When the times comes to sell your French property, DIY renovations carried out by owners are generally not popular with French buyers, who prefer to see work undertaken and guaranteed by qualified artisans.
A recent French court decision may now alter the legal responsibility of owner/vendors for work they have undertaken themselves. The appeal court has used the argument that an owner who does building work on his own property automatically becomes a "builder" - and as a result is subject to the same laws requring a 10 year guarantee on the work done, that is applicable to registered artisans (who are obliged to carry the requisite insurance cover).
The court case cited a vendor who had re-covered the outside of the property in question, but the work had proved defective. The new owners sued for damages and won, despite the arguments of the previous owner that he was merely the seller and not a builder. The court ruled otherwise.
How far this ruling will affect current legislation or lead to the introduction of new rules covering DIY renovations is unclear. French jurisprudence does not carry the wame weight as in British law, where previous judgements can be cited in subsequent cases. However, a vendor doing renovation, repair or rebuilding work on his own property should be aware of the potential risks following the French court ruling.
(Source: Europe 1)