Surveyors in France

As with several aspects of purchasing a property in France, there is a lot to know about what to do and not to do. Sometimes the information can be confusing and question of whether or not to have a surveyor in France is no exception!!

Do I need to have a property survey in France?

Having a property survey carried out in France isn’t essential but it is advisable. It can identify problems that you or the seller may have missed as well as identify areas that although aren’t a major issue now, may potentially develop into a costly problem at a later date.

A survey will allow you to plan ahead and budget for any issues in advance. It may also enable you to negotiate on the price.  It can also reassure you that you are purchasing a property in full knowledge, allowing you to proceed with peace of mind.

Although France is noted for its high building standards, you should never assume that a building is sound. If you would have a survey completed if you were purchasing the same property in your home country then you should have one completed in France.

What are the advantages of having a property survey in France?

  • A survey can alert a person purchasing property in France to any structural defects in a property that may have been missed by the buyer or seller.
  • French property surveys can bring any maintenance issues to your attention, enabling you to factor this into your budget and plan for any future problem way in advance.
  • A survey could also assist your lawyer with your French property purchase. Legal documents can be out of date or inaccurate. It is unlikely that your French lawyer will visit the property so a survey could help to identify any obvious errors in the documents that may not be detected in the usual French legal searches.
  • The opinion of a professional surveyor will assist you by putting your mind at ease and help you avoid being disappointed by defects in the property that may otherwise have not been found until it was too late, causing a major headache and upset as well as being costly to put right.
  • If the property has had any extensions added or swimming pools without the necessary planning permissions, a survey can highlight these issues and allow them to be corrected before purchase.
  • Having a French survey completed can also provide reassurance that a defect that you thought was a big problem, isn’t as serious as you first thought, allowing you to proceed with peace of mind.

What are the risks of not having a survey carried out?

As the buyer, you are responsible for ensuring that you are satisfied with the property before you purchase. If you don’t have a survey carried out and after purchase you find that there are problems, you may find that the cost of the property survey would have been money well spent!

What services can a Surveyor in France provide?

Vendors are required to provide a series of reports (diagnostiques) on asbestos, lead, gas and electric and drainage if not connected to a public sewer. However, it does not cover structure, walls, floors, the roof or any plumbing etc; areas where if there is a problem it can be expensive to put right.  A surveyor can check on the findings of these reports as well as looking at the elements not covered by the Dossier de Diagnostic Technique (DDT).

Many Surveyors can provide different levels of reports, depending on your needs and requirements.

When should you instruct a Surveyor in France?

Having a survey completed on a property can assist you in making the decision of whether or not to proceed with the purchase.

It is strongly advised that the survey is undertaken before making any offer or paying a deposit on the property. A survey can help you plan your offer accordingly and can help you when negotiating the price. Whilst there is a seven-day cooling off period after signing the contract to allow the buyer to pull out and get their deposit back, after this time the deposit will be lost, so the sooner a survey can be carried out the better.

How much does it cost to have a survey carried out in France?

Price can vary depending on the size and type of property as well as its location and what is required. The cost of a professional inspection is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that it gives.

Here at Total Buying Abroad we can put you in touch with a recommended surveyor in France who will be able to provide a quote. Contact us on 01244 478911 or email

For more information and guidance about buying a property in France download our Guide to Buying Property in France.