Understood George, however I thought it a useful point to make that
although the survey reports are required by law one should not consider
them as in any way evidence that the installations are fit for purpose.
I am not an electrician but I have rewired several houses in UK and done
the plumbing and heating in them as well.
In our house the only earth connection was with an undersized (2.5 sq mm -
it should have been 6 or 10 (I can’t remember exactly now)) corroded
stranded cable which on its own should have resulted in the electrical
system being condemned as unsafe and in UK would have resulted in an
immediate stop notice being attached and the connection at the meter
disconnected. The feed to the secondary tableau was also 2.5 (I replaced
it with 16) and to the workshop also 2.5 I replaced it with 10). I
installed three new linked earth connections, replaced all three tableaux
and will have replaced all the wiring as well by the time we have finished
The main gas pipe ended in a stopcock opening to the attic space with no
cap on it - again potentially lethal.
The drains were pretty dubious as well - all passed by the authorities.
Nearly all replaced now
On the whole electrical installations that I have seen in France (apart
from completely new ones) have been of poor quality and mostly unsafe.
Of course all this is off the point you make but relevant to anyone buying
in France and a lesson not to rely on the “reports” as anything other than
a necessity for the seller but of little value to the buyer.
All that said I have found the authorities very helpful in most cases as
long as the approach is carefully planned and in (even rudimentary)
French. A request to help with a problem is rarely refused and has always
resulted in very helpful advice. I would expect you will find the rating
authority helpful in resolving the apparent problem over the number of
spaces. I suspect they regard the survey reports with as much disdain as I
When I appealed against the assessment for our workshop (an newly enclosed
part of a previously partly open barn) as I thought they had used the wrong
classification for it the lady at the rating office explained that I could
certainly appeal if I wished but they had changed the basis and pricing
since the assessment and even if I won it would result in a higher
assessment. I was happy to accept the “incorrect” one!