LexInter | March 14, 2008 | 0 Comments


 The distance requirements only apply for contiguous properties ( Civil Cass 3, October 3, 2000 )

These requirements apply in a subdivision (unless otherwise specified in the subdivision regulations).

These rules do not apply between neighbors in a horizontal condominium. The land on which the buildings are built do not constitute separate funds, but a unit common to all (Cass. Civ. 3rd Ch. Of 2.12.80).


  • Minimum distance for straight views

The right view is the one where the axis of the opening makes it possible to reach the neighboring fund.

The section 678 of the Civil Code provides for a minimum distance of 1.90 m to be maintained between the front where the opening is formed and the boundary of the neighboring property.

    • in the case of a party wall between the two properties :

The minimum distance is calculated by taking into account half the width of this wall.


    • in the case of a window or a terrace :

The measurement should be taken from the exterior facing of the wall where the opening was created.

·         in the case of a porch or balcony:
The measurement must be made from their outside line to the dividing line between the two properties (art. 690 of the Civil Code).

  • Minimum distance for oblique views

They allow you to see the neighboring property but with more difficulty. The axis of the view does not reach the neighboring fund, the oblique view does not allow the view except in an inconvenient manner ( Civil Cass 3 November 21, 2000 )

The section 679 of the Civil Code provides a distance of 0.60 m.

The measurement should be taken from the corner of the window or from the edge of the balcony or terrace closest to the dividing line between the two properties.

When the space that separates the two condominiums is a common space: courtyard, road or a public road, the legal distance of 1.90 m is measured not from the middle of the space but from the limit between the neighboring property and this common space (Cass Civ April 12, 1972)

  • The exceptions
    •  roof window

Roof openings not involving a view of the neighbor’s property may be opened


    • Balcony or terrace overlooking a blind gable wall of the neighboring property or a closed roof (Cass Civ 3 July 1969).
    • Opening practiced in a non-dividing wall
      Article 676 of the civil code provides that: “the owner of a non-dividing wall immediately joining the inheritance of another can practice in the wall openings or windows with mesh and dormant glass” . In this case no minimum distance is imposed.
    • Straight or oblique view overlooking the public domain: gardens, streets, squares …
      The viewing distances imposed only concern private property.

Legal actions

The appeal must be exercised within the period of acquisitive prescription, ie 30 years.

The action is an action to suppress the opening




Vision and abnormal neighborhood disturbance

A recent decision of the Court of Cassation ( Cass.civ. 3 °, February 7, 2007 ) confirms that a bird’s-eye view can constitute an abnormal neighborhood disturbance. The Court of Cassation considered that it was within the sovereign discretion of the Court of Appeal to deduct an abnormal neighborhood disturbance of a construction floor less than four meters from applicant  p riveting enjoy fully of its right of ownership since it was constantly exposed to the eyes of the neighbors who erected this construction and who invoked in vain in such a case their respect for the provisions of article 678 of the civil code. The Court of Cassation



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