New buyers left owing €300,000 for uninhabitable ‘mouldy’ French home

Couple were forced to leave after six months as their newborn baby fell sick due to fungus-related issues

The property suffered from mould and fungus
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A couple have been left with a €300,000 debt after their newly-purchased property was deemed uninhabitable due to mould.

Marie (full name has not been released) and her husband purchased the home in Pompignac, close to Bordeaux, taking a 25-year mortgage totalling more than €300,000.

However they subsequently discovered that the house is uninhabitable due to mould and fungus and are now trying to annul the sale.

Once moving into the property, a converted cellar of an old chateau, Marie experienced a number of issues including angina and bronchitis.

She gave birth a couple of months later and the baby developed a respiratory illness.

The couple purchased equipment to improve the air quality in the property, however this did not resolve the issues.

The illnesses were so severe the family say they had to move out of the home after only six months.

They commissioned a report on the building, with an expert concluding “In the current state of affairs, [it is recommended]…. you do not live in the dwelling,” because of the health risks, said local news outlet Actu Bordeaux.

In addition to the mould that was present a subsequent health report also listed strains of fungal infections in the property, some of which were highly allergenic.

Pleas left unanswered

The couple moved back in with Marie’s parents, but the 200 km round-trip to work in Bordeaux made it difficult, so they rented a flat closer to the city.

They are now trying to annul the sale but have been unsuccessful so far.

An attempt to resolve the issue amicably with the selling agent was unsuccessful so the couple have started a legal process, sending a formal notice (lettre de mise en demeure) in November.

The agency did not respond.

There are seven other lots in the unit, all situated in the cellar area, and other property owners also say they are experiencing issues.

Mould in homes can lead to serious health problems, and if present you should be addressed promptly.

In 2023 a woman living in social housing in France had to undergo a lung transplant due to organ damage from mould in her bedroom.

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