Concerns over diagnostic reports

Hello - I’m Jan and we’re in the process of buying a property in Brittany. Two of the reports seem to me concnering (though my French is schoolgirl and rapidly trying to improve).

From the boxes crossed on the the electricy diagnostic there seems to be
a problem with the earthing ‘mise en terre’ (2)
no protection against lightning strikes (3)
the rules regarding bathrooms and shower rooms 4)
evidence that some of the electrical installation poses a risk of direct contact with electricity. It appears to have live wiring which is unprotected. (5)
and there are items in the installation that are obsolete or in disrepair ‘vetuste’. (6)

From the parasite report
there is mention of larval infestation which seems very widespread.
And one bedroom has damp and fungal growth. I’m concnerned this might be coming through an unsued chimney.

How worrying are these problems? There’s a lot of pressure from the agents to sign the compromis by August 20 but I’m wondering about getting a full survey and also would like to find out the cots of remedying the electrical and parasite issues.

This is our dream house (and land!) but we don’/t have huge reserves to do extensive work so any advice would be most welcome.

Thank you.

Hi Jan and welcome to this forum. What part of Brittany are you hoping to buy a house. I live in Brittany and may be able to recommend some experts to help you if it’s not too far from where I live. Kind regards, Joyce

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Get a couple of quotes to fix the problems - if big money renegotiate on the house price if you think it appropriate.


Hi Jan… and another welcome…

First thing… keep calm and do not bow to pressure… :relaxed: :relaxed:

In my opinion (and others may see things differently)
Electrics are important… and the current system is not OK.
The cost of bringing the electrics up to today’s safety/quality standards should be offset against the Selling Price (unless this is already accounted for).

A couple of quotes to redo the lot… and then deduct the highest price… :wink:
Professionals doing the work will give you peace of mind and the 10 guarantee for work and product.

Re Parasites

Again… quotes from Professionals (as above)… and depending on the outcome… either you take on the cost or you deduct from the price…

Whatever, do not sign anything until you are happy with what you are buying and what it is going to cost you.

good luck

Thanks so much Joyce
It’s in Finistere, just outside Scrignac

Thanks Mat
That’s really helpful

Thank you Stella
It does feel like a roller coaster. We love the place and don’t want to lose it but also don’t want to make stupd mistakes that will be costly or even dangerous into the future.
I think the quotes are definitely essential and we are now thinking a full survey would also be worth the investment.

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Hi Jan, unfortunately you live too far from me for me to recommend anyone. All the above advice is good and do not feel pressured by the agent to sign anything. However, failing that, it may be possible to have a suspensive clause added to the compromis de vente stating the purchase will only go ahead subject to a satisfactory outcome regarding the defects shown on the report. Your Notaire will be able to advise you on this. Good luck in this exciting but scary time.

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Thank you Joyce
Yes - really great and quick advice – this is a brilliant forum.
Will defintiely be getting a full survey and quotes and discussing suspensive clauses with the agent.
Thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to kindly reply


So glad you found us… :hugs:

if you don’t mind… when you’ve got things done and dusted (either way)… perhaps you could let us know how things work out…

the more we share experiences, the more we all learn…

whatever, good luck… !!!

:relaxed: :relaxed: :relaxed:

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Will do Stella
Defintiely want to hlpe others through this process - equal parts thrilling and terrifying :slight_smile:


Surveys in the UK sense do not really exist in France - though there are a couple of chartered surveyors around - the chap we got to look over our house was Nick Warner of Wellesley House Surveying ( It will be in the 1000€ range for a full survey

You’ll need an electrician to look at these and tell you whether they need sorting and how urgently - they all sound like they could be anything from minor fixes to complete re-wire needed without further info (the DDT should expand at least a little on the problems) - the “lack of lightening protection” suggests that the meter installation is old (as IIRC the surge arrestor is normally part of the EDF board) which would make me suspicious that “complete re-wire” might be where you are at.

Parasites, no idea - at least you shouldn’t have to worry about termites in Finistère but , again, sounds like expert territory.

The problems identified on your mandatory diagnostic report are virtually identical to those when we purchased our house two years ago. As Paul has pointed out, it appears as though a complete re-wire may be necessary. We needed a 90% rewire – which in total cost between 10,000 – 15,000 euros. (We had the work done in 3 main phases followed by numerous additions). We took the opportunity to have installed double sockets with USB chargers, bathroom extractors, ceiling fans, and outside lighting plus ethernet network cabling throughout the house.

Although we also had a full survey carried out, we now take the view that this was a waste of money. Far better as Stella and others have suggested to get 2 or 3 quotes for the work (and get this deducted from the purchase price). Your estate agent should be able to recommend an electrician, and others can be found in the numerous “expat” magazines.

It looks like you may well be moving in during Autumn. If so, you may well have to put up with any central and water heating being off and doors being open as electricians run cables everywhere.

I’m inclined to agree but it’s difficult - one the one hand I don’t think we got anything for the money that we spent other than peace of mind but the report was in English and more general than the DDT. Nick’s “thing” is wood boring insects which might be more relevant to Jan.

But, as you say, the “French way” is to get a couple of quotes for the necessary work - the main downside being that if you go directly to artisans the French have a fairly narrow focus so you do need to have a pretty good handle on what work needs doing and an experienced surveyor might be able to let you know what really needs doing and what can wait.

Sounds like a fairly normal electricity diagnostic from an older house, danger of exposed live wires could be something as simple as an uncovered connector block for a light. I would be more concerned about the other (parasite) stuff.


Agree - without more info it is hard to know whether it is “minor” fixes or more serious remedial work that is needed. I assume that the numbers refer to photos or more detail in the report and without those it is hard to tell - but “full rewire” is not excluded from what we can see.

For my own report the “exposed wiring” was an old light fitting which is out of reach of anyone shorter than 7’ 6" and isn’t even powered anyway and the earth problems do need sorting but are not that serious (the “loop resistance” tends to be between 120 & 180Ω rather than below 100).

The work that did need doing was to replace the faulty RCD’s because they were not tripping and replace dangerous wiring in the kitchen which wasn’t even mentioned on the DDT (they don’t dig very deeply so out of sight is definitely out of mind).

That is a bit harsh talking of electricians in this way!

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Thank you for all the replies everyone – we’ve had an initial rough estimate and the vendors have agreed to pay half. The house is a good price for the size and land so we’ve agreed to that for the electrics.
For the parasites - it turned out they’d submitted an out of date report but have had some work done since the report so there’s now a date next week for the new report to be done and we’ll be able to see what the situation is at this point.
It’s heart in the mouth territory every day but feels like some progress and very grateful for all the advice here