A woman from Brittany has found herself in a nightmare position after her house was deemed to be uninhabitable due to various construction problems and the insurance company won a court case absolving them of responsibility for covering the repair costs.
Cécile Baudry bought her 135-square-metre house in the town of Questembert (Morbihan) for €210,000 in 2010.
She first noticed problems with it in 2016, beginning with signs of subsidence - when the ground under your property is sinking causing internal damage to the foundations of the house.
The family were forced to leave the property on the grounds it was dangerous
In 2017 she notified the courts of the problems and an expert deemed the house “dangerous and uninhabitable” in 2019.
The expert cited various issues such as the crawl space height being too low and insufficient ventilation as well as a missing, important concrete slab and moisture rising from the ground.
Ms Baudry had to leave the house with her two teenagers to move in with her parents. The builder who constructed the house sold his company in 2015 and has since changed activity, making it complicated for him to be implicated in the responsibility for the problems.
In 2020, a court in Vannes ruled that the builder’s insurance company Maaf should cover the costs of the €286,000 needed to repair the property.
Rebuilding could cost hundreds of thousands
But Maaf appealed and won its case this September because work on the property technically began in 2006, two years before the insurance policy was taken out.
It means that Ms Baudry now finds herself in a position where she needs to reimburse Maaf for the repair work that has already been carried out as well as continuing to pay a mortgage on a house that she cannot live in.
She plans to appeal to the Court of Cassation but all this will be expensive.
French newspaper Ouest-France, which has followed this story, estimates that it will cost €40,000 to demolish the house and €300,000 to rebuild it.
A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help Ms Baudry cover the numerous legal costs.