Diagnostic reports and surveys

Charente Immobilier French diagnostic report information

Since 2007 the French conveyancing system has grouped the various obligatory reports into the dossier de diagnostic technique immobilier (DDT) which must be supplied to a purchaser so that they are given a general impression of the state of the property being bought. This collection of reports comprises:

The “Diagnostic de performance énergétique” or DPE
In the UK this is called the “Energy Performance certificate” (EPC). The report rates the property in terms of its energy efficiency and environmental impact in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

The “constat de risque d’exposition au plomb” (the “lead paint report”)
Required for all properties built before 01/01/1949 and will highlight any areas of the property which contain lead paint (or varnish).

The “état d’amiante”
Required for all properties built before 01/07/1997 and will identify areas of the property which contain materials likely to contain asbestos.

The “état parasitaire relatif aux termites” (the termite report)
Only required if the property is located in an area that has been declared to be affected by termites.

The “état de l’installation intérieure de gaz” (the gas installation report)
Required if the property has a gas installation (mains or bottle) that dates back more than 15 years.

The “état de l’installation intérieure d’éléctricité” (the electrical installation report)
Required if the property has an electrical installation that dates back more than 15 years.

The “état de l’installation intérieure de gaz” (the gas installation report)
Required if the property has a gas installation that dates back more than 15 years.

The “état des risques naturels, miniers et technologiques” (the “risk” report)
Will indicate whether the property is at risk from natural or technological risks (flooding, earthquake, dangerous factories etc.)

All of these reports are provided by the vendor prior to signing the compromis de vente (the first sales agreement). Purchasers should note that they are provided for information purposes only and do not place a requirement on either the vendor or purchasers to undertake any remedial work (with very limited exceptions). Whilst Charente Immobilier encourages vendors to have these reports undertaken at an early stage, many wait until negotiations are underway before they commission the reports.

However, the DDT in no way replaces the structural survey that is commonplace in the UK but rare in France. The equivalent of a British surveyor is hard to find although there are a number of UK qualified surveyors practicing in France to specifically meet the needs of UK buyers. We can, of course, put you in touch with one should you wish to have a full survey.

A word about drainage

Whilst mains drainage is common in most towns, it is usual for village houses to have their own drainage system – the fosse septique or fosse toutes eaux. Prior to completion the drainage system will be inspected and the outcome will show whether the system complies or not. Again, whilst Charente Immobilier encourages vendors to have this report undertaken at an early stage, many wait until negotiations are underway before they commission the reports. Should the inspection of the drainage system reveal that it does not conform, the purchaser of the property is obliged to undertake the necessary works to make it comply with existing standards within 12 months of purchasing the property – this could require the installation of a whole new system.