British buyers seeking their dream home in France can expect a heady mixture of excitement and trepidation as they begin their search for the perfect French property.


On the one hand there’s the thrill of peeling through listings and letting your imagination run wild as you envisage sunny evenings sipping fine wines in the garden just a stone’s throw away from the beach. On the other, there’s the stress and the worry over the condition of the properties you’re interested in – and who you might turn to in this foreign land to help you make the right purchase decision.


The solution is to commission a reputed and fully qualified English-speaking building surveyor who knows the market inside and out and can advise you on your journey.


In this blog post, we’ll be taking a look at what you need to consider when hiring building surveyors in France to make sure you put yourself in good hands.


No matter the reason, you’re probably wondering whether now is a good time to buy real estate in the South of France – and that’s why we’ve put together this blog post. 

Do Building Surveyors Exist in France?

You may have heard that the building surveyor profession doesn’t exist in France. This is, in part, true.


Full structural surveys are not compulsory in France. As such, very few French property buyers organise a full building survey to be conducted before committing to a purchase – hence why the profession doesn’t really exist in France in the same way as it does in the UK.


While it’s true that sellers are required by law to commission what is known as the Dossier de Diagnostic Technique (DDT), these reports are far from thorough, covering only things like asbestos, termites, and industrial and natural risks.


This is why it’s important to seek out a professional, English-speaking building surveyor who operates in France specifically to help overseas buyers navigate the market and appraise buildings before purchase.  


It is always in your best interest to have a property you wish buy surveyed before ploughing your hopes, dreams, and life savings into it. The truth is that although a house may look idyllic and in great condition on a website – and even up close to the untrained eye – all too often there are some serious problems beneath the paint and plaster work that only a building survey will uncover.


Read more: What Property Survey Should I Have Done in the South of France?  


How to Find a Good Chartered Building Surveyor in France

When beginning your search for trusted chartered building surveyors in France, you need to be equipped with a list of questions to ask them, so you know they cut the mustard.


Here’s what we recommend:

  • Will you provide a full, unbiased, and easily understandable report written in plain English?
  • Will the report include potential costs of renovations should the building require them?
  • Are you RICS Chartered?
  • Do you have experience with French estate agents so you can provide inside knowledge and guidance on my purchase decision?
  • Do you have knowledge about property construction, planning laws, and French building techniques in France?
  • Are your processes thorough? How many hours will you spend inspecting the property?
  • Are you an independent building surveyor – i.e., not tied to any estate agency?

If your building surveyor can tick all these boxes, you’re onto a winner.

Charles Mackintosh – RICS Chartered Building Surveyor, South of France

If you’re actively looking for a RICS chartered building surveyor in the South of France, then look no further – you’ve already found one.


Charles Mackintosh has over 30 years’ experience living and operating in the South of France and provides highly regarded English language property surveys and advice for overseas buyers. Get in touch today.