The vendor of residential property in France is now required to provide diagnostic surveys on various aspects of the building being sold. Below is a brief summary of the diagnostic reports that the vendor is required to provide to the purchaser:

Energy Performance

The sale of residential flats and villas requires a survey of the energy consumption with recommendations on how this consumption can be reduced. The findings of this diagnostic survey must be attached to any sales particulars.

Both listed buildings and agricultural buildings are exempt. The Diagnostic de Performance Energétique (DPE) is valid for 10 years.


A lead diagnostic survey is required for any property built before 1949. A negative report is valid for 30 years, a positive report for only 1 year.


Any property built prior to July 1997 is required to have a diagnostic report for the presence of asbestos or any material containing asbestos. The validity of the survey depends on the diagnostic results and can range from 3 to 30 years.


Any property in an area declared by The Prefecture to be within a zone affected by termites must have a diagnostic report prepared on the presence of wood boring parasites within the property. The report is valid for 6 months.

There is no legal requirement for a report on dry rot and other wood rot, although the non-declaration by the vendor could be declared a vice caché (hidden defect) that should have been declared at the time of purchase.


All properties with Natural Gas installed for over 15 years are required to have an assessment for the absence of danger. This is valid for 3 years.


Any property where the electrical installation is over 15 years old is required to have an assessment of the electrical installation. This is valid for 3 years.

Remember that regulations are upgraded year to year so it is not uncommon for even a relatively modern installation to not fully comply with current standards. Any dangerous defect will be pointed out.

Private Drainage

Any property not connected to the public drainage system must provide a report on the condition of the drainage system and confirmation that the installation conforms to current regulations. The report must be dated within the 3 years preceding the date of sale of the property.

The diagnostic report will advise whether or not the installation complies with current regulations and will identify any work required to ensure that the installation complies with these regulations. The purchaser has one year from the date of purchase to complete the recommended works, which are compulsory.

Natural and Technological Risks Survey

The vendor of any property within a seismic zone or zone covered by the plan to prevent natural or technological risks must provide a report informing the purchaser on the property condition with regards to natural and technological risks. This report is valid for 6 months.

La Loi Carrez

This only concerns apartments and other properties in co-ownership. These properties are required to have their floor areas certified. Any area where the height is less than 1.8 metres will be excluded from the living area.

Balconies, terraces, cellars and garages must also be excluded. The certificate is valid as long as there is no evidence of the property being modified.

If you would like more information on diagnostic surveys or need advice from a professional surveyor, contact Charles Mackintosh today.