Explained: The new rules for selling houses in France

From 2022, anyone who wants to sell an older house in France may have to pay for a €700-800 energy audit of their property.

Snow covers a house in eastern France. The government is set to make it harder for people to sell energy inefficient housing from September 2022.
Snow covers a house in eastern France. The government is set to make it harder for people to sell energy inefficient housing from September 2022. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP)

The regulations form part of the Climate and Resilience law and will come into force in September 2022. 

Currently, if you plan to sell or rent a property in France, you need to provide a diagnostic de performance énergétique (DPE), which is a document that serves as an estimate for the property’s energy consumption.

Depending on the result of the DPE, your property will be ranked from A (the most energy efficient) to G (the least energy efficient). 


In France, properties that fall into the F and G categories are known as passoires thermales – or heat sinks. According to Le Parisien, some 4.8 million properties in France fall into this category, generally older properties or those in poor repair. 

The cost of obtaining a DPE generally ranges between €100-250 depending on the size of the property and when it was built. You can find a certified list of DPE providers here

So what changes? 

From September, anyone who want to sell a property that is ranked in the F or G categories (ie those that are projected to need a minimum 330 KWh/m2 of energy per year) will also need to pay for an audit énergétique

This is like a far more precise version of the DPE and aims to inform future buyers not only of the likely energy bills but also of the cost of renovations needed to make the property fall into the B class. 

Real estate experts are worried that there will not be enough trained professionals to carry out the audits énergétiques. The implementation of this new requirement was supposed to go ahead in January 2022 and has already been pushed back by eight months. 

The cost of an audit énergétique falls on those who are trying to sell and is estimated at around €700-800. 

If you are considering renovating a property in France to make it more energy efficient, this is a good time to do so. The government is backing zero percent interest loans and other measure to make it economical to do so. You can read more about these measures HERE

There is also another incentive: if your property is seriously energy inefficient (requires more than 450 KWh/m2 per year), you will not be allowed to rent it out from 2023. 

Member comments

  1. There is also another incentive: if your property is seriously energy inefficient (requires more than 450 KWh/m2 per year), you will not be allowed to rent it out from 2023

    Does this count for gites also? or only for main residences?

  2. Welcome to North Korea. France is one of the most controlling countries in the world. Over the last five years it’s gone worse, and it’s all down to the inexperienced people Macron has appointed.

  3. Regarding this specific issue Boggy – incentivizing renovation works/raising awareness of the climate impact of “heat sinks” via mandatory energy analyses – it seems a tad far fetched to invoke North Korea as a comparison. France is one of the few countries actively mobilizing its citizens (from the proactive to the sluggish) in waking up and taking action in every regard to combat the climate emergency. Yes, an energy audit is annoying and expensive and there will be people who find the extra cost an unfair burden. Yet it is a minuscule and temporary inconvenience in the grand scheme of what is necessary to implement to have a chance at limiting runaway emissions and a rapidly heating planet. If we had all taken personal responsibility and done what we could privately to help make our homes efficient/recycle etc etc the government wouldn’t have needed to nanny us through it in the first place. I would love to live in a world that didn’t need onerous and patronizing regulations/carrot and stick incentives and red tape but unfortunately people have proven themselves too stupid and selfish.

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Checklist: What you need to do if you move house in France

From the tax office to the post office, internet firms and pets - who you need to tell when you move house in France

Checklist: What you need to do if you move house in France

Whether you’re moving down the street, to the other side of town, or to a different département, the administrative scale of the task is almost as big as the physical side – and at least as stressful, unless  – on actual moving day – you lose the kettle and can’t make a cup of tea.

The job of moving house gets more difficult the closer you get to moving day, and it’s easy to forget or put off those administrative jobs you have to do. So, here’s a list of those annoying red tape jobs you need to consider in good time. 

1. Give notice to your landlord

If you’re renting your current property, you need to give either one month or three months’ notice – depending on the type and location of the property rental –  that you’re moving out, and arrange with your landlord a suitable time to carry out an état des lieux of the property, similar to the one carried out when you moved in.

2. Schools

Parents of school-age children attending state-run schools must notify the establishment if they move out of its catchment area, and find a new school for their children within eight days of moving. 

Under certain circumstances children will be able finish the school year in the establishment they attended before the change of residence.

The first step is to contact the town hall in the town you are moving to. The full rules, including those for children in private education or who are home schooled are here.

3.Tell the taxman – and other administrative bodies

The taxman needs to know you’re moving – if only to send your next tax form to the right address. 

You can inform tax officials of the fact and date of your move online, by logging into your Personal area on the website

Here, at least, there’s some additional good news. France has set up a system in which you can tell a number of administrative offices – including the tax office, EDF, Pôle emploi, and Caf – that you’re moving house with one online form. Find it here.

4. Residence permit

Anyone living in France on a residence permit – such as Britons who have a post-Brexit Carte de séjour – needs to update the address on it.

The process can be completed online.

5. Driving licence and carte grise

Sadly, for technical reasons, declarations of change of contact details to the Vehicle Registration System with an effective date after June 30, 2022, aren’t currently included in the one form, all admin system mentioned above.

So, to change the registered address of your vehicle on its carte grise, you need to go to the ANTS website

Bizarrely, there is no rush to change the address on your driver’s license.  You can leave it until you apply for a new one (for example, if you lose it, or it expires) – and there’s no dedicated ‘change of address’ option on the driver’s licence application section of the ANTS website.

6. Utilities

You need to contact your electricity and gas supplier, as well as the water company and whoever operates your telephone, TV, internet package.

Be aware, if your current internet operator is unable to supply your new home, you can request the termination of your subscription free of charge.

Don’t forget your bank, either. 

7. New GP

You may want to change your GP – especially if you’re moving some distance. You will need to find a GP able to take on new patients, and they will be able to help with the process.

8. Don’t forget your pets

In France, carnivorous pets such as dogs, cats and ferrets, must be identifiable – usually by microchip, or tattoo – so that they can be returned to their owners if they get lost. This information is kept on a national database, which must be updated when you move house. Do that here

9. Get your mail forwarded

La Poste will forward any letters to your new address for up to 12 months. Click here for more information.

10. Help with the costs of moving

You may be eligible for some help with moving costs on the day itself. Those on lower incomes may be able to access help from the fonds de solidarité pour le logement towards the cost of hiring a removals firm, for example.

Parents with three children or more, or who are expecting a third child may be eligible for a moving allowance from CAF under certain conditions. More information is available here