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Guide to French Property Diagnostics Report


When it comes to the property market in France, as you’d expect, there’s paperwork and form filling and reports to be prepared.

The vendor of a property in France must provide a full set of property “diagnostics” as part of the terms of sale. Even to market a property, the vendor will have to provide at least the “DPE” (Diagnostic Performance Energétique) or energy survey. In France it is illegal to market a home without this and the penalties are high. If you have an estate agent, they can and should help with this requirement.

What’s required for a French property Diagnostics Report?

Asbestos (Amiante): Compulsory for all houses which had planning permission prior to 1 July 1997. The report is valid indefinitely if it only dates back to 2002.

Lead (Plomb): Compulsory for houses built prior to 1 January 1949. The report is valid for 1 year if there are positive lead readings at the property but unlimited if the readings are negative.

Termites/fungal and Insect (larvae) related damage (Termites/Etat Parasitaire): The section on termites is only obligatory in a few restricted areas.

Certificate of Surface Area (Loi Carrez): Required for shared properties, eg flat, apartment block.

Gas (Gaz): The Gas Diagnostic Certificate (état de l’installation intérieure de gaz). Compulsory for gas installations which are over 15 years old.

Private Waste Water Drainage (Assainissement Non Collectif): This includes septic tank drainage.

Electricity (Electricité): This applies to installations over 15 years old.

Natural risks (Etat des Risques Naturels Miniers et Technologiques, ERNMT): A report on whether or not the property is situated in a zone subject to Natural or Industrial Risk and if it’s covered by a government prevention plan for industrial or natural risk. Valid for 6 months.

Pool Security. Since 2006, if there is an in-ground swimming pool (1 metre at least), then the vendor is obliged to supply evidence of compliance with current security measures installed under the recommendations of the EU.

Further Information: The French Government has more information on the laws regulating a dossier de diagnostic technique (in French).

By Tim Sage, property expert (January 2016). Tim can be contacted at: tsage@leggett.fr 

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