Despite the reticence of the UK Government on home information packs, the process continues full-tilt in France. With effect from 1 Nov, all sellers are now required to have a survey of a gas services installation carried out, where the property is over 15 years old. This survey is added to the six existing surveys already in place, with a further two surveys planned over the next few years. Depending on the type, age, and location of the property, pre-sale surveys must now take place for size of property, asbestos, lead, termites, natural risks, energy performance, and now gas. In the future, there will also be surveys needed for electrical wiring and septic tanks. Landlords are also required to have certain surveys undertaken, including those letting holiday properties.
A whole new breed of specialist survey technicians is now being created to undertake these surveys. Most companies now offer a one-stop-shop service for the surveys, which are carried out by a technician in a single visit. Prices vary, but figures of around €750 for all surveys is not unusual. Most of the surveys remain valid for a year or more, with the exception of the termite survey, which is valid for only six months. Accordingly, many sellers wait until they have found a buyer for the property before they arrange for the surveys to be carried out. As the sale contract cannot be signed until they are available, this does sometimes delay the legal formalities. Whilst the surveys are clearly going to be of use to potential buyers, do not rely too much on them. They are not a substitute for a full building condition survey, provided you feel you need one! You can read more in our Guide to French Building Surveys.