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What is the right of pre-emption ?

The law has given Safer a right of pre-emption: this right enables it to have priority of purchase, under certain circumstances, of agricultural businesses or land for agricultural use or non built properties in a natural and rural area.

The SAFER use this right occasionally. They prefer to use amicable negotiations. Pre-emption involves on average only 10% of the total surface area acquired by Safer.

Good to know: under no circumstances will Safer expropriate or oblige anyone at all to sell.

The law has set a legal framework and the agreement of Government Commissioners is indispensable.

In what cases is the right to pre-emption used?

Pre-emption must always be based on specific grounds and be exercised for one or several of the objectives defined in article L 143-2 of the Rural Code:
1°     Installation, re-installation or maintenance in place of farmers
2°     Enlargement and improvement of the plot distribution of existing farms, in accordance with article L. 331-2

3°     The preservation of the balance of farms, when this is compromised by the demands of works in the public interest

4°     The safeguarding of the family nature of the farm

5°     The combat against real property speculation

6°     The preservation of existing viable farms, when this is compromised by the separate sale of land and buildings used as homes or for operations

7°     Enhancement and protection of the forest and the improvement of forestry structures within the context of agreement signed with the State, in application of article L512-6 of the forestry code
8°     Creation of projects to enhance landscapes and protect the environment approved by the State or by local authorities and their public establishments.
The right to pre-emption may not be used in all circumstances and specifically not during transactions granted to:
- co-heirs, close relations of the seller or co-joint owners
- a farmer or tenant paying in produce who has been working the land for over three years,
- an expropriated farmer (in certain circumstances)

Why the right to pre-emption?

<< Its aim is in the general interest

<< To maintain the agricultural vocation of a property or to protect the environment

<< Under State control
In view of priorities set by law

What is the procedure?

<< For all transactions involving agricultural properties, notaries will pass on to Safer a notification or Déclaration d'Intention d'Aliéner (D.I.A.) specifying the type and location of the property, the names and position of the purchaser and seller, and the selling price.

 Safer then has a two month deadline within which to answer, which may be reduced in case of a request for an accelerated procedure which is accepted by Safer.

<< Safer then implements a consultation process. It if envisages a better arrangement than the one provided for by market conditions, it may bring a pre-emption file before the Government Commissioners.
This process can only take place if the request falls within one of the objectives listed above and is of major importance.

<< The Board then decides on retrocession; applicants not selected and the initial purchaser are informed in writing of the grounds for the choice of Safer and of what is going to happen to the property.



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