17 Replies

We own 9.7ha of land which we do not exploit financially. We allow a neighbour to cut and take away the grass once each year and he has given us a statement confirming he has no rights over our land. Do we have to register and pay subscriptions to MSA? We are both retired and are covered for health by CPAM and have got Cartes Vitale.

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Ally 1518262552

No do not be pressured into it

They will try and make you feel obliged but stick to your guns.

countrydweller 1518271882

And then the farmer will turn round and say I own your land now that document is of no legal standing.Get it formalised properly with a Notaire

George Stephenson 1518276928

@ Countrydweller

What basis or legality are you basing that statement on please? Because without proof of what you say the OP could be lead into paying for something that they have no need for.

Sylvia-Romo 1518278097

@ George

                                                                                                         43 years ago

How long have you lived here? This is common practice in the countryside. Especially against expat British people who purchase way to much land then they can manage or maintain..

Do your own research - utilisation gratuite des terres agricoles et problèmes en france


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countrydweller 1518341522

Yes it does not matter if the farmer has a legal right to it or not but over the years there have been numerous instances where farmers who have been given use of land have claimed it as their own This usually happens when the owner decides to put the house on the market and they are suddenly faced with a house and land they cannot sell because of the ongoing legal dispute and a huge legal bill to sort it all out when a visit to a notaire would have got it right at the very beginning 

There is the law and then there are things that happen in rural France If the OP does not need the land why not sell it or get a proper rental agreement drawn up?

George Stephenson 1518347313

The OP has a statement from the farmer disclaiming any rights of
ownership. You state that is not worth the paper it is written on. The links I provided categorically prove that bail verbal can be determined by written documentation or the absence of it.

Again, you make claims but do not provide anything to substantiate them. Your opinions and comments are worthless unless you can prove or evidence what you are saying.The OP is asking for advice on a specific matter and all he gets from you is hearsay and folk lore on something totally different.

countrydweller 1518358960

No I did not state that the paper was worth nothing I said that this is what the farmer could say He may be right he may be wrong but if he is in occupation of the land and is saying that it is his then that will cause a problem especially if the house is on the market I am stating that I have known cases where people have done exactly the same as the OP with no doubt good will on all sides at first  and it has all ended up in an unholy mess In this case there is nearly 25 acres of land which will give a nice addition to the EU payments that a farmer gets  which is why it is far better to get a proper agreement in place via a notaire Would you in the UK give access to your land which you were not looking after to someone who signed a bit of paper Of course you would not you would get a proper agreement drawn up in a legally binding way which I am suggesting that the OP does

AS for raising the matter when the OP asked about something else I make no apology for that because if someone is in danger of losing a huge chunk of land or having a torrid time pursuing something through the courts which could have been avoided by the right suggestion at the right time then I am quite happy to raise it  Presumably George Stephenson if you saw somebody in a supermarket with a roll of Euros about to fall out of their pocket when they were asking you where the flour was you would just ignore that would you? It is nothing different to pointing out the dangers in this case And I have not said that you are wrong at all I have pointed out that there is the law as it is written and then there are the practical everyday situations that happen in France and the only way to get somebody off the land is via the courts

George Stephenson 1518360587

And you still haven't given any real life examples or links to the legislation that demonstrates your assertion that the OP is in danger of losing his land. There is only your word for it so why should he spend money going to a Notaire for a formal contract? The OP has written notification from the farmer.

This sort of thing is typical of your posts. Your trying to look clever could waste someone's time and money. But you don't care about that aspect.

I would suggest that you either put up some indisputable evidence of what you are saying or we will just treat this as your usual hot air.

Sylvia-Romo 1518366699

Hey Geerge, bet you the contract is written in English and not a proper contract see this for an example. Big trouble could be caused if it not a "legally" written document..

Something for you to read - though as you did not search ( you want everybody to do it for you - maybe you do not understand French ) my suggested text above, I do not think you will follow up on this -Code rural et de la peche maritime - this will tell you all about how to legally rent agricultural land.

If you want to here some stories from he double hockey sticks from real french people who have down what the op has done, read here

or here

or just look at all the topics from all the french people who have had problems being nice to their French, farmer neighbors.. there are many

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George Stephenson 1518375234

I'm afraid that in your desperation to prove the point in general (and nobody is saying that the issues of bail verbal are not real),  neither you or Countrydweller have addressed the issue that the OP has a disclaimer from the farmer and that he hasn't loaned him the land.

Further, you are guessing that the statement is in English to suit your argument, but again you have no proof of this.

The only point that you need to prove is that a disclaimer as described in the opening post is not legally binding in the circumstances described. So far, I haven't seen anything in your examples to that effect. So perhaps it is yourself who has difficulty with the language?

BYME 1518383298

Not taking anyones side but we let somebody use our field and we had to go to a place in the Place de Gambetta to get it drawn up. Unfortunatly he just ripped our fence out with his tracter and took the round bales that had been left by a previous (user)! luckily our French neighbour came and took pics of the damage and wrote a letter stating the damage that was caused, it was a little out of the expiry date for cancellation but it worked. Afterwards the man that was using the land knocked at the door, I thought here we go then! but he said that he'd fallen among the apples! ie. lost consiousness and had to be taken by helicopter to Bordeaux, someything to do with his heart. When I told my French neighbour about it, he said no,no, that's not the case!. Apparently the other bloke looks for fields with round bales, negotiates a deal, swipes the bales and never goes back! so I guess it's best to take the cautios route what ever that may be. Just my experience and I don't want a lot of stick, thanks.


Rod -Siddall-922017 1518431311

Hi thanks for a all the replies. I didn't want to start an argument. I am not too concerned about the bail rurale. The farmer is 65 his wife is 70 so they want to retire soon and I know a bail is not transferable. Plus he has given me an attestation in French  (and yes I do understand it) with his company stamp on it and signed by him and his wife as directors. I might run it past the notaries just to be sure. We don't want to sell the land, apart from the 1 cut per year of the grass I am able to look after it myself and I mow paths through it so we can enjoy it.

My question though was about the MSA. Does anyone have experience of this and/or know where I can look up the rules? I have already looked on the MSA Dordogne website but it doesn't seem to help.

George Stephenson 1518445541

@ John-Halford / Silvia-Romero

No need to feel for me. Just read the reply to the question in your first link:

"If you have a written document which indicates that you graciously lend this field, you are saved. Otherwise,
if he was this good, the maintenance for 10 years ................................ 

And as the OP has already pointed out; he has such a document, in French.

George Stephenson 1518470583


What you've missed is that following a request from someone on here John-Halford was banned from the forum. A hour or so later Sylvia-Romo appeared as a new member with exactly the same characteristics and mis-spellings as John-Halford. He obviously is too thick skinned to know when he isn't welcome.

@John-Halford / Silvia-Romo;

Regards the advice to the OP; No, I don't think that it is a good idea to frighten someone into spending time and money unnecessarily. Especially when you have posted links that actually contradict your statements and seem to confirm that the OP has nothing to worry about. 

Sylvia-Romo 1518480392

Maybe geerge can go thru the website and give you a answer instead of slagging off other commenters or trying to start a confrontation.

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Sylvia-Romo 1518480746

The answer to your question is NO, unless you have hired, under contract; (cdi,cdd) employees in the agriculture business which you do not have..

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boxerhappy 1518625353

To answer you question, if you are retired then no you don't need to pay in if you don't require there health care. Regarding the farmer cutting the grass, if no money or any other form of payment swaps hands then he has no rights. The best way is every fourth year just let it grow so he has to start the 3 year cycle again. Good luck.

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