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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdo, I'm part way thru buying abroad for the first time, the main concern is the Brit wiring , although its a long established rental in excellent condition. I'm concerned that at some point, somebody might tell me I have to do ???? to comply with somert or other.. As I say, its all immaculate, but I decyphered some French on the report, but is it a legal thing ?

Cheers, Pat
 

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Howdo, I'm part way thru buying abroad for the first time, the main concern is the Brit wiring , although its a long established rental in excellent condition. I'm concerned that at some point, somebody might tell me I have to do ???? to comply with somert or other.. As I say, its all immaculate, but I decyphered some French on the report, but is it a legal thing ?

Cheers, Pat
Do you just mean it has UK wall sockets, or do you mean the whole place has been wired up UK style and not to French normes at all?

If it's been used as a rental for British guests it's possible that the wiring is correct but they put UK sockets in for the sake of their guests.

If it's wired with a UK style ring circuit or whatever they call it I think it might be a bit :eek: , because the French do seem to feel very strongly that their way of wiring is safe and the UK style is dangerous. An artisan who did some work for me (not electrical) once bent my ear on this subject for a very very long time, and I don't know much about electrics and I've forgotten now what he was telling me, but I remember that at the time what he said did seem to make sense.
 

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If you have doubts about the situation, you could ask either the notaire handling the transaction or ask at the mairie (town hall). Generally speaking, a property transfer can't happen until and unless everything is up to standards. (Sale of the house next door to us was held up for quite a while until the sellers re-did some questionable plumbing/drainage work.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks a lot, i'm afraid I can't remember if it's whole house or sockets . I'm in UK now and , unfortunately ,the English agent isn't replying to emails very promptly. The Compromis arrived yesterday so I need to ascertain this quick .It's a beaut of a place but I don't want to be saddled with a duffer .
 

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I don't want to be saddled with a duffer .
Well worst case scenario is that you would need a rewire. Houses do need rewiring once in a while in any case, all part of onging maintenance. Obviously if that's the case you should try to get it reflected in the price, if it isn't already, or see if the seller will have it done before the purchase goes through. But it does depend entirely on what the electrical report says.
 

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If the wiring was carried out to British norms using two core plus earth cabling, ring mains and U.K. sockets it will need replacing to meet insurance requirements and to prevent you owning a house that might prove to be impossible to sell. If it is just a case of someone who was catering for the U.K. holiday market an£ had fitted U.K. style sockets that is simpler but the sockets will need replacing and that will require som3 cosmetic work as well. I would ask the agent for a detailed account of the problem before deciding what to do. If it is the former problem get a couple of estimates for a complete rewire and reduce your offer on the property by more than that amount. If is is the latter work out the cost of the sockets and getting someone to replace them and reduce you offer based on that cost. As a buyer you should expect the house to conform to French norms, if it does not the responsibility for putting it right lies with the seller. It is very much a buyers’ market at the moment and you won’t hav3 to look too far to find another house without the hassle and expense of this one.
 

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And to re-wire in France you need an electrician who is qualified in France. Bear in mind that re-wiring here can be very (and I do mean very) expensive.
 

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Agree with Keltenstreet.....but you need to understand in detail what the electrical report says. There are all sorts of differences in electrical regulations between the UK and France.

For instance:

1. As pointed out UK ring mains are not acceptable in France....frankly I agree, it's a diabolical idea.

2. The French use of spurs off cables is illegal in the UK.

3. The French put electrical sockets and light switches in bathrooms....illegal in the UK.

4. The French use insulated wires in sheaths (gaines), the UK uses flat 3 core (illegal in France I think!)

A point to consider is that in France building/electrical/plumbing norms get more stringent every year or so. If you get the "UK" wiring past the inspection this time , it may not pass in the future when you want to sell it. If the house is not "aux normes" you can use it to reduce the price. Why not get an electrician to give you an estimate (devi) for getting it aux normes. The seller will find it difficult not to reduce the price by this amount. No French person will buy UK electrics!

...and don't sign the compromis until you are really sure. It's difficult to get out once you've signed. It is possible back out under some conditions, but you are into a complex area of French property law which is probably best avoided!

Good luck. Remember..."act in haste, repent at leisure"

DejW
 

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Do not touch it unless you can get a huge amount off the price because it may cost a lot to put right Any house insurance you have will be useless and if there is a problem that you claim for and the company finds out about your illegal wiring they will not pay out and you risk losing a hell of a lot of cash A house near us burnt down after an English electrician rewired the place Insurance refused to pay out It was going through the courts but the Brit couple who "imported" the electrician have now given up the unequal struggle
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks a lot , the compromise arrived by post yesterday so my immediate situation is whether or not to cancel; if I don't get a good response from the agent ,i'm afraid i'll have to back out. the house is a great price but I can't afford to spend £kkks on it.
 

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Don't sign a contract you're not happy with, but on the other hand that doesn't mean you have to cancel altogether.

This kind of situation is exactly why I would never dare enter into such an important contract remotely. My seller and I went to the notaire's office to sign our compromis, the notaire read it out sentence by sentence and checked that we were both happy with it, and if there were implications he felt I might not have grasped he explained the situation, gave me his 'official' advice and waited for me to decide. For instance some of the work didn't have decennal guarantees, so he explained the implications of that, the risk I would be taking if I went ahead and stated that officially he had to advise me not to proceed with the purchase - of course I did go ahead, and he knew I would. There were a couple of clauses that needed changing, and his secretary made the changes and printed out the new pages. It took hours, literally, but it was a thorough process and I felt confident that I understood what I'd signed and what I was buying. That's the notaire's job, that you're paying him for, to ensure that both sides fully understand what they're signing. But it's always struck me that by dealing with an immo rather than direct with the notaire, and having the contract sent by post or email, people are depriving themselves of all this expert advice.

Can't you schedule a meeting with the notaire and get him to talk you through the contract and the diagnostics?
 

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If you can talk it's an idea to the chap who did the electrical tests. I've found them very helpful and willing to talk off the record. Of course, the written report is formal, but it doesn't give any real idea of how serious the faults might be,or the costs of putting it right.

I've bought and sold houses in France where the reports indicated "hors norme". I'm not sure exactly what the law says, but minor electrical faults (electrical socket faceplate broken for example!) don't seem to be a problem. The notaire may well ask the buyer if he/she understands exactly what it is. I'm not sure when things become legal show stoppers......septic tanks pre 2011 certainly can be a legal problem.


Let us know how you get on!

DejW

Thanks a lot , the compromise arrived by post yesterday so my immediate situation is whether or not to cancel; if I don't get a good response from the agent ,i'm afraid i'll have to back out. the house is a great price but I can't afford to spend £kkks on it.
 

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Very good advice Euro T.

I've found notaires also are very willing to give informal advice and differentiating between little niggles and major problems - not obvious when it's in French and a different legal system.

DejW



Don't sign a contract you're not happy with, but on the other hand that doesn't mean you have to cancel altogether.

This kind of situation is exactly why I would never dare enter into such an important contract remotely. My seller and I went to the notaire's office to sign our compromis, the notaire read it out sentence by sentence and checked that we were both happy with it, and if there were implications he felt I might not have grasped he explained the situation, gave me his 'official' advice and waited for me to decide. For instance some of the work didn't have decennal guarantees, so he explained the implications of that, the risk I would be taking if I went ahead and stated that officially he had to advise me not to proceed with the purchase - of course I did go ahead, and he knew I would. There were a couple of clauses that needed changing, and his secretary made the changes and printed out the new pages. It took hours, literally, but it was a thorough process and I felt confident that I understood what I'd signed and what I was buying. That's the notaire's job, that you're paying him for, to ensure that both sides fully understand what they're signing. But it's always struck me that by dealing with an immo rather than direct with the notaire, and having the contract sent by post or email, people are depriving themselves of all this expert advice.

Can't you schedule a meeting with the notaire and get him to talk you through the contract and the diagnostics?
 

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Definitely talk to somebody who is in a position to advise, either the electrician as DejW suggested or the notaire as I suggested. You need proper advice to make an informed decision and find a good solution, otherwise you risk either missing a house that might have suited you very well, which would be a shame or alternatively making a very expensive mistake which would be much worse.

Isn't that what you'd do in the UK, get professional advice on anything you weren't sure about?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I just rand the French woman who did the diagnostic report and she said it was quite good , she sees English plugs every day, and she would buy ,if it was her . But she hasn't seen the cabling set up, maybe it is just english sockets
 
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