Our city is getting greener, and French real estate energy diagnostics are changing to improve the environmental status of Paris.


Does this affect landlords renting out their apartments? And what about buyers and sellers?


We explain everything you need to know as the housing market in France makes bigger steps towards sustainability.



What are diagnostics?


Also known as property surveys, diagnostics are a profile of a property. All sellers and landlords are responsible for arranging them before listing their apartments for sale or rental.


When complete, the reports give a detailed overview of the property’s health and safety, as well as its environmental impact.


You can read about the French system of diagnostics in more detail in an earlier article, published here.


But now, diagnostics are changing. The aim to is make properties more efficient, greener, and lessen their negative impact on the environment.


If a property fails to live up to more stringent demands, it is up to the landlord to improve its environmental profile.


Three changes are affecting diagnostics. Although not all are happening at once.



Change 1 – updating the DPE


The first change to French real estate energy diagnostics came into force July 2021, updating the Diagnostic for Performance of Energy (DPE).


It now demands a more in-depth look at the property’s energy efficiency. In addition to heating, insulation, hot water production, and construction materials, the report must now incorporate lighting and ventilation, along with a separate report on greenhouse gas emissions.


This change aims to give a clearer view of the property and its running costs, making it easier for the buyer or tenant to understand.


Properties receive a score from A to G. From 2025, those rated at the bottom (G) are no longer allowed to rent. Then in 2028, those rated F are banned, followed by E-rated properties in 2034. This gives landlords a few years to improve them.



Change 2 – a ban on the most inefficient rental properties


Some changes for French landlords are coming in even sooner.


From January 1, 2023, residences whose overall energy consumption exceeds 450 kilowatt hours per square meter each year on their DPE are no longer permitted as rental properties.


However, this stipulation only takes into account the viable living space in a property. So it covers the useable floor space – not counting any areas covered by walls, partitions, stairwells, shafts, door frames, and window frames.


The thinking behind this new rule is to force landlords to carry out work such as insulating and boiler upgrades, so apartments with the worst energy performance do not come to market.


This change to French real estate energy diagnostics applies only to leases concluded or renewed after the first day of 2023. That means these landlords have at least six months to get their properties into better shape.



Change 3 – a required audit before selling inefficient houses


The first two changes affect only landlords. But what about those selling their property?


There is a third and final change coming into force soon, on September 1, 2022. This decree again looks to the DPE – and applies to properties scoring F or G.


Before selling these properties an audit is now expected, outlining in black and white all the steps required to improve the DPE score and to make it more energy efficient.


However, there is a very important detail with this new demand. It only applies to individual freestanding dwellings, not to apartments. So the vast majority of property owners in Paris are not affected – unless of course they own a freestanding house, something of a rarity in our city.


One example of a property currently for sale with 56Paris is this two-bedroom duplex apartment in the trendy Bastille area. It scores a respectable C-rating on the DPE.



Need advice? 56Paris is here to help


There is no need to get confused by these changes to French real estate energy diagnostics.


The team at 56Paris are experts who work with buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants every day. And we are here to help, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.


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