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What should I know about property inspection in France?
Property purchase in France requires the seller to provide to the buyer the results of 6 required diagnostic examinations of the property:
- loi carrez – precisely defined measurement of the surface area of the property
- presence of lead
- presence of asbestos
- presence of termites
- condition of the electricity installation
- condition of the natural gas installation
- assessment of the quality of insulation, gas emissions, etc. (graded on an energy index)
- presence of any natural/environmental risks (for example, flood zone)
These tests are performed by companies that certify their results; if they prove to be incorrect, you will have recourse for compensation.
However, they are informational: the seller has no obligation to correct any problems that are revealed. It is thus important that you read and understand the tests, so that you can make an informed decision whether to purchase.
You can also choose, at your own cost, to have the property you intend to buy surveyed. However, additional surveys are ordinarily not performed and, particularly in Paris, ultimately prove to be of limited use. A survey may be advisable for properties purchased outside of Paris or other metropolitan areas, particularly of independent houses, as their condition may be less certain.
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