House 10 yr Guarantee

Hi, I’ve just sen a Youtube video, talking about the “decenniale” guarantee for work done on a house. What I did not realise, according to the video, was that this applies not only to professional work, but also DIY work. So my question is, has anybody had any experience of this, either from the claimant end, or from the other end ?

Can you give us the link… please…

I have no idea of the credentials of the video’s creator but I wouldn’t trust anyone who includes non copyright cleared movie clips in their YouTube submissions concerning legal obligations.

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Just wondering if the YouTuber has correctly understood the government site…


@Peter_Whitfield you’ve started an interesting thread… and, unfortunately, I cannot answer either of your questions from personal experience…

I do know of a friend who came unstuck when he had no such insurance in place and something “went wrong” after he’d sold the property he’d personally worked on…
He ended up nearly bankrupt.

The DIYer would have to have the décennale insurance in the first place so you could claim against yourself - sounds like a load of rubbish to me

If you sell a house that has had work done within previous 10 years you should have to supply a decennial guarantee. Which can be expensive if the work was DIY.

I’m a bit shocked tbh! Seriously, a diy work on anything needs the decinelle ??? That makes no sence! Surely you could have some sort of clause in the contract? If this is really the case we need to stop all renovations and not touch / maintain the house for 10 years!!!


I’ve just remembered that’s exactly what I’ve done :thinking: :smirk:


It’s only when you sell that this comes into question. And the sale contract can exclude things as an option.

Maybe a silly question but, if you sold your property, how would the buyer actually know whether something in the property is older or younger than 10 years old?

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I seem to recall the Notaire asking what works had been done… and when…
and… as the Seller… one tells the truth…

As someone whose OH held deçenelle insurance for nearly 20years in France, it does not cover non-professional DIY work at all. The insurance only comes into effect if the client whom the artisan worked for paid in FULL ALL invoices for works done, non-payment = no insurance for ten years cover. We used to pay €10,000/year for our cover of upto €5 million because of works we did and who we did them for, no DIY person can afford that. I would also state that any client who supplied the materials is not also covered and should sign an attestation as to the quality of the goods and not supplied by the professional and only parts would be insured, hence why artisans supply the materials!


All very interesting, and indeed, I hope the diy’er would tell the truth to the notaire, but just being practical, I really wonder how many folks out there actually present a list of works done in the last 10 years. I’ve certainly never seen that and have purchased houses with some work clearly completed in the last 10 years. Personally, I think this is very difficult to enforce and prove, if you buy a house and ‘the works’ aren’t obviously ‘relatively new’.

From my experience, it’s been quite clear, when talking with the Notaire at the time, which Works are to be declared…
We were asked what had been done to the property since we bought it… chat chat chat…

The Notaire wasn’t interested in our DIY as it wasn’t “major”… but did want to see the receipted bills from professionals for the petrol tanks, gasboiler installation, roofing and drains… done within 10 years… I think that was about it…

Well it is only ever going to be an issue if a problem arises.
If it does and the purchaser considers it worth pursuing and brings in the experts then I believe it is not difficult for works to be dated fairly accurately.
Also if the seller has owned the house for less than 10 years, then I suppose any recent work not mentioned last time the property changed hands, would be presumed to have been carried out by the seller.
When we bought our first house the seller had DIY installed a new hot water boiler within 10 years. The notaire explained that this installation was legally subject to a 10 year guarantee. The seller requested that I sign a waiver saying that I was aware it was not covered by a guarantee and I would not claim against the seller. I believe there was a small price reduction to compensate for this. The notaire said that he was obliged to advise me not to sign the waiver but I saw no problem in signing because it appeared to be a good boiler and even if it had required attention it would not have been the end of the world, and in fact we had no problem with it all the time we owned the house. But I remember some heated debate among my French work colleagues as to whether or not the waiver I had signed had any legal standing. Some said it had no standing because you cannot sign away a right that is enshrined in law.

Yes, I had to provide professional paperwork invoices for works done after OH died and we did major works via a local builder who had worked with OH on some projects so were covered

Two thoughts, 1. Is that why French properties can be in such a state when you buy them as owners dare not do anything to them for the 10 years preceeding their sale :blush:

In the UK it is often easier to take out an indeminity insurance for work carried out.

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Absolutely, no fingers crossed behind my back or anything, honest :rofl:

I think that’s the issue really - everyone does DIY judging by the size and number of large brico chains in France (Weldom, Leroy Merlin, Casto, Bricomarché, Brico Dépôt, Mr Bricolage, Brico Cash, Brico Leclerc) compared with the UK (B&Q, Homebase, Wickes, maybe Screwfix & ToolStation though the latter two do have a more trade focus and you could technically add ToolStation to the list of French bricos).

It would be impossible if you had to offer a guarantee on every kitchen cupboard or new tap that that you happened to put in but where professional work is routinely covered for 10 years one can see that a purchaser might be put off by lack of an assurance décennale on major works or ones which could impact safety such as electrics, gas and perhaps plumbing.

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