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France announces relaxation of rules on selling or renting energy-inefficient property

The Local France
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France announces relaxation of rules on selling or renting energy-inefficient property
Energy performance ratings for French property. Image: Ministère de la Transition Écologique et de la Cohésion des Territoires

France's environment minister has announced a relaxation of the rules that restrict the sale or rental of any property that has a low energy-efficiency rating.

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French properties all receive an energy-efficiency rating of A to G, with properties in the lowest categories for energy efficiency (F and G) dubbed passoires thermiques (heat sieves) or sometimes passoires energetiques (energy sieves).

Anyone wanting to sell a passoire thermique must pay for an extra 'energy audit' (at a cost of around €1,000) detailing for the buyer exactly where energy is being wasted and how this can be remedied.

READ ALSO What new energy audit rules mean for French property owners

There are also plans to impose restrictions on renting out E, F and G rated properties, based on a staggered timetable. There are already restrictions on how much rent a landlord can charge for F and G rated properties.

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However environment minister Christophe Béchu has announced a change to the way properties are rated, which he says will allow 140,000 properties to move out of the F and G categories.

The restrictions on sale will remain in place, as will the timetable for rental restrictions, which is currently as follows;

  • A ban on renting G-rated properties from January 1st, 2025
  • A ban on renting F-rated properties from January 1st 2028
  • A ban on renting E-rated properties from January 1st 2034

The change is most likely to affect smaller properties, especially small apartments. At present 30 percent of apartments measuring less than 40 square metres are classed as passoires thermiques (energy rating of F or G).

However, Béchu said that the current method of calculation means that the impact of heating water has a disproportionate effect on the overall energy rating of properties with a small surface area.

He added that an online simulator will be available "this week" and that people whose energy rating has changed will be able to obtain a new certificate.

Restrictions on the sale of energy-inefficient properties will remain as they are.

However Béchu also announced plans to water down the rental restrictions - subject to the approval of parliament - allowing landlords to renew a lease on an 'energy sieve' if the tenant has refused to allow works to be carried out.

The ban can also be suspended for up to two years in apartment buildings that have voted to carry out energy-efficiency works on their communal areas.

The government has also created a €5 million fund to help homeowners improve the energy-efficiency of their property, mostly via grants under the MaPrimeRenov scheme. 

GUIDE: French property grants you might be eligible for

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Cindy Gee 2024/02/12 16:45
I was under the impression that there was not a ban on selling a house but it did have to have the energy rating certification plus the report if it had failed to come to the required rating . I didn’t know and have never read that there was a complete ban on selling if the property failed the inspection. Can you please reconfirm

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