France

Experts and appraisers

More on the DDT and valuation reports

Experts and appraisers

To get an idea of potential defects and to arrive at a realistic estimated value, it is obligatory in France to let a licensed expert compose a report. This report is called the ‘Diagnostics obligatoires’ or ‘Dossier de Diagnostique Technique (DDT)’ . The DDT report comprises an overview of all potential problems with termites, asbestos, lead, gas pipes, pool safety regulations, measurements of the property, presence of a smoke detector, treatment of sewage water and gives an energy score for the building. If you get to see such a report for a potential buy, be sure to check the validity of each test. The following terms should be respected for the report to be valid by law:

Type of test

Validity
Electricity (FR: Installation électrique)3 years
Termites and vermon3 months
Asbestos (FR: amiante)Unlimited
Lead (FR: plomb) -
Gas pipes3 years
Analysis for natura land technicological risks6 months
Energy label (FR: Performance énergétique)10 years

(Source: Droit finances - update September 2017)

This report should be composed by a licensed expert, the costs of this investigation should be paid by the seller. You can find a list of licensed diagnosticians can be found here. It might be useful to let additional examinations or analysis take place by other (technical) experts. Since these additional tests are not mandatory, the costs will be entirely for the buyer’s account. 

Besides the more technical reports, you might also get a value estimation for the property. These estimations are usually based upon data from recently sold properties nearby and the DDT report. In some cases it will be mandatory to get an independent assessment. For example when a mortgage loan is incorporated in the sales deed, banks will typically demand such an assessment.