Compulsory diagnostic tests: Diagnostique de Performance Energétique (DPE) and Dossier Diagnostic Technique (DDT)
Compulsory Diagnostics – Prior to the marketing of your French property, it is compulsory to have a Diagnostique de Performance Energétique (DPE) undertaken by an approved expert.
Estate agents are obliged to display the results of this test within your property listing. Carte Blanche Immobilier will not be able to put your property listing live until we have the results of this test. The DPE test provides information on energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, levels of insulation and other factors which may affect heating bills.
Alongside the DPE there is a second set of tests which must be carried out by an approved expert. This is called the Dossier Diagnostic Technique (DDT), and again it is the vendor’s responsibility to have these carried out. These tests are specific to the French property market.
We encourage vendors to have these tests undertaken as soon as possible and to pass the results to your Carte Blanche Immobilier agent. If the tests highlight any anomalies, it is much easier for your agent to explain this to a client when they are first interested in your property. It can be unsettling for a client (and a sale) if these tests uncover an anomaly after an offer has been made.
These Dossier Diagnostic Technique tests for:
- Lead and Asbestos: Paint is tested for lead content on all properties built before 1949; and all properties built before 1997 are tested for asbestos.
- Gas (fixed only) and Electricity: If gas or electricity was installed or renewed in the property more than 15 years prior to the property being sold, both of these installations are checked.
- Natural risk and parasites: All properties are evaluated for natural risks (for example flooding) and also to ascertain if there are any risks posed by industry in the area. Properties in areas affected by parasites which can damage buildings, are tested to see if these parasites are present.
- Surface area: Flats and apartments, or properties which are part of a shared building, are measured to confirm exactly what surface area is included in the sale.
- Swimming pool security: If the property has a swimming pool (which is embedded in the ground by more than one meter) the security features will be tested.
- Smoke alarms: From March 2015 all properties are required to have a smoke alarm.
- Sewerage: Many rural properties in France are not on mains drains and have a ‘fosse septique’ (septic tank.) If this is the case, your system will be subject to a test to ascertain whether this septic tank conforms to current norms – many don’t.
Where properties are connected to mains drains a certificate confirming this will be requested from the local Mairie.
Most of these tests are for purchasers information only.
If the swimming pool is lacking security features, this will need to be rectified by the vendor prior to the sale of the property
If there are problems uncovered by the termite test, these will need to be addressed by either the vendor or the purchaser (to be negotiated)
If the septic tank does not conform, this will need to be addressed by the purchaser
Should the test on the fosse septique highlight that the system does not conform, the purchaser of the property is obliged to have it brought up to a conforming level within a year of purchasing the property. This can involve having a new system installed and therefore may have a cost implication to potential purchasers. This will cause a problem if this test is done after an offer has been negotiated on the sale of your property.
Unlike some countries, including the UK, France does not include a structural survey in these tests. It is possible for a purchaser to have a structural survey done, but the vendor is under no obligation to carry this out.