The SRU law

The law n°2000-1208 of December 13th, 2000 relative to the solidarity and to the renewal urban, called Law SRU, is one of biggest legislative reforms of the last 20 years. Its capacities concern the domain of the town planning, the functioning of the co-ownerships and the protection of the potential buyers and the tenants. Concerning this last sector, it established the following measures:

The 7 day cooling-off period in favor of the buyer: 
A cooling-off period of 7 days is established in favor of the buyer of a property, whatever is the status of the salesman (if it’s about a professional of the real estate or not). 
Since this date, the buyer of the property has the power to retract, within 7 days from the date of signature of the provisional sales agreement. The legislator established this deadline so that the buyer can have enough time to think about his decision. So this law is a real protection in favor of the buyer.

No payments of sums of money to a non-professional salesman: 
During the signature of a sales agreement, it is from now on forbidden to pay sums of money to a non-professional salesman before the end of the deadline of the 7 day cooling-off period. Even here, this prohibition is to protect the buyer, by guaranteeing him a period of reflection without any financial commitment.

Refund of the sums paid within 21 days, if the purchase is made with a professional salesman: 
If the property is purchased from a professional salesman, the deposit of sums of money is authorized. If the buyer decides to retract during the legal deadline of 7 days, the deposit sums must be paid off to him in a maximum 21 day cooling-off period.

Prohibition of the offers of purchase with payments of money: 
The offer of purchase, or promise of purchase, has to be the object of no payments of money for the salesman. The payment of a deposit (generally 10 % of the price), collected by the salesman to formalize the commitment is now strictly forbidden by the law.