When selling a property in France it is now a requirement to have a variety of compulsory and advisory diagnostics reports available at the sellers cost. One of these being an electrical safety inspection or 'État de l'installation intérieure d'électricité'. This is carried out by an independent survey/diagnostic technician. If your home is over 15 years old then an electrical report will be required.
All diagnostics/reports are carried out by independent survey technicians with appropriate certificate of competence through a certification body. The technician will carry out a visual inspection as to the safety of your electrical installation, for which there are 6 key points as follows:
- Presence of a main RCD/Isolator. There MUST be a main switch, which can turn off the complete electrical installation
- Main RCDs designed for earth protection.
- MCBs designed to protect the cables that supply power to the individual circuits which are correctly designated for the load of the circuit.
- Bonding, earths which are bonded to pipe work in bathrooms and showers where presence of water increases the chance of electric shock.
- Highlight equipment that is out of date and unsuitable for use or risk of direct contact [exposed cables]
- Mechanical protection; missing joint box lids, trunking covers and worn cables.
The electrical report remains valid for 3 years and must be included to the sale of agreement or the deed of sale.
From a sellers point of view, and is dependent on the nature of the report, is to consider any remedial action before committing to a sale. Areas to consider would be any English wiring or installation of English switches or sockets, as this are against French norms [NF]. Please do bear in mind that the report is just visual. A diagnostic technician will only be carrying out a visual inspection, they cannot see and won't see any hidden error or faults. This would be a good time to consult with an competent and qualified electrician to assess and price what needs to be done to remedy any identified issues in the electrical safety inspection report along with any other recommendations. These costings and those of findings from other diagnostic reports may have an impact on any negotiation of your house sale.