9. Statutory Surveys for a French Rental Property

As an owner of a property in France you will be aware of the statutory surveys for lead, termites, etc that are undertaken as part of the whole purchase process.

There are also obligatory surveys that landlords are required to undertake for the benefit of prospective tenants.

The Loi Elan 2018 removes the obligation for these surveys to be undertaken for seasonal, or holiday lettings.

The statutory survey reports should not be confused with the discretionary condition report that is prepared at the start of a new tenancy, which we consider later.

There are eight survey reports that may be required, depending on the type, location and age of the property:


9.1. Natural or Technological Risks

The first such survey that has been introduced is one relating to 'natural or industrial/technological risks' (Risques naturels ou technologiques) to which the property may be prone.

The survey is required in those communes where there is a risk prevention plan (un plan de prévention des risques naturels) in place, or which is in preparation, or in those areas classified as at risk of seismic movement.

At the moment this concerns about one third of communes in France but, ultimately, it is envisaged that the whole country will be covered by this requirement.

The report must stipulate, for instance, whether or not the property is located in a flood zone, an area prone to earthquakes, major storms, avalanches, subject to ground movement, near a dangerous factory, or in proximity to major lorry routes where dangerous materials are being transported.

The landlord must also state separately whether they have previously received compensation from their insurer on a claim resulting from a 'natural or technological disaster' on the property, e.g. claim for subsidence, flooding, or storm damage.

The reports cannot be dated more than six months prior to the signing of the letting contract.

Thankfully, the landlord is not expected to write the report on risks, although they are required to provide the information on insurance claims.

Basic responsibility for the risk report lies with the local préfecture (or sometimes the mairie). They will provide you with a completed standard form (Etat des risques), which you can then handover to the prospective tenant.

You would be best advised to ensure that both the landlord declaration and the risk report are attached to the letting contract.

Where the reports are required, but not provided, the tenant has the right to seek recourse in the courts for cancellation of the letting contract, or a reduction in the rent.

9.2. Energy Performance Survey

The energy performance survey is called the Diagnostic de Performance Energétique.

The report is required to give the future tenant some idea of the likely energy consumption and heating costs.

The report has only information value, so cannot be used by the tenant as a reason to withdraw from the contract.

The report will grade the level of energy efficiency using the European standard energy efficiency rating scale - A (economical) to G (high consumption) - in terms of the annual level of consumption of energy and greenhouse gas emissions.

To find someone competent to undertake the survey, try a local estate agent, notaire, the internet, or the telephone directory for diagnostic immobilier. Once it has been carried out, the report is valid for ten years.

You can also contact your local energy efficiency centre .

9.3. Lead Survey

There is a requirement to provide a report on the presence of lead paintwork in the property for all properties built before Jan 1949.

The report is called constat de risque d'exposition au plomb - CREP.

If lead paint is found to be present a landlord may be required by the prefecture to carry out remedial work, or risk facing criminal proceedings.

If the amount is minimal, then a further survey is obligatory after six years for subsequent lettings.

If no lead is found it is not necessary to undertake a further survey.

9.4. Surface Area

The landlord is required to state the habitable surface area of the property.

There is a definition in law of what constitutes the surface habitable, but you would be best advised to request this information is provided by the surveyor as part of the other surveys.

9.5. Asbestos

A report on the presence or otherwise of products or materials containing asbestos, called amiante.

This rule only applies to properties granted planning permission earlier than 1st July 1997.

The period of the validity of the report is not regulated.

The report is called une copie d'un état mentionnant l'absence ou, le cas échéant, la présence de matériaux ou produits de construction contenant de l'amiante

9.6. Electrical

This report is called un état de l'installation intérieure d'électricité.

The survey applies to all dwellings whose electrical was installed 15+ years

The duration of validity of the survey is six years, reduced to three years in the event of sale of the property.

The survey applies initially to all co-ownership properties granted planning consent before 1975 for new lettings commencing 1st July 2017.

For all other dwellings the implementation date was 1st January 2018 for all contracts signed from this date.

9.7. Gas

This report is called un état de l'installation intérieur de gaz.

The survey applies to all dwellings whose electrical or gas system was installed 15+ years

The duration of validity of the survey is six years, reduced to three years in the event of sale of the property.

The survey applies initially to all co-ownership properties granted planning consent before 1975 for new lettings commencing 1st July 2017.

For all other dwellings the implementation date was 1st January 2018 for all contracts signed from this date.

9.8. Radon

In those areas covered by a plan de prévention des risques or an area where, as defined by regulation, a potential radon risk is present, the buyer must be informed of the existence of the risk. This requirement has been in place since 1st July 2018.


Next: Condition Report

Back: Preparation of Tenancy Agreement








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