Rental apartment's power sockets are not earthed


I recently moved to Grenoble and looking to rent my first apartment. I have received the contract for an apartment, but looking through the electrician’s report, I saw that the “one or more sockets in the house are not earthed” (I quoted the French translation from Google Translate).

Is this apartment safe to stay in? Is this something I could ask the rental agency / landlord to rectify?

The electrician’s report does also mention that “The entire electrical installation is protected by at least one high sensitivity differential device ≤ 30 mA.” I assume this means that there is a circuit breaker on the circuit board of the apartment.

Thank you

Means that there is a RCD protecting the electrics (or GFI if you are from the good ol’ US of A)

As to some sockets not being earthed - less than ideal but if the ones in question are old two-pin ones you can’t plug an earthed appliance into them anyway. Three-pin sockets should definitely be earthed.

Oh, PS, could you put your correct full name in your registration details, forum policy and all that :slight_smile:

This will be an RCD designed to detect if any current is going where it shouldn’t (such as through your body) and cut off the power double-quick. It should certainly be located in your apartment, along with a number of conventional circuit-breakers. Mind you, looking at the relatively new wiring in my rental house, nothing would come as a surprise.

Thanks. I didn’t get what you mean by “but if the ones in question are old two-pin ones you can’t plug an earthed appliance into them anyway”.

I thought the socket should have an “earth pin” that sticks out, and an earthed appliance will have a hole in its plug that goes into this pin. Now if the socket has no “earth pin”, the appliance’s plug should still fit with its two pins?

Modern ones ( type E, CEE 7/5) do, yes - and if you have sockets with an earth pin which is not connected then the landlord should certainly rectify the problem.

But the older "“type C” sockets don’t have an earth - not sure if they are still legal but, in practice, probably still possible to find them in old properties.

PS, could you do the registration thing? @james is normally quite clear on the policy.

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@chch Frankly, in your situation -I would direct my queries to the Rental Agency through whom I would (possibly) be renting the property (any property)… and I would NOT sign anything or hand over any deposit unless I was 100% happy with the state of the electrics (or whatever).

Hi, welcome to SF!

Please can you amend your profile to show your full name?



You can, the plug has 2 pins, the earth pin is on the socket.

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Charles, I’ve just asked the question since I saw the Adjoint Maire across the road.

You need confirmation that the appartment meets the current “normes” . Standards are set by the Govt and any rental property has to conform to whatever the current Normes are - when a property changes Tenants. (and sometimes during an old tenancy, if there is a risk involved.)

Actually, you’re right - I was too mentally locked into thinking about the two pin plug (as typically found on lamps) and totally failed to think about the fact that a CEE 7/6 will, of course, go in the socket without any issue.

Duh, sorry guys.

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Thanks Stella. I will ask the agency.

The electrician’s report with the contract was strange. Its conclusion was

Conclusion relative à l’évaluation des risques relevant du devoir de conseil de professionnel:
En cas d’ anomalies nous vous conseillons de faire intervenir un installateur électricien qui lèvera les risques pouvant porter atteintes à la sécurité des personnes.

which according to Google translate is

Conclusion on the evaluation of the risks falling under the duty of professional advice:
In the event of an anomaly, we advise you to call on an electrician installer who will remove the risks that may affect the safety of persons.

Is their advice to contact an electrician if I get electrocuted? Or do they think that this doesn’t pose much of a threat and think I could only get a minor shock at worst?

I’m no electrician - but it does not sound like a clean bill of health to me… :roll_eyes:

There must be other apartments for rent… get out and see some others… and remember to ask the question about the “normes” every time. :thinking:

No, their advice is to contact an electrician to rectify the faults. if they identify any problems. That looks like a standard phrase which they will add to all reports, whether or not anything is found to be wrong.

Not everything is serious or dangerous - I still have a few things on my To-Do list following the report on our place such as sinking a new earth rod to get the loop resistance in spec - but I’ve fixed the dangerous stuff (RCD/GFI not working and a few other items) and its not massively out of spec so can safely wait.

It is serious if the Owner is trying to rent out the property without bringing it up to the current Normes. The Law is very strict on this sort of thing.

All three pin sockets must have an earth connection or otherwise be replaced with two pin versions. It is not permissible to fit two pin sockets in a new installation, but it is permissible to fit them in an older installation to update the existing sockets. It is more than possible to receive an Attestation de Sécurité from the Consuel for your situation as opposed to the normally feared Attestation de Conformité. Without a closer inspection it would be impossible to say either way, but it sounds safe enough, dependant upon where the unearthed sockets are. The Normes that apply to the property are those that were in existence when the property was last upgraded, and not today’s Normes.


Geoff… hate to disagree with anyone - but Rental Property for a new Tenant must be up to date with the Normes for electricity. Most important.

Certain other normes (insulation etc) are able to be let slip a little.

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As an aside… in a main residence, it is possible that the electrics are not aux normes… but heaven help us if there is a fire with its cause linked to faulty/dodgy electrics :zipper_mouth_face:

where would culpability lie in such circumstances?
With the tenant or the lessor/owner? and would the liability be absolute?

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and more importantly would the insurance pay out if normes weren’t met? :electric_plug:

Been there, done that… (for someone else). The moment the normes are brought into question, the Insurance company goes berserk… and the Policy Holder shrivels…