Since the 1st of November last year, it has been mandatory when selling a residence to assess the state of any domestic gas installation that is over fifteen years old. This survey checks the level of carbon monoxide, the state of the fixed pipes, the ventilation, and the evacuation of burnt gas, etc. However, shared pipes are not involved! Since that same date, and to streamline the whole survey process required for a sale, all surveys must be grouped into a single “technical survey file” and made available immediately there is a sales agreement, apart from the Energy Performance Survey (DPE in French), which may be required by the buyer once the property is put on the market.
This file must contain an Asbestos Survey if the building license for the property dates from before the 1st of July 1997.This applies to apartments in co-ownership buildings as well as to houses, and covers all types of building materials. The survey must be carried out by a technical inspector authorized by the Ministry of Health, or a building engineer who has taken out professional liability insurance for this task. The survey does not involve any intrusive work that could damage the residence, and involves either visual identification or taking a sample from the fittings or material suspected of containing asbestos and making a laboratory analysis. Note that any work needed when removing such materials is at the seller’s expense.
… and a new survey in the pipeline
Since the 1st of July 2006, this technical survey must be made available by the seller to any potential purchaser as part of the sales agreement or, failing that, for the deed of sale. In the case of rentals, a number of reports have to be appended to new rental contracts, including an Energy Performance Survey (since July 2007), a report on lead hazard (as from August 2008), and on the risk of natural hazards.
REPORTS OF TECHNICAL SURVEYS
SEARCH FOR LEAD
Anyone selling a property built before 1948 and located in a high risk zone as defined by the Préfet (the government’s local representative) must provide a report on accessibility to lead in the property’s private areas (article L. 1334-5 and L. 1334-6 of the Building and Housing Code).
NATURAL GAS INSTALLATION SURVEY
Since 1st November, it is mandatory to carry out a survey of the state of any indoor gas installations less than one year old, prior to the sale of a property (L. 134-6 of the same Code).
HAZARDS AND TECHNOLOGY RISKS
A report on the existence of natural, seismic and technology hazards is required for the sale of any property located in particularly susceptible areas as drawn up by the Préfet in each department (L. 125-5 of the Environment Code).
This survey is purely informative, and aims to provide the quantity of actually consumed or estimated energy for typical use in the building (L 134-1 of the Building and Housing Code).
The pre-sale asbestos survey of the property’s private areas is to be appended to the sales agreement for any property whose building permit was issued before 1st July 1997 (Article L. 1334- 13 of the same Code).
The Act of June 8, 1999 requires every owner or occupier of a property either built or not yet built to declare to the local authorities the presence of termites immediately this becomes apparent (L. 133-6 of the same Code).
If when signing the deed of sale, any of the survey reports under approval in 1, 2, 3 or 4 is missing, the seller may not be exempted from the guarantee against any corresponding latent defect. If when signing the deed of sale, document 5 is missing, the purchaser may either continue with the contract or ask the judge to lower the price.