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: email@example.com