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Surveys

Some of the surveys completed through the contract process – frenchpropertylaw.co.uk extract

Termites
If a property is located in a region either infested by termites or at high risk of infestation, French law requires the owner to notify the Authorities who will publicise this information, have a treatment carried out to eradicate any termites, and provide the Authorities with a certificate issued by an expert other than the expert who carried out the first report. If a property is sold in a termite-infested region, the Vendor must supply a certificate, attached to the "Acte de Vente", confirming that there are no termites in order to benefit from the clause excluding hidden defects. Termite reports are only valid for 3 months.

Asbestos
French law also provides that, for all properties built before 1st July 1997, an asbestos report must be produced prior to the signature of a contract to sell (Compromis). The report will confirm if any asbestos has been detected and where, for example it can often be found in the insulation material used in older houses.

If asbestos is found, the owners are required to inform the workers working on the property of its existence so that they wear the appropriate protective clothing and dispose of the rubbish appropriately. If the asbestos is found to be in poor condition however, the owner may be required to check its condition on a regular basis, or have an expert remove it within a period of three years. This will be mentioned in the report.

If you are purchasing a property in co-ownership, you should also request to see the asbestos report for the communal parts, which should be provided by the Managing Agent (Syndic). The asbestos report should always be attached to the contract since it provides important information for the Purchaser.

Lead
French law requires that a lead report be issued for any property built prior to 1948 with a habitation or mix use should this property be located in a zone considered at risk. The Vendor must produce this report for the sale of his property. This report will only cover surfaces and not pipes or other hidden material.

As part of the report, an expert will carry out a survey and take samples where appropriate. This report will state the presence, concentration and accessibility of lead. If it is found at a level reaching 1mg/cm3 or higher it is considered a positive reading. The lead report is valid for one year. This report will only cover surfaces and not pipes or other hidden material… If a particularly high level is found the expert may advise that the contaminated surfaces be covered or professionally stripped …If the property is co-owned the communal parts should have been checked and the information should be available from the Managing Agent. The Vendor must produce a copy of the lead report for the sale of the property to go ahead.

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