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Costs Of Modifications When Buying Off-Plan in France

Posted by FindHomeAbroad on June 23, 2019

What are the Extra Modification Works when buying off-plan (called TMA in French for Travaux Modificatifs Acquereur)

When buying off-plan, the buyer can customise their home before delivery via the TMA. When to apply? What works are allowed? How much are TMAs? Answers with FindHomeAbroad

TMAs (Travaux Modificatifs Acquereur), the definition:
The TMAs are a request to modify the floor plan of the property under construction, usually at the off-plan stage and obviously only if construction advancement permits. Once something is built, say for example a wall, it needs to be taken down to make the modification and thus incurs extra costs. Often developers do not have the time either as this could delay the whole build. This modification request is made by the purchaser to the developer. TMAs may concern a new chalet as well as an apartment.

TMAs are obviously one of the great benefits of buying a property off-plan. The buyer can then enter the property specifically adapted to his/her needs and wishes. For example, some of our clients prefer as big a living room as possible instead of bigger bedrooms others the opposite.

What are the authorized TMAs?

Modifications to the property must not contravene the Construction Code, in particular, disabled-access standards. They must not prevent a person in a wheelchair from accessing the living room or bathroom for example (with some developers you can sign a clause where you make the non-access your responsibility). The constructor must also be able to carry out the work schedule initially planned and have no impact on the delivery of the property. In buildings with apartments, these modifications must not affect the rights of the other owners.

Finally, at completion, these modified properties must always comply with the standards and different thermal (and sound-proofing) regulations in force: RT2012, BBC label, NF certification …

Here are some works that the buyer can ask to modify:

Moving or creating an electrical outlet, switch or light
Moving, taking down or reducing partition walls
Modification of sanitary equipment in bathrooms/toilets…
Removal or addition of storage
Modification of finishes: paint, parquet, tiles …
Adding a fireplace/stove if chalet permits
TMAs are common in the new-build property market. Some developers even provide upon reservation, a list of options associated with a price.

When and how to apply for TMA?

The request for the Buyer’s TMAs must be made by the buyer within one month of the signature of the reservation. Depending on the nature of the work, it is better to apply as soon as possible. Indeed, the more the construction is advanced, the less it will be possible to make certain modifications.
The French developer or builder responds within approximately 4 weeks and in any event before signing the deed of sale in front of the notary. Within this period, an architect’s office checks the feasibility of modifying work if necessary.

If the request for TMA is accepted, the purchaser receives an amendment/quote and a new plan for his new home. To accept this quote, he signs it by adding the word “ok for agreement” (Bon pour accord in French) and sends it back to the developer. If the first application is refused, the purchaser may make another.

Can a developer refuse to carry out TMAs?

The promoter or builder may refuse to carry out the TMAs if they do not meet the requirements mentioned above. It is therefore advisable to discuss with us at FindHomeAbroad before sending your request, to find out what you can ask for or not. Overall, TMA applications are very often accepted.

How much are TMAs? and who pays?

TMAs generate additional construction costs: construction, materials, monitoring and management costs… These costs are borne by the buyer, logically. Some developer charge for the feasibility study and the drawing of the new plan. If the TMAs are refused, this sum is still due.
By signing the modification works quote, the buyer undertakes to pay these modification works. Most of the time, the following schedule is applied:

50% upon signature of the deeds.
50% once the works are completed. The amount will be included in the overall stage payments to be made for your property.

Good to know
Delivery of the property with TMAs
When handing over the keys, the new owner checks that the new property is in compliance with the plans and technical description. It is then that he will be able to see that the TMAs have been completed.

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