What is a cadastral plan? What is it used for ? Where to ask?


The cadastral plan is one of the documents that appear in what is called the cadastre. The cadastre makes it possible to identify the plots, their boundaries and their possible constructions in the form of a plan, as well as data relating to the land, useful above all in terms of taxation. However, understanding the usefulness of the cadastral plan and its weight in the event of a problem is sometimes complex. Let’s take stock of its characteristics, its uses and see its accessibility together.

What is a cadastral plan?

The cadastre lists the plots and their boundaries. Created in 1807 by Napoleon Bonaparte, the primary objective of the cadastre was to allow a more equitable distribution of property tax. The cadastre actually includes three types of documents.

  • The cadastral plan of a plot or a more global geographic area is accessible on the internet, in town hall or by going to the tax office. It is neither more nor less than a drawn plan which represents the boundaries of the plots and which indicates their number.
  • Cadastral registers, or section statements, make it possible to know the identity of the current and previous owners of a parcel, its surface area, its rental value as well as other tax information. This document provides the address of the plot and the changes undergone over time (transfers, etc.).
  • The cadastral matrix is on the other hand the only document which remains private, only accessible by the owner of the parcel. This matrix lists the assets of each owner in the municipality.

What is a cadastral plan for?

The primary function of the cadastre is to allow the calculation of local taxes, that is to say the housing tax, property tax and professional tax (CFE, etc.). However, the cadastre also has the advantage of allowing historians and archaeologists to reconstruct the history of a city and its evolution over time as part of its modernization or, on the contrary, its abandonment.

More concretely, the cadastre is useful for the owner of a plot who intends to carry out work while respecting the limits of his land, if these are unclear. It is also a way for a future buyer of real estate or land to know the boundaries of the plot considered. Moreover, in this context, the cadastral plan is generally provided by real estate agencies to locate the property in its environment and delimit its outlines. This is a good way to properly identify the plot, any existing constructions on its ground and the section conditions.

Be careful, however, because you should know that if the cadastral plan is important, it has no legal value. In the event of a dispute, particularly with your neighborhood, it is not the cadastre that will prevail, but the measurements taken by the surveyor in charge of demarcating the land.

In which situations is it recommended to consult the cadastre?

Consulting the cadastre is possible for any individual or any real estate professional. If the cadastral map is accessible at any time and for those who wish it online or freely in the above-mentioned administrative services, it is sometimes advisable to consult it.

  • Before a real estate purchase : of a general nature, real estate agencies provide an extract from the cadastral plan to clients potentially interested in purchasing real estate or a plot. However, this does not prevent you from taking the initiative by consulting these documents before contacting an agency if you have spotted properties for sale that may interest you. In addition, it is a good way to know the boundaries of a plot when selling between individuals. You can thus visualize the limits of the property, its possible existing constructions and the names of its owners.
  • Before starting work : the cadastral plan makes it possible to better visualize the boundaries of a parcel and its existing constructions before undertaking any work. If this plan is less precise and less detailed than an architect’s master plan, it is a good basis for planning and preparing your application for a building permit.
  • To verify tax information : an inconsistency is always possible in your tax notice. You have the possibility to consult the cadastral plan of your parcel to verify the information and make a complaint if necessary.

Where can I request a cadastral plan?

The cadastral plan and the cadastre are accessible via several points:

  • Online : the cadastre.gouv.fr website allows you to consult cadastral maps freely and to print them free of charge. However, obtaining more complete documents is not free.
  • In town hall : you can go there or send your request by mail.
  • At the tax center : you can go there or send your request by mail.
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