When selling a property in France it is a requirement to have a variety of compulsory and advisory diagnostics reports available to the buyer (acheteur) – paid for by the seller of the property (vendeur). One of these reports focuses on electrical safety inspection called: ‘État de l’installation intérieure d’électricité’. If your home is over 15 years old – an electrical report will be mandatory.
All diagnostics/reports are carried out by independent survey technicians with appropriate certificates of competence. The technician will carry out a visual inspection as to the safety of your electrical installation, for which there are 6 key points as follows:
1. Presence of a main RCD/Isolator. There MUST be a main switch, which can turn off the complete electrical installation
2. Main RCDs designed for earth protection.
3. MCBs designed to protect the cables that supply power to the individual circuits which are correctly designated for the load of the circuit.
4. Bonding, earths which are bonded to pipe work in bathrooms and showers where presence of water increases the chance of electric shock.
5. Highlight equipment that is out of date and unsuitable for use or risk of direct contact [exposed cables]
6. Mechanical protection; missing joint box lids, trunking covers and worn cables.
The electrical report remains valid for three years and must be included with the sale of agreement or the deed of sale.
From a seller’s point of view it may be worth considering remedial action before committing to the report/sale process. A diagnostic technician undertaking a review for a property sale report will only be carrying out a visual inspection, they cannot see any hidden error or faults. This could be a good time to consult with a competent and qualified electrician to assess the state of your electrics.
Once the diagnostic review is completed, if there are any issues identified or recommendations for action – it may be worth your while to get them remedied so that those issues don’t become a buyer’s tool for negotiating the price of your house the wrong way.
By Paul Wilkins, Electricien Anglais En France