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French Home Information Packs for Property Sales

Friday 01 December 2006

Despite the apparent coyness of the British government about introducing house information packs for buyers, the French are going full skelter in the reform process. The new packs are called ‘Dossier de Diagnostic Technique Immobilier’, and bring together three reports that have been around for a number of years, as well as introducing four additional survey reports.

However, the new requirements fall short of a full building survey and all are not yet in operation.

Those who have purchased in the past will have been aware of the survey reports required for lead, asbestos, or termites in the property.

In addition to these reports, in future, sellers will be required to provide reports on energy efficiency, structural risks, gas appliances, electrical wiring, and the condition of septic tanks!

Compulsory reports for gas and electrics will not be operational until next year and those for septic tanks not until 2009.

These new survey requirements impose a big burden on sellers, not least a financial one, as the cost is unlikely to be less than €750, and possibly a good deal more.

Neither do landlords escape entirely from the process, as reports on structural risks, lead and energy performance will also be compulsory for them. Indeed, the rule on a report on structural risks, applies to seasonal lettings, as well as for those properties let on an annual basis.

The pace with which the government is proceeding to introduce the surveys is causing concern amongst many property and legal professionals, as there is shortage of qualified technicians to undertake all the surveys.

As a result, many sellers are finding that they are having to call upon the services of more than one professional, thereby adding to costs.

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