The different property diagnostics in France

In France, when you sell a property you have the obligation to provide different surveys of your property, the French call these “Diagnostics”. Depending on the age of your house and where it is situated, different diagnostics are necessary. You will need to contact an independent “Expert Diagnostiqueur” to have these done. Feel free to contact our local agent to find out more.

For initially marketing your property you will need to have a DPE done on the property, the average cost is around 120-150 €, this test can be done separately to start with, then the others once the property subject to contract.

The different Diagnostics are as follows:

·  “Diagnostic de la Performance Énergétique” or DPE as most call it. Basically the “Energy Efficiency Test”. This is obligatory from day one of the marketing of your property, whether it is a new or old house and where ever you are in France. In order to have this, you will need to supply the expert with the equivalent of 3 years’ energy bills (oil, wood, electricity, etc.) The DPE is valid 10 years.

·  Electrical installation: If your property is over 15 years old, you will have to have the electrical installation controlled to see if it is up to spec. The validity of the one is 3 years

·  Gas Installation: If your property has gas central heating, a gas water boiler, even a gas cooker with any part of the connection tube which isn’t rubber or is fixed to a wall and the installation is more than 15 years old, then you will need this controlled too. Validity is 3 years

·  Plomb: The French also have a thing about lead paint, so if your property was originally built before 1949 then the expert will have to test the whole property for traces of lead paint. IF you have renovated a property and have full planning permission for this, then the property is considered as a new house, thus the lead is not necessary. Validity of 1 year if a “positive” result, unlimited otherwise.

·  Amiante: This test controls for the presence of Asbestos in/on the property. For any properties that date from before 1996. Only the presence in the liveable space is controlled, BUT the expert has the obligation to stipulate any other asbestos found in the roof or outbuildings. Validity is unlimited (depending on condition).

·  Termites:  Although classified as a Termite test, it is in fact for all wood boring insects. This is only obligatory in certain departments/counties of France, our local agent can inform you if it is necessary in your area. Validity of only 6 months

·  Merule: As with the termite test, this refers to damp rot, but the test includes all fungi infestations in the property. Whether you need this on your property depends on whether there have been cases declares around your property, although certain notary’s will ask for one if you own an old house. Validity 6 months

·  Loi Carrez: This is an official surface calculation, but only applies to properties that share a common area in the construction, ie a flat with a shared stair well. Validity 3 years

To find an expert in your region, here is a link to the government listing (in French); otherwise talk to your local Agence NEWTON agent.

The two following tests are NOT done by the “Expert Diagnostiquer”:

·  ERNT – This is a control done either by the agent or the notary at the time of the initial contract to verify if there have been any natural or technological disasters or risks in the area that might affect the property. The vary from floods and earthquakes to chemical factories and quarries and mines around the property.

·  CAA – Contrôle d’Assainissement Autonome: If your property is not connected to mains drainage, then normally you should have either a “Fosse Septic” or a “Fosse Toutes Eaux”, in any case, you will need to have it controlled by the local authorities. Normally speaking this should automatically be controlled every 4 years, BUT for a sale this need to be less than 3 years old for the time of the final signing.

If for sound of mind, you would like to have a UK style full survey of the property, this is possible. Please check our links page for more info. The UK style survey carry no legal value in France, and thus has to be agreed by the vendor.


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