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Real estate diagnostics

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    Real estate diagnostics are mandatory and depend on the geographical location of the property, the type of property, its year of construction and the materials used. They have only an information role of the purchaser, and the seller is not required to carry out any reclamation work.

    All of these diagnoses are called the Technical Diagnostics File or DDT.

    The diagnosis of energy performance or EPD

    This is the only mandatory diagnosis in all cases, It applies to all types of property, regardless of their seniority, type, geographical location, individual or condominium housing, whether it is for sale or rental (housing with a period of occupancy is at least 4 months per year), it is used to assess the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of the property , it is part of France’s energy policy, of which it is a key element.  Construction standards are becoming more stringent, and owners of older homes are in a strong incentive to carry out renovations, with the goal is to halve our CO2 emissions by 2050.

    The DPE is thus used by purchasers to compare dwellings on the energy consumption criterion.

    It must be established at the time of the sale of the property because it must be visible on all advertisements (energy scale from A to G), paper or internet press, agency window…

    The DPE must be carried out by a diagnostic person certified by one of the accredited organizations COFRAC: Afnor, Veritas, Dekra…. certification must be attached to the diagnosis, and the diagnosticor must justify valid professional liability insurance.  en cours de validité.

    Its mission is to identify the energy characteristics of housing, hot water production equipment, heat, air conditioning… as well as insulation materials for walls and floors…, in a specific geographical environment.

    Based on this data, an estimate of the amount of energy consumed per year and the corresponding expenditure will be established, based on standard operating conditions. This estimate does not necessarily reflect the actual consumption of occupants, which may fluctuate, and in addition to the estimate method, some EPDs may take into account the actual consumption of the dwelling in the last three years as long as the owner provides the corresponding statements.

    The results are presented in the form of two labels:

    Theenergy label:  Annual energy consumption of housing in Kwh/m2. It can range from  A  (low consumption, less than 51 Kwh/m2) to  G  (heavy consumption, more than 450 Kwh/m2).

    The climate label: it details the impact of this consumption on greenhouse gas emissions, calculated in carbon/m2 equivalent kilos. It ranges from  A  (less than 6 kg carbon equivalent/m2) to  G  (over 80 kg carbon equivalent/m2).

    In addition to energy labels, the report includes recommendations to reduce housing consumption: work on insulation of attics and walls, replacement of windows, renewable energy heat generation devices, and many others…

    The DPE does not entail work obligations but encourages it by informing the owner of the benefits he can derive from a renovation with specific indicators. It includes the investment to be expected, the savings that can be achieved, the duration of the return on investment and the tax credit.

    Its validity is 10 years but it is advisable to have one in your name and not that of the former owner (for CPR insurance issues that only covers the sponsor).

    The cost of setting up the DPE varies according to several criteria, and is in the range of 100 to 200 euros. But diagnostics offer flat rates based on the number of diagnoses you need and the type of property.

    For homeowners who need to carry out an EPD, several financial aids  are possible: the ANAH (National Agency for the Improvement of Housing) offers subsidies, subject to resource conditions. Some local authorities also have support mechanisms to encourage energy transition.

    Mandatory diagnostics by year of construction of property or installation

    Asbestos diagnosis

    This diagnosis is mandatory if the building permit for the property predates July 1, 1997.

    It is used to detect the presence of asbestos in the building. If a positive result is positive, the diagnosticor may recommend work.

    Its validity is unlimited if the result is negative.

    Lead diagnosis

    The CREP (Lead Exposure Risk Finding) refers to older buildings dating back to the time where some murals may have contained lead. It concerns all property whose building permit dates back to before January 1, 1949.

    It consists of measuring the lead concentration of the home’s coatings in order to eliminate situations of risk of exposure to lead poisoning.

    It is valid for 1 year in terms of sales and 6 years in terms of rental.

    Its validity is unlimited if it is negative.

    Gas diagnosis

    It is mandatory in case of sale as well as rental, when the gas installation is more than 15 years old and it is used to evaluate the proper functioning of the indoor gas facility. It helps to anticipate the risks of leakage or poisoning, it prevents the dangers associated with explosions, fires, gas leaks,carbon monoxide poisoning, but also anoxia or projections.

    According to a GRDF study, 98% of domestic gas-related accidents  are caused by dilapidated facilities, lack of maintenance or risky behaviour. Today, in France, 11 million households are connected to the grid. Gas diagnostics empower owners and circulate information to future buyers.

    Be careful, we should not confuse the gas diagnosis with the mandatory inspection of appliances (boiler, water heater, etc.). It does not cover the entire facility and cannot be used as a diagnosis in the event of a real estate sale or rental.

    The valid gas diagnosis  must be presented to the purchaser at the time of signing the compromise or promise of sale, and it is, like all other diagnoses, the responsibility of the  owner.

    The diagnosticor must be certified by a COFRAC-approved body,the professional certification body. He must be properly trained, and his certificate number must appear on the report. He must also have taken out compulsory insurance, first and foremostprofessional liability insurance.

     He inspects the complete installation and ventilation of the parts, and prepares a report on the condition of the indoor gas system, which lists anomalies, where available, according to their degree of severity.

    There are three degrees of gravity:

    • A1: this is a slight risk,without any obligation towork. The diagnosticor will present his recommendations for use, as well as advice to take into account in future work on the installation (without delay).
    • A2: This anomaly presents a moderate risk. The diagnosticor will recommend work to be carried out in a more or less long time.
    • DGI: In the event of an “ImmediateGraveDanger”,the operator is required to turn off the gaspending the installation update. It brings the anomaly back to the gas dispenser, which cannot restore power until the risks are eliminated.

    In the case of an A2 or DGI anomaly, the maintenance work is mandatory for the owner.

    THE REPORT on the condition of indoor gas installations has a validity period of 3 years,for a real estate rental, the diagnosis is valid for 6 years.

    Its cost varies depending on the property, for an average of 120 euros.

    Electricity diagnosis

    At the expense of the owner, the electricity diagnosis is mandatory in case of real estate sale if your installation is more than 15 years old, it applies to all dwellings  (houses or apartments) and concerns both residential spaces and outbuildings of detached houses: swimming pools, garages, cabins, etc.

    Entitled“State of the Indoor Electricity Facility,”this diagnosis assesses all electrical hazards that could compromise the safety of people and their property. It is governed by the building and housing code.

    Electricity diagnosis  responds to a need to modernize and secure the housing stock. Defective installations pose a risk of fire or electrocution. Every year there are more than 80,000 accidents of electrical origin in France! Diagnosis identifies anomalies, empowers owners and circulates information to purchasers. 

    In the event of a real estate sale,a valid electricity diagnosis is presented to the purchaser at the time of signing the compromise or promise to sell.

     Note: Since 2017 and the ALUR Act, electricity diagnosis also applies to rental housing. It must be presented at each signing of the real estate lease.

    The electricity diagnosis must be carried out exclusively by a specialist professional operator, with recognised training and up-to-date skills (the legislature is frequently updated).

    Any electricity diagnosticor must have been certified  by a COFRAC-approved body (Afnor, Veritas, Dekra, etc.). It must also have valid professional liability  insurance, the identification number of which will be carried over to the report. This allows the owner to be

    The electricity diagnosis concerns the entire electrical installation of the dwelling: it starts upstream of the general control and protection apparatus, and extends to the bases of the sockets. It also ensures that fixed equipment works properly.

    In total, the diagnosticor will review nearly 100  different checkpoints to ensure that the electrical installation does not pose a hazard to the occupants. In particular, it carries out the inventory and description of elements such as the general control and protection apparatus, the differential device of sensitivity appropriate to the conditions of the upstream grounding, protection against over-intensity for each circuit, the equipotential link adapted to water parts, inadequate electrical equipment, the risk of direct contact with live elements, unprotected conductors…

    At the end of the visit, the diagnosticor submits a report that contains the following parts:

    • finding each anomaly, with their description and location
    • inventory of undiagnosed parts of the facility for access difficulties
    • list of checkpoints
    • risks based on the risks identified.

    The electricity diagnosis does not entail any direct obligation of work for the owner. That said, the law reminds that the owner must ensure that no element of the dwelling endangers the occupants. Its liability may be involved in the event of an accident, it is up to him to update a defective installation.

    In the case of real estate sale, the electricity diagnosis has a validity period of 3 years  from its completion. When she rented, she went to 6 years.

    Like all mandatory diagnoses, the electricity diagnosis is entirely at the seller’s expense. In general, its price is included in a range that can range from 90 to 150 euros, for an average price of 110 euros.

    Mandatory diagnoses by type of housing:

    Diagnosis Law Carrez

    The Carrez Act acreage is used to calculate the habitable private area of a condominium. The Carrez Act of December 18, 1996 came to regulate the footage of condominium lots in case of real estate sale. It requires homeowners to use a single method to measure how large

    The resulting footage must be mentioned in all official documents relating to the transaction, from the contra front to the authentic act of sale.

    On the other hand, the requirement to film the area in the Carrez Act does not apply to detached houses!  

    The Loi Carrez footage includes the areas of the premises covered and closed in hard, at least 1.80m high ceiling. Only the surface of the rooms is measured, which excludes from the measure the large work (walls, partitions, steps and stairwells, sheaths and flares of doors and windows).

    The acreage calculation does not include lots (or fractions of lots) of condominiums less than 8 m2. That said, if a sale brings together several batches of 8 m2 months attached, they must be taken into account.

    The following elements are not taken into account: non-amenable attics, boxes and annexes, parking spaces and garages, cellars, gardens, the law only takes into account “hard-closing premises”, which also excludes balconies  or open terraces.  

    The diagnosis of acreage in Carrez Law  made by a professional is not mandatory, but it is strongly advised. That said, an  owner can quite make his footage and mention it on official sales documents. The measurement is complicated in the attic rooms, where only the ceiling height of 1.80m and above is taken into account. 

    For these reasons, many owners call on a professional, who engages his civil liability, which covers you in case of litigation. The law tolerates a margin of error of 5%: beyond that, the purchaser can turn against the seller and seek compensation if the error is against him.

    The surveyor-diagnosticor guarantees you a clear and accurate footage, true to reality. At the end of his speech, he will issue you a“certificate of private area Loi Carrez”with unlimited validity in time.

    Disputes over a difference in area are common. The law tolerates a minimum margin of error to the detriment of the purchaser. If it is  5% or more,the latter may require a revision of the selling price. It is then revised downwards, taking into account the square metres that have been unfairly accounted for. The purchaser has one year from the deed of sale to assert his rights.

    A 5% review of the sale price often equates to a few thousand or tens of thousands of euros: if in doubt, it is better to sponsor a diagnosis Loi Carrez with a professional!

    Conversely, in the case of a misintercoming Loi Carrez for the benefit of the purchaser, there is no possibility for the seller to have the price revised.

    Diagnosis of individual sanitation

    Sanitation diagnosis is one of the mandatory certificates if you are selling a home equipped with its own wastewater treatment system. Septic tank, micro-sewage treatment plant (mainly detached houses): the control visit can lead to work obligations.

    A remediation diagnosis ensures the proper functioning and maintenance of autonomous wastewater treatment systems  before a real estate sale.

    Non-collective remediation (ANC) affects millions of homes in France and many are said to be defective and/or poorly maintained. It is estimated that about 600,000 homes discharge wastewater directly into the wild, with adverse consequences for the environment, groundwater and water prices.

    The sanitation diagnosis allows to validate or not the compliance of these ANC systems, through a mandatory audit of control in case of sale. This makes it possible to make the owners accountable,to prevent them from being sued for hidden defects and to circulate the information to the purchasers.

    In case of non-compliance, the diagnosis may also result in a work obligation for the seller or purchaser. It must be presented to the purchaser, at the latest at the time of signing the pre-contract of sale, it is recommended to have its diagnosis made upstream, as soon as the decision to put it up for sale, to be able to carry out any compulsory work before the sale, and present a complete file to the purchasers.  In his absence, the seller is liable to lawsuits for hidden defects that may result in financial penalties or cancellation of the sale.

    Unlike other certificates, the diagnosis of sanitation is not carried out by an independent professional diagnosticator, but by a local public body that controls non-collective sanitation systems, the SPANC. Each municipality is directly attached to a SPANC.

    To make a diagnosis, you must therefore contact the nearest SPANC, or with your municipality who will put you in contact with an operator.

    The SPANC diagnosticor  will examine the operation and maintenance of the water treatment system. The diagnosis meets a specific specifications. This may vary depending on the type of device and its installation date. It includes some of the following:

    • Identification and description of the devices in the wastewater treatment system
    • Measurements of sludge height
    • Checking the correct flow out of the chain by coreing
    • Identifying possible maintenance and wear defects
    • Compliance with technical requirements during the last intervention on the system
    • Assessing potential health risks or nuisances
    • Good system sizing in relation to building and use

    At the end of the audits, a visit report is given to the owner: “State of the non-collective remediationfacility”. It acts as a sanitation diagnosis and will have to be attached to the DDT. It gathers observations made by the operator, as well as  recommendations  to the owner regarding the use, maintenance and recommended work to improve the installation.

    If this report requires mandatory work, this obligation does not necessarily apply to the seller. It does not prevent the sale from being carried out: if it agrees, the purchaser can take responsibility for this work. It has one year after the signing of the deed of sale to bring the installation into compliance. The sanitation diagnosis  is used to ensure that the purchaser is fully aware of any mandatory work that he may have to carry out.

    That said, they often involve a cost of several thousand euros, which can have quite a significant impact on the negotiation of the sale price. This is why some sellers prefer to take over the work before putting the house up for sale. 

    The diagnosis sanitation has a validity of 3years.  It is imperative that it is valid at the time of signing the pre-contract of sale, and to guarantee the legal cover of the owner and avoid prosecution for hidden defects, the diagnosis must have been made in his name. It is therefore not advisable to reuse a certificate issued by a former owner.

    The cost of the diagnosis is the responsibility of the seller, the tariff is set by the SPANC itself and varies according to the municipalities, according to administrative and management criteria of their own. In general, it is 

    Mandatory diagnostics based on the presence of risks in the geographic area

    Certain risk zones, demarcated by prefectural decree, require landlords to inform future buyers of the exposure of the dwelling. If in doubt, it is advisable to consult the town hall or the department to find out if your municipality is one of them. 

    Diagnostics termites

    It informs the purchaser about the presence of termites in the dwelling, a previous infestation but also possible risks. This diagnosis is mandatory for both villas and condominiums.

    Its validity is 6 months

    It is performed by a certified professional diagnosticor, having of course taken out professional liability insurance.

    Diagnosis State of risks and pollution

    This document is used to notify the future buyer of the situation in a potentially risky area. It informs the purchaser about the situation of the building in relation to a plan to prevent natural hazards (floods, forest fires, drought, torrential floods, earthquake…), but also in relation to a plan to prevent mining risks (movements of land …), a plan to prevent technological risks (toxic effects, thermal, projection …).

    Finally, it provides information on the situation of the building in relation to seismic zoning (very low, low, moderate…), on soil pollution, and on the losses compensated by insurance following a natural, mining, or technological disaster.

    Since 2016, it must include radon exposure. 

    Its validity is 6 months

    Diagnostic merule

    The merula is a lignivorous fungus: it feeds on wood and proliferates in wet conditions. It is distinguished first by an orange coloration, then takes on the appearance of terminally ill cobwebs.

    The proliferation of the warr can be very rapid in a humid environment, in a temperate climate, in a poorly maintained building with the presence of wood. When seen it is often too late and the frames may be in very poor condition, or even irreparable.

    Treatment is possible (fungicide, ventilation, etc.), but if it is too late the risk is to have to demolish and burn the infested areas.

    According to the legislature, there is no obligation to make a misdiagnosis in the event of a real estate sale. Although this was once considered by the ALUR Act of 2014, it is not part of mandatory diagnoses, even under conditions, unlike asbestos status or termite diagnosis.

    On the other hand, the seller owner has an obligation to inform the purchaser. The nuance is significant: it simply means that it is obliged to circulate all the information they have about a possible presence of a merule. If an infestation is detected, the owner or occupant is also obliged to report it to the town hall.

    Some localities are identified as infested with a prefectural decree. Owners and sellers residing in the municipalities concerned are required to inform the purchaser of this order, even if the house is not infected.

    Although the harm diagnosis is not mandatory, it is highly recommended because if the meld were to appear after a sale, the seller would be exposed to liability remedies in court. If the hidden defect  is established, the seller could have the sale cancelled, financially sanctioned or given the task of the work.

    If in doubt, we recommend that you make a doctor’s diagnosis if one or more of these conditions are met:  

    • Traces of moisture or infiltration into walls
    • Presence of mushroom odor
    • Location of the commune in high-risk areas
    • White traces or orange dust on wood
    • Parts of wood gondolad or softened
    • Abandoned and poorly ventilated housing for a long time
    • Too dense insulation of wood

    To find out if your municipality is placed in a high-risk zone, it is advisable to contact its town hall directly. The diagnosis must be carried out by an approved operator, certified by an independent body  (AFNOR, Dekra, Veritas…) who must have taken out professional liability insurance. Often, this is the same diagnosticor as for termites and parasitic status, with formations covering all threats to wood.

    Optional, the diagnosis of the method does not have a validity period set by law. However, it is estimated that it must have been completed no more than 6 months  before the signing of the pre-contract of sale: it is the legal validity of the termite diagnosis, which is closest to the compulsory certificates.

    How much do diagnoses cost?

    To date, the rates of real estate diagnostics  are set freely by diagnostics. They therefore depend heavily on the geographical area and the configuration of the dwelling. The risk of lead exposure is the most expensive: it requires testing each piece. It can therefore range from 120 to 250 euros depending on the size of the dwelling. Sanitation, asbestos or the Loi Carrez area are charged around 100 euros. Finally, the ERNMT diagnosis is free because it is done online. That said, it can be done for you by some providers around 40 euros.

    To reduce the total price, real estate diagnostic packs  are usually the solution chosen by the owners. Offered by diagnostic companies, they consist of ordering all the certificates necessary for the sale of a home at once.

    The number of mandatory diagnoses is usually between 4 and 7. The diagnostic pack allows them to be made in one go, with a single move from the expert. The discount can be up to more than 50% of the fare! 

    Duration of diagnosis

    Mandatory real estate diagnoses must be provided by the owner in the event of a sale. Gathered in the DDT (Technical Diagnostics File), they are sent to the notary before the signing of the pre-contract (compromise or promise of sale). At the time of signing it, they must be valid!  

    • Asbestos Diagnosis: Unlimited if Negative
    • Lead Diagnosis: Unlimited if Negative
    • Carrez Law Diagnosis: Unlimited as long as surface is not altered
    • Energy Performance Diagnosis (EPD): 10 years
    • Gas diagnosis: 3 years
    • Electricity Diagnosis: 3 years
    • Sanitation Diagnosis: 3 years
    • ERP diagnosis: 6 months
    • Termites Diagnosis: 6 months

    Some diagnoses have a short validity that does not exceed 6 months, and it is common that one of them is no longer valid at the time of signing the authentic act. The diagnosticor should then be asked to update the diagnosis. In most cases, diagnostics do not charge for updating the diagnoses they have made.

    Valid real estate diagnoses, in your name

    To be valid, diagnoses must also be in the name of the current owner. Indeed, the certificates of the diagnosticors are nominal. They are committed to their professional responsibility to a single owner: the sponsor. The notary will refuse diagnoses to a name other than that of the current owner, and an undiagnosed sale exposes him to a procedure in case of revealed hidden defects, which could have disastrous consequences such as cancellation of the sale or damages.

    Validity of rental diagnoses for a sale

    Several mandatory diagnoses are required in case of sale or rental. This is the case of lead diagnosis,in particular, which has an unlimited lifespan if it is negative. It can be reused as long as you are in your name (see above).

    On the other hand, the diagnosis of acreage is slightly different, whether for a sale or a rental. It cannot therefore be reused: for rent (Loi Boutin) or for sale (Carrez Law), we do not use the same calculation standards! These diagnoses will therefore have to be redone in the event of a sale.

    Finally, if a diagnosis is valid but work has been carried out after its establishment, rendering it obsolete (for example insulation work improving the result of an EPD) It is better to do it again to optimize the attractiveness of the dwelling.

    in BuyProperty surveysSale
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