This notion might be relevant for both the English or American individual buying an apartment and for the English or American invesment companies buying a whole building in order to sell apartments or offices.
All the joint-ownership buildings in France are duly subject to a law dated July 10, 1965. Consequences of joint-ownership are various. A joint owner benefits exclusively from his apartment, which is a private share. However, the main walls, the floor and the ceiling are the property of all the owners, jointly. Therefore, all the decisions regarding the commonly owned property must be taken by the owners during the joint-owners’ meetings. Even within his own apartment, an owner has to obtain authorization from the others to proceed with particular modifications.
Even a separate house may happen to be in joint-ownership with another one. This occurs when the piece of land is too small according to the urban regulations to be constructed on and requires the piece of land adjoining it to be constructed upon as well. The outcome of joint-ownership are multivarious and require on-going counsel from the Notaire.