Am I legally obliged to inform the town hall when I buy a house and / or move to a new town in France?
This is a timely question because the government has just clarified that it will not create a census of new inhabitants in the cities of France.
So the short answer is: No. If you move to a new municipality in France, you are not legally obliged to inform the town hall of your arrival.
Some local officials said they wanted to use a census of newcomers to get a clear picture of the population in their townships and better manage public services, but the government said it was not in favor of the implementation. work of a declaration of the owners which would oblige new inhabitants to register with the town hall.
New census not necessary
The Ministry of Territorial Cohesion indicated in a press release that a census of owners was not necessary, because “it is already possible in the municipalities, in particular by consulting local tax records and existing census data, to know if new inhabitants have moved into the town. Region”.
The national statistical institute Insee already makes anonymized data available to municipalities, which allows them to analyze the local population and provide public services accordingly.
Municipalities also have access to data from organizations that offer child benefits as well as school management advice, which helps them understand how many children live and attend school in the area.
Constitutional right to personal liberty
In addition, it is a constitutional right in France not to have to provide such personal data to the authorities.
The advisory body of the Constitutional Council said that the creation of a census which obliges new owners to register with the town hall could only be done for a specific reason of significant importance, as it must balance the right to individual freedom in France.
He argues that the creation of a census of owners, such as the one requested by some local officials, is not justified.
Signing up can be a good idea in small towns
That being said, if you are buying a house and / or moving to a small village in France, it is not a bad idea to register with the town hall when you arrive.
There is no legal obligation to do so, but it can be a good way to introduce yourself to the local community. You will also be able to meet the mayor and his team – who can be a useful source of information, help and support in your new neighborhood.
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