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The first anniversary of the entry into force of the recent major reform of French urban planning law - which simplified and clarified applicable rules, improved due process and enhanced safeguards for planning applicants - provides an opportunity for a review of the key aspects of the new procedures regarding the review of planning applications.

Tax rules regarding commercial property investment in France have evolved significantly as a result of recent legislative reforms such as the 2007 Revised Finance Bill and the 2008 Finance Bill. The revised and new rules cover various aspects of interest to international investors.

A major reform of French urban planning law recently entered into force. This update considers key aspects of the new procedures and their scope of application. The reform was needed owing to the complexity of the existing rules and the resulting legal insecurity, which generated excessive litigation.

The National Commitment for Housing Law amends and ratifies the order of December 8 2005 on building and zoning permits, and amends and/or supplements the Zoning Code. The new law includes measures designed to protect existing structures and zoning permits and demonstrates a desire on the part of the legislature to increase the protection of construction rights.

Two Supreme Court decisions rendered in April 2000 have raised concerns about the French real estate market. However, this update demonstrates that the new case law is not as radical as it might appear.

The Supreme Court has reversed its previous position and has now ruled that the guarantor's prior consent is required before a guarantee can be transferred to a buyer.

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