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French property survey report

Pre-purchase surveys

Since David Harris is a qualified French Surveyor and part of the French RICS, we are able to offer official surveys valid in a French Court of Law. Prices for official surveys depend on the size and condition of the property, and are available on demand. This service is offered to both private and corporate customers, and has become so popular that we now have a separate website dealing with this: Surveyors In France . net

Preliminary surveys

Below is an example of a survey report for prospective buyers who do not want the expense of an official survey, or current owners who want to know the condition of their property.

INDEPENDENT PROPERTY CONDITION REPORT

The present report is prepared upon instructions received from the Client with the Standard Terms of Engagement which have been previously provided to, and accepted by the client and which are appended to this report which is made for their use only.

Name and address of Client: Mr. X
Subject property: Avenue Marechal Foch
24 PINEUILH
Date of inspection: 01/10/2005

Object:

The Client, Mr. X, is considering the purchase of the above property.
We are mandated to draw up an independent property condition report. A valuation of the property is not required.

General Observations

This is a standard example of a popular style of south western France townhouse and enjoys a convenient location for access to all usual facilities. The main fabric is generally in a condition consistent with its age (1930s) and it is anticipated that the level of maintenance and repair, which will be required, will be consistent with that. In the course of the inspection no significant deficiencies were noted. Internally the house can be considered to be in good condition. It nonetheless continues to offer scope for further improvement particularly concerning the electrical installation, general decorating, insulation and kitchen facilities. No clear evidence of the existence of rot was noted, but as the roof area was unexposed, it cannot be confirmed that localised rot has not developed.

The exterior of the house can be considered to be in average condition although the cornices and planting boxes are in need of repair. According to the present owner, the roof was renewed after the storms in 1999.

Overall floor area: 150 m² approx.
Garage: 22m²
Outbuilding: 31 m² approx.
Front garden: 120 m²
Courtyard: 120 m²
Rear garden and orchard: 1300 m² approx

Occupational Conditions

At the time of inspection the property was fully furnished. No under floor inspection was carried out.

THE PROPERTY AND LOCATION

Location & Amenities

This property is situated in an established and favoured residential area towards the south side of Pineuilh and within convenient reach of all usual facilities including shops, schools, transport etc.

Type and age of Property and approximate Date of construction

Detached town house constructed around 1930

Construction

Roof
Part pitched and tiled, part flat cement screeded platform

Chimneys
Brick

Rainwater Goods
Zinc

Walls
Rendered concrete blocks

Windows
Timber, single glazed.

Accommodation
Ground floor: hallway, sitting room, breakfast room with kitchen off and under stair w.c.
First floor: landing, three bedrooms and bathroom.

Garage and Outbuildings (of significance)
There is one single garage and an outbuilding which has been used as a separate dwelling.

Services

Electricity
Mains supply

Gas
Bottle

Water
Mains supply

Central Heating
Oil fired

Drainage
Public sewer

CONDITION, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONSEQUENCES

External

Roof
In the absence of information to the contrary, it is understood that the tiled section of this roof was renewed after the storms in 1999. The general condition reflects this. It is anticipated that regular maintenance and repair should be expected in accordance with any other roof of this style and age. Below the roof tiling, the cement parapets are in need of repair. These seem to have been damaged over the years by both damp and frost. The general condition is most acceptable. The platform roof above the kitchen area is in reinforced concrete. This aspect of the property was considered to be in reasonable order. It must of course be remembered that platform roofs do have a comparatively limited life expectancy and one should always budget for future resurfacing. The general condition is good with the exception of the parapets/cornices.

Chimneys
There are two maintainable chimney stacks serving the property. These seem to have been constructed in rendered brick. It seems that the flashing around the fireplace chimney has been seeping at some time and this should be checked.

Rainwater Goods
All gutters are in zinc. It is presumed that these were equally replaced in 1999 and that the condition is consistent with that. It is essential to ensure that these gutters do run freely as any failure in them can lead to water seepage. There is no evidence of this occurring at present. There is some staining on the rear elevation adjacent to the chimney. At present this is not particularly severe. The down pipes, equally in zinc, appear to be adequately discharging rainwater.

Walls (including D.P.C. & Ventilation)
All four elevations are of rendered concrete blocks. The condition is consistent with age. No significant deterioration was noted but there is some evidence of weathering particularly around the cornices and planting boxes. There is no evidence of any structural movement. Outlets on the bedroom balcony should be enlarged to avoid any water penetration. It would be advisable to consider applying some anti-moss treatment and two coats of exterior paint. It is unlikely that a damp proof course exists but there are no signs of any problems existing in that respect.
This section of the report can be concluded by confirming that the walls of this property are in a general condition consistent with others in the area and that in this respect normal maintenance and repair should be expected.

Windows, Doors & other external woodwork (including Paintwork)
The single glazed and sash shutters windows are presumed to be the original. The shutters seem to be in reasonable working condition. The recommendation is that these be checked prior to any programme of external repainting, as this would be the most appropriate time to respond to any need for maintenance and repair. The mastic pointing is in poor condition and although the windows have recently been repainted it is anticipated that this will require to be reviewed shortly. The general condition is consistent with age and a normal level of maintenance and repair should be expected. Checking for softened timbers prior to external repainting would be recommended.
Window replacement or modification to double glazing should be considered. This would much improve the thermal insulation of the house. The entrance door and windows are aluminium framed, rather out of keeping with the architectural style and again single glazed.

Internal

Roof Space
Due to the lack of access, inspection of the roof space was impossible. There were no obvious indications of structural defect. The condition of insulation material could not be verified.

Ceilings & Walls (including reference to decorative state)
In keeping with a property of this nature, the ceilings are presumed to be of traditional lath and plaster construction and the condition was deemed to be consistent with the age of the building. There is evidence of plaster cracking and staining on the upper floor, probably a consequence of the 1999 storms. This was found to be widespread and suggests that patch repair requirements might be encountered during subsequent programmes of redecoration and a plaster skim may be necessary. The partition walls are of red brick and plaster and covered in wallpaper. It was considered that the few imperfections encountered could be dealt with during normal redecoration.

Floors
With the exception of the bathroom, which is of plastic adhesive tiles laid on a solid base, the floors throughout upper floor are of traditional suspended timber construction employing tongued and grooved boarding. Most areas of flooring were exposed and these displayed boarding which was considered to be in good condition consistent with the age of the building. The inspection failed to detect any obvious significant bounce, deflection or similar defect. With the exception of the living room, the downstairs floors are of mosaique style tiling laid on a solid base. The small kitchen area is however tiled with poor quality modern tiles which will need replacing. The living room floor is of typical wooden parquet laid on a solid base. It appears to be in good condition.

Fireplaces and Flues
There is one marble surround fireplace in the living room which seems to be in current use.

Internal fittings including Joinery & Kitchen Equipment
The fittings in the form of the doors are presumed to be the original and to be in a condition consistent with that. The doors surrounds, skirting, window linings etc., are all consistent with the age of the building both in style and condition and with the exception of the bathroom skirting which suffers from humidity, no significant defects were noted. It is suggested that the bathroom ventilation be reviewed. The fittings in the kitchen are very basic and display some obvious evidence of wear and tear and a need for some minor repair. All the window shutters remain operational although adjustment may be necessary for some to ensure smooth operation.

Reference to Cellars, Basements etc
The basement area appears to be dry, well ventilated and the cement tanking in good condition. A well has been dug in the basement area and the water table is about 3 metres below. Flooding has been known but this is probably been due to excess rainfall entering through the exterior door.


SERVICES

Electrical Installation

The meter and fusing system are located in the breakfast room. The EDF meter has been recently installed and has a remote reading system relayed to the exterior. The fuse system is obsolete and wires are sleeved in cotton material and under wooden conduits, presumed to be the original. It is highly recommended for safety reasons to consider a complete rewire in conformity with the latest French regulations. It should be borne in mind that whilst a system of this nature may well have complied with the Regulations in operation at the time of its installation, these Regulations alter frequently and some non-compliance may be encountered if additional works are contemplated to the system.

Gas Installation

Bottle supply to the kitchen

Plumbing & Sanitary Fittings

The fittings in the kitchen and downstairs toilet are in reasonable order although displaying evidence of wear and tear. On the upper floor, the bath is in cast iron is installed and in fair condition. The hand basin and toilet are probably of origin but in reasonable condition. An over bath shower has been installed and it is essential to ensure that the splash tile facility is sound as any failure in this can lead to water seepage. Water is supplied through the original iron piping with some modifications in copper. The original system seems to be sound and there is no need for immediate replacement.

Central Heating & Hot Water

The central heating system is fired by a floormounted oil fired boiler situated in the basement. The boiler has recently been installed and hardly used. The storage tank is to be replaced. This boiler serves the original cast iron radiators by means of iron piping. The system was not in operation at the time of the inspection and whilst no obvious defect was noted. A suitable maintenance contract will be necessary.

Drainage

This property seems to be linked to the public sewer and no surface evidence was noted which would indicate failure in the system. Used water from the outbuilding seems to be directed to a soakaway in the rear garden. Storm water seems also to be directed to a soakaway at the rear.


Additional Services

Telephone


OUTBUILDINGS AND SITE

Garages, Outbuildings etc

The existing outbuilding is in poor condition. The building has been used as a dwelling in the past but would need a complete refurbish if to be used as a studio flat. The roof and guttering however seem to be in good condition. The lean to roof needs renewing.

Gardens, Trees, Paths, etc

There is a well proportioned enclosed area of garden ground located predominantly to the rear of this property and no significant problems were noted with this. A tall hedge could be used at the rear to improve privacy.

Boundaries, Retaining Walls, etc

The boundary fencing and walls are in a general condition consistent with age and evidence was noted of past "running repairs”. It is anticipated that works of this nature will be encountered over the years.

Matters requiring further checks and confirmation:

Common Parts (include condition, maintenance liabilities, management companies etc.)

None noted.

Any Obvious Legal Problems (include rights of way, shared accesses, Listed Building/Conservation Area etc.)

None noted

Reference to Any Existing Guarantees

No information has been supplied in respect of roofing repair works etc.

Reference to any Alterations
The inspection failed to detect any obvious recent significant alterations.

Termites/asbestos/lead
An inspection by a qualified inspector is obligatory before any sale.

Specific comments in respect of areas where defects can be most damaging.

Structural Movement
There is no evidence of structural movement in this building.

Timber Defects (include woodworm, rot etc.)
No significant defects were noted in the course of the inspection.

Dampness & Condensation
Visual inspection failed to suggest that this property suffered from any rising damp problem. Some evidence of condensation was found in the bathroom.

Other Hazards
None.

Summary (Overview & brief conclusion with recommendations for any Specialist's reports & estimates before committing to purchase)

This is a standard example of a south western France town house and enjoys a convenient location for access to all usual facilities. The main fabric is generally in a condition consistent with its age and it is anticipated that the level of maintenance and repair, which will be required, will be consistent with that. In the course of the inspection no significant deficiencies were noted. Internally the house is considered to be in an acceptable condition, it nonetheless continues to offer scope for further improvement. No clear evidence of the existence of rot was noted. As the roof area was unexposed, it cannot be confirmed that localised rot has not developed.

Attached: Standard Terms of Engagement
Photographs

Name of Surveyor: David HARRIS
Telephone: 00 33 661 85 20 18