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French property surveys

Gorgeous mountain chalet

Property for sale in France must undergo a series of surveys known collectively as the Dossier de Diagnotic Technique (DDT) which comment on the condition & safety of the property before the sale.

This report is vital & can highlight issues that a buyer really would want to know about! So it’s important to ensure these checks have been carried out before committing to purchase. Some of these checks are dependent on the location and age of the property and so recently built properties will be exempt from many of these reports as they will already be up to the current standards required.

The DDT covers the following aspects-

  • energy efiiciency ratingThe energy efficiency of the property
    This is called the Diagnostic de Performance Energétique (DPE) and reports on the energy efficiency of the property to give the buyer an idea of the energy consumption. It must be produced for all properties before they are put on the market and property agents display them on their advertisements. It estimates the energy consumption of a property in kWh/m2 & the environmental impact based on CO2 emissions and is represented by a letter from A-G. These reports are valid for 10 years. By law all agents are supposed to display the DPE – but not all of them do!
  • Electrical wiring
    This report investigates the safety of the electrical wiring of properties over 15 years old and is valid for three years. A property is exempt from this if there is a certificat de conformité to show the property is in line with current standards and the certificate is under 3 years old.
  • Gas installation
    If the property is over 15 years old and has a gas supply a report must be carried out to ensure its safety, called an installations de gaz.
  • Natural or industrial risks
    The risques naturels ou technologiques is a report which covers the risk of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, avalanches, major storms, ground movement and whether the property is near a route taken by lorries carrying dangerous materials.
  • Effective waste drainage
    Since 2011 properties that have their own waste drainage system with a septic tank and are not linked to the main system must be inspected to check it conforms with the latest standards and functions properly. Services Publics d’Assainissement Non Collectif (SPANC) is a government organisation who has the responsibility of inspecting the systems of all properties when they visit the area.
  • The presence of dangerous materials like asbestos & lead
    Asbestos (amiante) surveys only need to be carried out on properties with planning permission granted prior to 1st July 1997. If asbestos is present in the property it’s location and condition will be specified in the report and it will need to be safely removed if any renovation work is to be carried out. If no asbestos is found the certificate is valid for life and for 6 years in rent property.
    The constat de risque d’exposition au plomb (CREP) reports whether the paintwork in a property contains levels of lead that could pose a risk to health. This needs to be carried out on properties built before 1949 and also applies to the communal areas of apartment blocks.
  • Certificate of surface area (Loi Carrez)
    This report is for apartments within residences or apartment blocks that include communal areas & measures the habitable area of the apartment.
  • Any pests that threaten the structure like termites or woodworm
    This survey is called the etat des risques parasitaires and only applies to certain areas of France. Alpine regions aren’t included as, due to their high altitude, they don’t provide an environment suited to these pests.

If you have any questions about these reports then please do get in touch, alternatively your notaire will also be able to offer advice and information.

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One Response to French property surveys

  1. Joanna says:

    This has been a really helpful article. Thanks!

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