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Explained: The new rules for selling houses in France

From September 2022, anyone who wants to sell an older house in France may have to pay for a €700-800 energy audit of their property.

Snow covers a house in eastern France. The government is set to make it harder for people to sell energy inefficient housing from September 2022.
Snow covers a house in eastern France. The government is set to make it harder for people to sell energy inefficient housing from September 2022. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP)

The regulations form part of the Climate and Resilience law and will come into force in September 2022. 

Currently, if you plan to sell or rent a property in France, you need to provide a diagnostic de performance énergétique (DPE), which is a document that serves as an estimate for the property’s energy consumption.

Depending on the result of the DPE, your property will be ranked from A (the most energy efficient) to G (the least energy efficient). 

Source: ecologie.gouv.fr

In France, properties that fall into the F and G categories are known as passoires thermales – or heat sinks. According to Le Parisien, some 4.8 million properties in France fall into this category, generally older properties or those in poor repair. 

The cost of obtaining a DPE generally ranges between €100-250 depending on the size of the property and when it was built. You can find a certified list of DPE providers here and here

So what changes? 

From September, anyone who want to sell a property that is ranked in the F or G categories (ie those that are projected to need a minimum 330 KWh/m2 of energy per year) will also need to pay for an audit énergétique

This is like a far more precise version of the DPE and aims to inform future buyers not only of the likely energy bills but also of the cost of renovations needed to make the property fall into the B class. 

Real estate experts are worried that there will not be enough trained professionals to carry out the audits énergétiques. The implementation of this new requirement was supposed to go ahead in January 2022 and has already been pushed back by eight months. 

The cost of an audit énergétique falls on those who are trying to sell and is estimated at around €700-800. 

If you are considering renovating a property in France to make it more energy efficient, this is a good time to do so. The government is backing zero percent interest loans and other measure to make it economical to do so. You can read more about these measures HERE

There is also another incentive: if your property is seriously energy inefficient (requires more than 450 KWh/m2 per year), you will not be allowed to rent it out from 2023. 

Eventually, the audit will also apply to homes in the E class, as of January 1, 2025, and then later to homes in the D class from January 1, 2034.

Who can carry out the audit?

As of early May, the French government released its requirements for who is certified to perform these services, which differs based on whether you live in a ‘multi-dwelling residential building’ or an ‘individual house.’ 

For the former, you can either use an engineering firm with a specific qualifications (this is called a “OPQIBI 1905”) or registered architects. For individual houses, you can also use qualified engineering firms (in this case, called a “OPQIBI 1911”), as well as  companies certified with “RGE offre globale” and certified home inspectors. For more information, read HERE.

Member comments

  1. There is also another incentive: if your property is seriously energy inefficient (requires more than 450 KWh/m2 per year), you will not be allowed to rent it out from 2023

    Does this count for gites also? or only for main residences?

  2. Welcome to North Korea. France is one of the most controlling countries in the world. Over the last five years it’s gone worse, and it’s all down to the inexperienced people Macron has appointed.

  3. Regarding this specific issue Boggy – incentivizing renovation works/raising awareness of the climate impact of “heat sinks” via mandatory energy analyses – it seems a tad far fetched to invoke North Korea as a comparison. France is one of the few countries actively mobilizing its citizens (from the proactive to the sluggish) in waking up and taking action in every regard to combat the climate emergency. Yes, an energy audit is annoying and expensive and there will be people who find the extra cost an unfair burden. Yet it is a minuscule and temporary inconvenience in the grand scheme of what is necessary to implement to have a chance at limiting runaway emissions and a rapidly heating planet. If we had all taken personal responsibility and done what we could privately to help make our homes efficient/recycle etc etc the government wouldn’t have needed to nanny us through it in the first place. I would love to live in a world that didn’t need onerous and patronizing regulations/carrot and stick incentives and red tape but unfortunately people have proven themselves too stupid and selfish.

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LIVING IN FRANCE

French schools, renting property and vocabulary: 6 essential articles for life in France

From how to quit your job in France to choosing the best French school for your kids and learning all the vocabulary of France's cost of living crisis - here are six essential articles for life in France.

French schools, renting property and vocabulary: 6 essential articles for life in France

In the last two years, many people across the world have either considered leaving or have left their jobs amid the “Great Resignation” (or La Grande démission, en Français). 

If you have thought about quitting your French job, or perhaps you simply want to understand the procedure for resigning in France, we’ve put together a guide that should answer all of your questions. 

EXPLAINED: What you should know if you want to quit your job in France

Next, the French government is recommending that everyone become familiar with this website, and you’ll really to know how to use it if you will be living in France during the winter of 2022-2023. 

Ecowatt is the government’s ‘energy forecasting’ website. It will provide you with daily updates and give you an idea as to whether the electrical grid is under stress due to energy shortages. The Local put together an article on how to sign up for alerts, which will help you keep track of whether your area is at risk for short, localised power cuts this winter.

‘Ecowatt’: How you should use France’s new energy forecasting website?

Amid potential energy shortages this winter and the cost of living crisis, foreigners living with France have been faced with learning a whole new set of French vocabulary words.

It can be difficult to keep up to date with the French news – even for native-French speakers. To help you follow along and stay informed, The Local has compiled a list of French terms you are likely to hear when the government or media discusses inflation, along with their English translations.

The French words you need to understand France’s cost of living crisis

Parenting in a country you did grow up in comes with unique challenges and joys. One thing anglophone parents tend to wonder about is whether or not they should send their children to international schools (where English might be more widely spoken) or opt for local French schools.

The Local spoke with some anglophone parents, and compared the advantages and disadvantages of the various options in order to help you make the best decision for your family. 

What kind of school in France is best for my kids?

Many foreigners living in France prefer renting to buying. When looking for that perfect home or apartment, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost – renting in France depends largely on where you live. Renting in a rural or suburban environment will differ greatly from renting in a big city. Nevertheless – renters across France are faced with the same question: furnished or unfurnished? 

The two options differ in terms of price, convenience, and sometimes availability. You can read The Local’s guide to renting property in France.

Renting property in France: Should I go for furnished or unfurnished?

The 2024 Olympic Games are already on the horizon, even though they might seem far away. The city of Paris and its surrounding suburbs have already begun extensive preparations to host athletes, their families, and the thousands of fans who will come to enjoy the Games.

If you live in France and you are considering attending the games, The Local has put together what you need to know in order to secure your tickets.

How to get tickets for the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics

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