Obligatory Surveys for all French Property Lettings

If you are planning to let your French home this summer, then you are now obliged to have specialist surveys undertaken. These same surveys are also required if you let your French home on a long-term basis, and the survey requirements are going to get tougher. One survey is required to inform the prospective occupants if the property is located in a risk zone, and the other to inform them of the energy performance of the property. If you fail to respect the risk survey then the occupants are entitled to claim a reduction in the rental, although the energy survey is of informative value only. Whilst the risk survey is presently only required in those areas of the country classified as a ‘risk zone’, it is anticipated that, in due course, it will be extended to the whole of the country. The risk 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. A landlord may not even know they own a property in one of these zones, so would need to make enquiries of their local préfecture. 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, such as a claim for subsidence, flooding, or storm damage. Unfortunately, the validity of the risk report is time limited for six months, so you are obliged to prepare a new survey report at least twice a year if you let throughout the year to different tenants. The energy performance report is valid for ten years. You can read more about these surveys, and how to have them carried out, in our Guide to Letting Property in France.

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