Update for Irish owners of French leaseback properties


Leaseback properties became popular in France in the 1970s. This type of tourist accommodation was developed through tax incentives. A leaseback property can be a house, apartment or hotel suite and is usually located in or close to a holiday resort.

In 2017, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) received submissions from Irish property owners who purchased such a leaseback property in France. Complainants were concerned they may have been mis-sold their properties.

The role of the CCPC is to enforce competition and consumer protection law in Ireland. The CCPC does not have an ombudsman function and therefore cannot intervene in individual complaints, on behalf of individual complainants.

However, as a member of the European Consumer Protection Co-operation Network, which is composed of the EU consumer protection authorities, the CCPC was in a position to ask the French authority, Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes (DGCCRF), to investigate the issues raised by Irish property owners on their purchase of leaseback properties in France.

CCPC activity

The CCPC provided a preliminary assessment of over 150 complaints to the DGCCRF.  Furthermore, to assist the French authorities to undertake their investigation, the CCPC also supplied the DGCCRF with documentation from the complainants.

In December 2019, the DGCCRF advised the CCPC and the complainants that it would conduct a criminal investigation into the various issues raised. The CCPC supported the DGCCRF investigation by:

  • Providing assistance or supplying information when requested by the DGCCRF
  • Updating the DGCCRF on issues raised by Irish property owners
  • Forwarding additional documentation to DGCCRF at the request of complainants
  • Providing updates to complainants as authorised by DGCCRF

DGCCRF update

The DGCCRF has informed the CCPC that they have completed their criminal investigation into the matters raised by Irish property owners. Their update is as follows:

  • Cases in relation to certain resorts (identified below) may now be progressed further through the French criminal justice system. For property owners in those resorts, it is important that they now take further steps if they wish to access reports sent to the French prosecutors or lodge complaints with the relevant courts in order to be potentially eligible for compensation at a future point.

The information provided by the DGCCRF on this part of their investigation is provided below.

  • For other Irish owners of a French leaseback property, outside of the three resorts / residencies named above, their complaints are not being progressed any further within the French legal system.

The information provided by the DGCCRF on this part of their investigation is provided below.

Next steps

Irish owners of leaseback properties in France should bring the information on this page to the attention of their independent legal adviser.  As the circumstances of individual property owners are unique, independent legal advice on this update should be sought.

As the French courts are now dealing with these matters, the work of the DGCCRF and the CCPC has come to an end. The CCPC thanks the DGCCRF for the considerable work, effort and resources they have put towards investigating this matter for Irish property owners.

Last updated on 9 December 2022