Diagnostic Reports

There are a few Diagnostic Reports which are required before selling a house in France, which is normally the responsibility of the seller  These surveys/reports inform the buyer of the general condition of the building.  These are not the structural surveys as undertaken in the UK,  however a non-French buyer may wish to have one done (typically at the buyer’s cost). This would be undertaken by an architect or other appropriately qualified person (Diagnostic Batmen).

The Diagnostic Immobilier

These Energy Performance Reports (DPE’s) are undertaken by a Diagnostic Immobiliser.  You may notice their shopfronts in towns, otherwise your estate agent or Notaire will be able to offer you a list of local qualified Diagnostic Immobilisers.

The recommended and required surveys are as follows:

Energy Performance (Diagnostic Performance Energétique, DPE)

  • Compulsory on property rentals and sales.
  • Gives information regarding the insulation and other factors which affect the heating bills and emissions of greenhouse gases. The report identifies the estimated consumption of energy of a building based on the usage of electricity (measured by kWh/m2) and the impact of this consumption (greenhouse gas emissions measured in Kg of CO2/m2). The report is valid for 10 years.
  • The energy rating must be displayed on all advertisements of properties.
  • Click here for more information in French

Electricity (Electricité)

  • Obligatory for the seller to provide the buyer with a statement on the safety aspects of the installation for installations over 15 years old.
  • Click here for more information in French

Gas (Gaz)

  • This report is compulsory for all properties with gas installation over 15 years old (état de l’installation intérieure de gaz)
  • This survey identifies safety issues with the gas system and specifies the severity of such issues.
  • The report is valid for three years.
  • Click here for more information in French

Asbestos (Amiante)

  • Compulsory for properties which had planning permission prior to 1 July 1997.
  • The report will list any products which contain or risk containing asbestos and will provide general advice regarding security measures and instruct on work needed to be carried out.
  • If there is no asbestos found, the reports validity is for “life”.  However, if asbestos is discovered, the report will be valid for 3 years only
  • Click here for more information in French

Lead (Plomb)

  • Compulsory for properties built prior to 1 January 1949.  A machine will be used to identify if lead is present in the paintwork.
  • This report is lifelong so long as nothing is identified, however will be valid for one year if positive.
  • Click here for more information in French

Termites/fungal and Insect (larvae) damage (Termites/Etat Parasitaire)

  • Only a few areas will require the termites section (Etat Parasitaire) where it will be obligatory.  However, for certain buildings, over 25 years old, this is recommend.
  • This report is only valid for 6 months
  • Click here for more information in French

Certificate of Surface Area (Loi Carrez)

  • This is only required if selling a flat within a share property (copropriété) and is permanent unless further work is carried out.

Drainage of Waste Water (Assainissement Non Collectif)

  • Obligatory when selling a home with privately-owned waste water treatment plants.
  • Identifies if the installation “conforms” to present regulations and functions correctly.
  • If the installation does not conform, the buyer has one year following the date of purchase to carry out any necessary work.
  • SPANC (Services Publics d’Assainissement Non Collective), the government organisation have the responsibility of examining all private foul water drainage installations. A property does not need to be on the market to be examined by SPANC and a fee will be charged.A house on the market may have been visited by SPANC.
  • Click here for more information in French.

Natural risks (Etat des Risques Naturels et Technologiques, ERNT)

  • Obligatory only if the notaire advises if a property is identified to be in an area which risks to be flooded, subject to land slips and other natural dangers. It is not a survey, it is purely to state and advise the buyer of the risks in the area.
  • Click here for more information in French



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