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Wired internet connections fall under new house guarantees in France

New court ruling clarifies issue for property buyers

People buying a property in France should now be given a guarantee that the WiFi has been in good working order for the past two years Pic: Korn / Shutterstock

If you buy a new-build property with wired internet, you are entitled to a guarantee of its good working order for two years, France’s highest court has ruled.

The decision, handed down by the Cour de cassation in December, means builders are presumed liable for malfunctions of any computer cabling or sockets they put in, just as they would be for fittings such as doors, windows, heating and shutters. 

Read also: How do I find the best TV and internet provider for my French home?

However, the builder in question, who has not been identified, argued that this garantie de bon fonctionnement only applies to moving elements of the home, and not to static parts.

Computer cabling and sockets were not moving parts, the argument went, and dissatisfied customers should invoke the builder's classic civil liability, which involves proving fault and consequential damage first.

However, the Cour de cassation maintained that a computer network is not static since its purpose is to transport electrical signals, which it must degrade as little as possible.

This constitutes an activity, it said, and consequently it is up to the builder to repair or replace anything that is defective for up to two years after completion.

Read more: Court rules garantie décennale does not cover tiles

The builder also argued that any issues with wired internet connections should be apparent at the time of delivery, to rule out any liability based on hidden defects but the judge also rejected this argument, reports BFM.

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