Responsibility for diagnosis

Before finalizing any real estate transaction, the owner of a property is required to provide a set of documents attesting to the conformity of this property with respect to several criteria, namely the electrical and gas installation, presence of asbestos, termites or lead, as well as its energy performance and more.

To carry out this kind of control, it is necessary to call on professional diagnosticians who must justify a certain skill, special certification and even insurance. But, how can you be sure that the real estate diagnosis is carried out correctly and who is responsible for these so-called diagnoses in the event of invalidity?

What are the owner’s obligations?

The owner, whether seller or lessor, is held responsible for all real estate diagnostics carried out on his property. As a result, he is obliged to ensure that the diagnostician is competent, having the necessary certifications for the proper conduct of the diagnosis and justifying civil liability insurance, except for the case of measurements. Carrez law and Boutin law as well as for theERNMT where it is not necessary to have a particular certification.

It is also prudent, both for the owner and the future buyer, to be contractually bound with the real estate diagnostician. Moreover, without contractual proof, they may not be able to justify the fault of the professional.

In the event that the profile of the diagnostician chosen does not correspond to the requirements requested, the owner risks a fine of 3000€ in the event of a second offense within three years following the first offense. In terms of insurance, he will lose his rights to latent defects and will have to pay for all the work to be done.

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Read also: Real estate diagnostics in Nice: the particularities of the city

What are the obligations of the real estate diagnostician?

In addition to being accredited by COFRAC, each real estate diagnostician must provide proof of skills allowing him to practice his profession and to have civil liability insurance. It must follow certain rules.

Moreover, it is always necessary to check the ceiling of the guarantee. This must not be less than €300,000 per claim and €500,000 per year of insurance. An interesting guarantee ceiling combined with additional insurance is a strong selection argument, to be checked on the insurance certificate that the professional provides to his client.

If this guarantee ceiling is exceeded by damage caused by the real estate diagnostician, the insurance may very well refuse to pay the costs incurred. Consequently, the customer can sue the diagnostician as a legal or natural person. Refunds will take even longer to reach the owner.

The diagnostician is responsible for informing his client about the complete condition of his property, but also for providing him with useful advice to remedy any problem concerning him. For example, during a termite diagnosis, if the professional notices residues of the presence of the dry rot fungus, the client must be informed.

Read also: Gas diagnosis: what is it?

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