Solar panel row, permit drop, fake bricks: French property news recap

Our pick of recent property articles that you might have missed

Our round-up looks at a row over solar panels, an old gendarmerie station for sale and the controversial sale of a wooden home
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Fake brick cladding fools new owners

A couple are bringing a court case saying they were duped into buying a wooden home believing it was brick due to it being covered in brick cladding and a report at the time of purchase confirmed this.

A professional report about the house stated that the property in the north of France was made of bricks but when the couple tried to do renovation works, builders refused because it was unsafe as the structure was wood.

The couple are taking the original owners to court more than six years after purchasing the property and hope to annul the original sale.

Read more: Wooden house passed off as brick fools new owners in France

Row over tenants’ solar panel installation

An electrician and his partner could be evicted after he installed solar panels in their rented bungalow.

The rental company they rent the building from claims the electrician tenant needed permission before installing the panels, and did not follow through with certain procedures, including making an agreement with France’s electrical grid operator.

In response, the couple have set up a petition to allow tenants to more easily install solar panels, and reached out to politicians to help with their situation.

Read more: Row after tenant electrician fitted solar panels on own French home

Number of building permits falling

The number of building permits given in France for new constructions has fallen by almost 30% in the last year.

Cost of materials, rising inflation, and a stagnant buyers’ market were all reasons given – although it must be noted the number of permits given in 2022 was a record.

Water shortages and drought restrictions were another reason cited, particularly in the south, where there are not enough water reserves to connect new-builds to the existing water infrastructure.

Read more: Number of building permits issued in France continues to fall

Former seaside police station up for sale in Normandy

A former gendarmerie station situated near the sea in Normandy is to be put up for auction with a starting price of €119,000.

The building has been empty for over a year, and Ouisterham’s council (Caldavos) believes there is no use for the commune to keep hold of the property any longer.

This is partly because renovations to bring the property up to standards would be expensive – meaning that even if the price seems attractive, a lot of work is needed afterwards.

Read more: Old gendarmerie next to the sea is for sale as a home in Normandy