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Wooden house passed off as brick fools new owners in France

The couple bought the house believing it was made of brick but later found that fake cladding had been placed around wooden structure

The home’s brickwork was only decorative, duping both the new owners and professionals. Photo for illustrative purposes only Pic: Allison J. Hahn / Shutterstock

A couple in northern France are taking the previous owners of their home to court after they discovered, six years after purchase, that the property’s brickwork was actually fake cladding over wood.

The brickwork correlated with an official diagnostic stating the home was made of concrete, with 20 cm breezeblocks making up the majority of the house’s framework.

The three-bed property in the Nord department is actually made of wood, however, with only one extension being made of concrete, and no breezeblocks used to make the main home.

The ‘bricks’ themselves are part of an 11 cm thick cladding hiding the wooden structure. 

Property damaged by damp 

The couple realised the issue when looking into renovating the property. It was spotted by workmen who claimed the wooden structure was too fragile to withstand any work. 

Issues with damp and mould then began to affect the house because of its wooden frame, which, according to the owners, has left the home with a permanent smell and prevented them from welcoming guests. 

Going to court after six years 

The issue will be reviewed in court this December, more than six years after the couple purchased the property. 

The couple are asking for a refund of the price which paid for the home plus subsequent renovations, in addition to the court cancelling the original sale.

They are not confident of succeeding, however, believing the court will chastise them for “not having been more professional than the professionals,” by not noticing the position during the purchasing phase. 

The couple no longer want to own property. “I don't want to buy any more, it's over,” said husband Grégory. 

“We are thinking of getting a mobile home, but we have heard of people having to remove a caravan from their property after a complaint from the neighbours,” he added. 

“We can't knock down the house to rebuild it… and we cannot afford to both rent a place next door and pay off the mortgage on the house,” he told local media outlet La Voix du Nord.

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