Twenty houses in an estate in Yvelines (Ile-de-France) are to be demolished just four years after being built due to a host of problems including not conforming to building regulations and shoddy construction.
The first of the properties in the housing estate in Les Mureaux, a town north west of Paris, will be demolished in September, with others being knocked down in 2026.
Barbara Sonn, who bought one of the houses for €245,000 and moved in with her family in 2018, told TF1 that she started noticing problems with the house after one year.
“Insulation, soundproofing and cavity problems, but not just that…One proof of the defects is a crack that has appeared on the exterior wall of the building,” she said.
Her house is due to be demolished in 2026.
For others, their properties were built too low, meaning that the gardens can flood easily.
Catherine Gourdet said hers is like a pond.
“We could put ducks in it,” she said.
“There hasn't been any flooding for a very long time, but when you see what's happening now, with global warming, it's very worrying.”
The owners have told French media that the developers of the site, the group Fousse, are not responding to their messages.
The decision to demolish the 20 homes was taken after a series of exchanges between the residents and the developer’s property damage insurer.
Many of the owners have expressed their dismay at the situation, saying they are worried about where they will live while their homes are being re-built.
Luis Sainz, municipal councillor in charge of urban planning in Les Mureaux, said they will do their best to help the families.
“We can always, I think, help out two or three families, but that is not our role,” he said.
The town’s mairie has stepped in to hire a legal advisor to help the families manage the administrative steps with their insurers.
The insurance companies have offered to re-house the affected families during the reconstruction, French finance magazine Capital reported, although it did not specify if that meant all of the families or just some.