If you’re planning on purchasing property on the continent with the help of your South of France surveyor, you are no doubt up to your eyes in tasks to complete and things to sort out.


Depending on whether you are planning a permanent move, you may need to sell your UK property. At home considerations aside, you’ll need to travel to view properties, sort out legal paperwork, familiarise yourself with French customs and the area in which you’ll be living. You may even want to learn the language – English is widely spoken in France, but the locals appreciate it if you at least make the effort to master the native tongue.


However, once you’ve found that dream South of France property, you may be wondering whether you need to have a survey completed ahead of making the purchase.


French Building Surveys

Unlike here in the UK, where having a building survey carried out is a legal requirement of a property purchase, there is no such obligation in France. This means that the decision to have one carried out is entirely up to the person making the purchase.


However, it is required that a Dossier de Diagnostic Technique (DDT) be carried out. This series of checks includesareas such as asbestos, lead-based paint, gas pipes and fittings, electrics (if over 15 years old), and more. If the property in question is not connected to mains drainage systems –if it has its own cesspit for example – then it must be established that satisfactory and sanitary disposal arrangements are in place.


The thing you may want to consider in all this is that none of these checks cover the actual structure of the building itself.


Should you have one carried out anyway?

Hopefully you don’t need us to tell you why – despite not being legally obligated to do so –it is a good idea to get the structure of the building you intend to purchase checked out by a professional.


However beautiful the property may appear from the outside, there may be underlying issues which you will need to have addressed post-completion. We would consider this even more important when considering the purchase of older buildings.


With a professional building survey in place, you can complete the purchase, confident that the property is in the best possible condition. If there are any issues with the property, you will know exactly what needs to be sorted out and how much it is likely to cost. You can then incorporate this information into your negotiation strategy ensuring you don’t pay over the odds for a property which will require more work once you’ve taken ownership of it.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully we’ve convinced you of the importance of getting solid and professional advice during the purchase of your new property. The next step is to employ the service of an expert South of France surveyor such as Charles Mackintosh, whose 30+ years of experience in the business makes him your go-to expert.


Please get in touch today for more information.