooking the street, “tomettes” (hexagonal floor tiles) and grand fireplace, we could feel the presence of the lives that came before us and wondered how they would be arranging their furnishings as we are now.
Editor, French Property Insider
P.S. Read more about the song of the lock further down and if you are interested in being one of the first to stay in the rue de la Huchette apartment (mid October), email me at Adrian@AdrianLeeds.com?subject=Huchette
Volume I, Issue 30, September 4, 2003
In this issue:
* Keeping the Burglars Out
* Obnoxious Neighbors are Buying My House!
* Do I have to marry him so he can inherit my apartment?
* Tidbit of History About the Hôtel de Ville
* What’s the Latest Rate of Exchange, in Dollars, Euro and Pounds
* The Next Meeting is Next Week
* Hot Property: A Bright Apartment at Saint-Paul
* Property For Sale:
* General FPI Information…
Song of the Clac-Clac Lock
“Song of the Clac-Clac Lock…. The bolt is balanced at the bottom of its trowel by a simple rotation of the key, thus a suitably regulated lock must function, with good reports and ratios. Even a child must use it without effort. It must be solid, sure, sedentary and inviolable; isn’t this its role there? But it must especially be flexible and pleasant for that it sings. Of course for such locks the key is proportioned and somewhat cumbersome as said by some. It is true that in the handbag it holds a particular place, yes, but a place of choice. A key must be a Work of Art, not a simple functional object. When you pose it on the dresser, it reigns as a mistress because it is at the same time the beauty, safety and protection. “What a symbol!” Our keys and our locks, are the single works carried out to measure your criteria of use and your way of life, with a rigorous design, style and time of your residence, a criteria which are essential with a perfect result. Make them sing.”
The above is an ad for a French manufactured lock (translated from French)…told in prose exemplifying their artistic point of view!
Fichet locks are said to be the best: To confront the development in technology and the tools of the burglars, PEG designed the new cylinder 787.Z. More resistant to the attacks of destruction thanks to a system of tempered steel pins and the reinforcement of the drive system, it ensures the long lasting defensive qualities which make its reputation. Its remarkable technical design allows more than 100 million different combinations that guarantees no two identical cylinders. For more information on Fichet locks, visit http://www.fichet33.com/fr/serrures.html
It’s any wonder that a new lock costs about 1000 euro. To find a “serrurier” in your neighborhood, visit http://wgf.pagesjaunes.fr/pj.cgi?lang=en (the online Yellow Pages in English) and type in “locksmith.” There are 1450 in Paris alone.
For those of you fascinated by locks and keys, be sure to visit the little-known
Musée de la Serrure – Bricard
This hotel was built in 1685 by the architect of the Invalides, Libéral Bruant, for his own use. It then changed ownership several times before it was taken over by the first Ponts et Chaussées school in 1780 under the initiative of the engineer, Perronet. Severely damaged throughout the 19th century, the Hôtel was purchased from the City of Paris by the Bricard company who wanted to restore it and set up the Musée de la Serrure.
Hôtel Libéral Bruand, 1, rue de la Perle
01 42 77 79 62 or 01 42 77 61 06
Open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Saturday, Sunday and holidays.
Help, Can I Prevent My Obnoxious Neighbor from Buying My House?
The following is an excerpt from Jean Taquet’s September 2003 Column…
I bought a house in the south of France a few years ago. My immediate neighbor has become a total nuisance and has made it unbearable to stay there. Consequently, I asked a nearby realtor to sell my house, but not to this neighbor; however, I did not put it in writing in the exclusive mandate I signed over to him. Every time a potential buyer came to look at the house, my neighbor’s obnoxious behavior was a very powerful deterrent. After a few months, this neighbor made an offer at the exact price mentioned on the mandate and the realtor accepted without my knowledge. I am now told that I must sell my house to my awful neighbor, and I cannot accept this. Is there a way that my demands can prevail?
Before answering this very technical question, I must first explain the legalities of this situation. Under French law, two people agreeing on just two things creates a complete contract, which must be implemented. The mandate you signed very probably gives the realtor the complete right to represent you within the terms of the contract. Thus, as long as the neighbor’s offer complies with the terms of the mandate, the realtor is within his rights to accept the offer on your behalf, and you are legally bound to accept it, almost as if you had done so yourself. So, legally speaking, you must proceed with this sale. Now, if you can prove that you gave firm instructions to the realtor not to sell to your neighbor, you can walk out of the deal and leave the realtor alone to compensate the neighbor. Keep in mind that you need to have written proof of this instruction – an e-mail would do it. Be extremely careful if you choose this route.
If you have nothing in writing, you might have a way out that is tricky, but feasible. If this neighbor has done things you can document, and any of them are illegal, you could have a case against your neighbor and could claim a sizable damage payment. Then, depending on your ability to play this game, your neighbor might back off, reasoning that you have enough of a claim that a judge would award you a good portion of what you ask in damages.
If you refuse to go through with the closing of the sale, your neighbor and the realtor will take you to court to have the accepted offer confirmed by the judge. With a ruling stating that the sale is final, they can take the matter to any notaire to do the closing and transfer the ownership. However, if you are entitled to a sizable amount in damages, taking you to court will mean the amount to purchase the house will jump by the amount awarded to you. This can be a powerful deterrent. In any case, you absolutely need your own lawyer and notaire to have a chance of being successful with this. This is by no means a sure thing.
The following is a letter from our reader, Judy S.
Would French Inheritance Laws Recognize My “Concubine?”
I purchased the apartment in the Marais solely under my name as I wanted to leave it to my only child, my daughter K. G. and I are partners but not married. What happens if K. dies before G.? Do we quickly get married…oops? My wishes would be to will G. the apartment in the event of my death. I have a younger sister (40 years old) and an elderly mother (almost 80). Would French law only recognize my closest living relative, my sister? My sister and I are very close and I am sure she will want to honor my wishes. I would like to will her the apartment in the event of G.’s death. I would welcome your thoughts on this matter.
Dear Ms. S.,
This apartment is in Paris and you are the sole owner so should you die 100% of this asset would go to your French estate and treated accordingly. If you do not have a will, 1- your daughter inherits 100% if she is alive and 2- your mother inherits with your sister if your daughter predeceased you
If you have a will, 1- your daughter will inherit 50% minimum if the beneficiary is someone else,
2- your mother if your daughter predeceased you, 3- the beneficiary if both of them are already dead.
If your will bequests to G. then the tax rate is 60% of the value of the apartment and the payment must occur 6 months after your death. If you make him your official concubine then the situation is much better:
The exemption equals 56,000 euros.
> 15,000 rate 40%
< 15,000 rate 50%
JEAN TAQUET’S PRACTICAL ANSWERS
Jean Taquet is a French jurist and associate member of the Delaware Bar Association, specializes in civil, criminal and commercial law. He frequently gives courses about the legal system in France and recently spoke at the International Living Working and Living in France Conference in Paris. He is also well known for his informative Q and A columns in past Paris Voice magazines, which can now be purchased in one document as “The Insider Guide to Practical Answers for Living in France”
To subscribe to his monthly newsletter or to contact Jean Taquet for a personal consultation, email Jean Taquet
When was the Hôtel de Ville de Paris built?
François 1er designated two architects to design the Hôtel de Ville: an Italian, Dominique de Cortone, and a Frenchman, Pierre Chambiges. The construction was started in 1628.
TODAY’S CURRENCY UPDATE
Rates as of 2003.09.03 06:49:37 GMT.
1 U.S. Dollar equals Euro 0.926025 (0.924274 Euro last week)
1 Euro equals U.S. Dollar 1.07988 (1.08193 last week)
1 U.K. Pound equals Euro 1.45085 (1.44699 Euro last week)
1 Euro equals U.K. Pound 0.689251 (0.691091 last week)
PARLER PARIS APRES MIDI MEETS TWICE A MONTH
NEXT MEETING: September 9, 2003, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
AND EVERY SECOND AND FOURTH TUESDAY OF THE MONTH
This is your opportunity to meet twice a month, often with local professionals who can answer your Working and Living in France questions. You are invited to come for drinks and share your questions and comments about what it takes to create a life here, own property and enjoy what France has
to offer. It is also an opportunity to network with other Parler Paris readers.
For a detail description of the past meeting and for more information about Parler Paris Après Midi, visitb http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apresmidi.html
FOR SALE: FPI HOT PROPERTY OF THE WEEK
We are constantly looking at properties for sale to offer to our subscribers only. Each week we will be bringing you one or two properties we believe are especially worth your consideration. As a subscriber, you will have an exclusive first look at these before they are added to the listings on our website.
PARIS MARAIS AT SAINT-PAUL – CHARMING AND BRIGHT
This is an exceptionally charming flat in the Marais, with every window facing South for bright light. Wood beams and original wooden historic stairs in a beautiful 16th-century building 50 meters from Place des Vosges, close to restaurants, shops and the Saint-Paul Métro.
One entrance – one living room – one bedroom – one dressing
One kitchen (equipped and furnished)
One big bathroom (equipped and furnished)
Three windows – Southern exposure, Quiet, Cable TV and Internet
Asking Price: 300,000 Euros + 2% Finders Fee
Photos are available on the site at:
Serious inquiries can be directed to Charming St. Paul
FPI Property listings – Sale
All of the following apartments are for sale by owner. There are no agency fees incurred with the exception of a finders fee we place to connect you with the owner and assist you in the purchase. We have chosen two very high level properties and two very low level properties, but both in very rentable areas of the city, should you wish to make your investment profitable.
The prime rental neighborhoods are the 1st – 8th arrondissements, but each depending on location within each arrondissement. The most requested is the Ile Saint-Louis, second the 6th, third the 4th. The most expensive property in the city is the Place des Vosges in the 4th, Ile Saint-Louis (also 4th) and the 6th arrondissement.
(75) PARIS 6th
Near the Palais de Luxembourg. Prestigious apartment entirely renovated, 90 square meters on the 2nd floor, view of Lle Senat. Ceiling height 3 1/2 meteres, living room, 2 bedrooms, dining room, entrance, hall/study, bathroom with toilet, kitchen with landing.
Asking Price 1,260,000 € + 2% Finders Fee
Serious Inquiries email: Prestigious Palais
(75) PARIS 6th
Boulevard St-Michel. Very fine Haussmannian apartment renovated, 137 square meters, view of Musée Cluny, double reception room of 50 square meters, 2 large bedrooms, equipped kitchen, 2 bathrooms, shower room. ceiling height 3,30 m, parquet floors, moulding, large storage . Digital code security system + portier video. On 2nd with lift. Car park, cellar.
Asking Price 1,235,000 € + 2% Finders Fee
Serious Inquiries email: Bd St Michel
(75) PARIS 3rd
Studio. Métro Rambuteau on rue Chapon. In 18th century building . 24 square meters, on 2nd, opening onto courtyard, all modern conveniences, entrance hall, living room with mezzanine, high-ceilinged, parquet floor, new open kitchen , 2 large double glazed windows, junk room. Cellar. Digital code security system. Peaceful. Low charges.
Asking Price 125,000 € + 2% Finders Fee
Serious Inquiries email: Rue Chapon Studio
(75) PARIS 3rd
Studio. In building from the end of the 17th century. on 2nd. High-ceilinged, 21 square meters (loi carrez) + 7 square meter mezzanine. Very good condition, very bright.
Asking Price 114,000 € + 2% Finders Fee
Serious Inquiries email: Studio in the 3rd
FPI CONSULTATION SERVICES
We’re equipped to assist you with every aspect of buying an apartment. We can create a package for as much or as little assistance as you need. From merely locating an apartment to helping you set up utilities or do a renovation, we can help.
Full details are posted on the French Property Insider website at http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/propertyconsultation.html
Don’t forget that with your FPI subscription you are entitled to a discount on the purchase of any Insider Paris Guides. You’ll find details of the guides at http://www.insiderparisguides.com. When ordering, a box will pop up allowing you to enter the following username/password
Order more than one guide at a time and you will receive an additional discount!
“DR. DEREK’S” ARCHITECT’S ADVICE AND SERVICES
If you have basic questions concerning apartment and home renovation, contact our resident expert Derek Bush by visiting http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/services.html
RENTING AN APARTMENT IN PARIS OR HAVE AN APARTMENT TO RENT?
If you are seeking to rent a furnished apartment for a week, a month or a year or you have an apartment you wish to rent, there are a couple of ways we can be of assistance. Click here for more information: http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/forrent.html
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
- FPI Website: To access any password protected pages, the username is: fpiuser and the password is: paris1802. If your computer utilizes cookies, once you log into a subscriber only section, the login inf
ormation will remain active for seven days, after which you will have to login again.
- Past issues of FPI are available on the website. You will find the “Past Issues” link on the left under “Subscribers Only” or by going to http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/subscribersonly/archives.cfm
- Instructions for upcoming conference calls are on the FPI website. You’ll find the link under the “Subscribers Only” section on the left of any page.
- Get In On The Discussion: Care to weigh-in on current HOT topics of discussion on France? Get in on or start your own thread on our bulletin board at http://www.agora-inc.com/forums/index.cfm?cfapp=15
== FOR SALE ==
DUPLEX ON THE LEFT BANK
Paris Left Bank — 13th arrondissement bordering the 5th, duplex on the 3rd and last floor plus a loft, total 87 m2 with 71m2 Loi Carrez (above 1.8m2). Quiet, sunny, lots of character (wood beams, traditional staircase) with stairs from living room to loft. Main bedroom downstairs overlooking east courtyard and living room overlooking rue Pascal. Two rooms upstairs, living room 27m2, toilet/shower/bath separate, equipped kitchen, storage room, cellar, double glazed windows and pine wooden floors. Rental history 1850 euro per month.
Asking Price: 445,000 euro
Call for private sale: +33 (0) 6.74.98.08.27 or Email: Duplex_on_the_Left_Bank
2 lovely apartments in the 1st arrondissment across the street from the Tuileries Gardens, 3 minutes form the Place Vendome. Available for rent by the week or longer term: 6 months to 1 year. 2-3 bedroom duplex w. 2 baths/ Tuileries view. OR 1-2 bedroom same building. Both are elevator accessible, non-smoking and no pet properties.
To check them out and for reservation and contact information go to http://www.youlloveparis.com.
Stay in your own 17th-century pied-à-terre in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris, by the week or month. Sleeps 4. Newly furnished and redecorated. Totally charming. From $150 per night. Visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/rentals/mazarine.html or contact Rendez-Vous à Paris at firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=IL_Reader or call +33 (0) 220.127.116.11.
Guest Room or Two-Bedroom Apartment…
Located in a 17th century Le Marais Hôtel Particulier, this 70 square meter apartment two-bedroom apartment with lots of light is nicely furnished and is perfect for a single woman in the freshly renovated guest room when owner Adrian Leeds is in or for up to 4 people when she’s traveling.
The Guest Room is offered at $575 per week ($250 deposit required). The Entire Apartment is offered at $875 per week ($350 deposit required). References are mandatory. Pictures and more details available here: http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/leeds.html
For information and reservations contact: Adrian@AdrianLeeds.com?subject=ABLGuestRoom
For the latest listing of vacation rentals, click here:
SEEKING A MORTGAGE IN FRANCE?
The International Living Paris Office can help you secure a mortgage in France with interest rates as low as 3.35%.
Contact Adrian@AdrianLeeds.com?subject=Mortgage for more information.
HELPFUL CONVERSIONS FOR REAL ESTATE
To convert square meters to square feet, multiply 10.763 by 3.281 and for more conversions, refer to:
SUBSCRIBE TO PARLER PARIS
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Copyright 2003, Agora Ireland Publishing & Services Ltd.