DISCUSSIONS

Find the answers to many of your expat questions here

View Latest Posts

You're missing out...

As a member you can enjoy exclusive info and offers.

REGISTER NOW

House size question

Posted by Martin English - Created: 14 years ago
0 0

I wonder if anyone could help me with a legal house buying question.

Only flats and houses on co-propriétés have to conform to the Carrez law on measurement, so what is written on an Estate Agent's sheet doesn't have to be that accurate.

However my question is: what is normally counted when someone/an estate agent talks about habitable surface?

Are bathrooms, and laundary rooms included?
Are undeclared garage convertions included?
Are stairwells included?

Everyone I speak to gives me a different version and Estate agents seem to be the most vague; is the only answer to go around with a tape measure? 

Sorry no image available

8 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 8)

Sorry no image available
Posted by Monaco Max-189694 - 14 years ago

This is straight forward. The cellar becomes a studio when you have planning to change it to a studio. Simply because the current owner is using the cellar as a spare bedroom, doesn't necissarily make it so. If a vendor trys to tell you that the cellar is a bedroom, demand to see the written permission from the planning office agreeing the change of purpose. Likewise with a garage/studio conversion. Unless they have the paper work it is still a garage. It is important to remember it is legally either a garage OR a studio, NEVER "both".

The question of laundry room is less straight forward, and has really to be looked at on a case by case basis. Roughly how it works is this... If the laundry room is in the garage area, its not habitable, if it is clearly within the habitable area (ie between the kitchen and the study) then it constitutes habitable space.

Hope that makes it clear, although if you have a specific case about which you are unsure, email me, leave your number, and I will call you back and try to set you straight.

MAX (of Monaco)

 

Sorry no image available
Posted by Rouretan - 14 years ago

Max,

That makes it a lot clearer although there is still one area that causes loads of confussion when seeing property: that is when is a cellar, or a "laundrey room", not a cellar or a "laundry room" but a "studio" or basement office?

Or to put it less subtley: is a habitable basement only a habitable space when it has been declared as one?

Sorry no image available
Posted by Monaco Max-189694 - 14 years ago

Okay, as an estate agent I shall attempt to give you the difinitive answer.

 The habitable size of a property is worked out as the total floor area of the living space within the property, with roof hight of over 1.8 metres. This would not include normal cupboard space, however would include large "walk in style clossets", because they are designed to be physically accessed by an adult. Similarly covered stairwells as well as lavatories and bathrooms within the main section of the property count as they are within the habitable area of the property.

Habitable area does not include ballconies, covered terraces, cellars, indoor swimming pools or garages that are attached to the house. A simple rule of thumb is to look at an space, and if in doubt ask yourself; "Could I reasonably carpet this area?". If the answer is "yes", then you have habitable space.

The confusion for buyers often arises when they read adverts for a property, for example, of 350m square, only to discover later that the habitable space is 250m square. This is because an indoor swimming pool, garage, or cellar which is physically attached to the house is aloud to be counted as part of the total serface area of the property.

It goes without saying that sometimes, particularly with very old or large properties it can be hard to get a difinitive serface area to the nearest metre squared, but provided you work with an agency with a good reputation, such as mine, you can be confident you are not being mislead. 

Hope this helps, if you need further clarification, just ask. Max

Sorry no image available
Posted by szozu - 14 years ago

It was explained to me that in the "smallest room in the house" you could only count the part you can actually walk on, so you could theoretically have less than one metre of space there.

Lana

Sorry no image available
Posted by Rouretan - 14 years ago

Strangely enough the art 4.1 of the loi Carrez does not mention cupboards at all:

la superficie des planchers des locaux clos et couverts après déduction des surfaces occupées par les murs, cloisons, marches et cages d’escaliers, gaines, embrasures de portes et de fenêtres. Il n’est pas tenu compte des planchers des parties de locaux d’une hauteur inférieure à 1,80 mètre.

So the smallest room in the house can be counted too?

 

Sorry no image available
Posted by secours-180503 - 14 years ago

All covered surfaces with a high superior to 1m80 are counted, except walls,stairs,windows and porte-fenetres.

Sorry no image available
Posted by Rouretan - 14 years ago

I think you will find that when measuring a room in France FITTED cupboards are not counted (ie you just measure up to the doors)

However kitchen cupboard space does count as they are moveable.

I too would like some clarification on this: would any estate agent like to put his head over the parapet?

Sorry no image available
Posted by szozu - 14 years ago

The only thing I have to say about this subject is that sometimes you can see a place and think it's much larger than what official count turns out to be; that's because anything built in is not counted in the mettrage, so in theory you could buy a much "larger" apartment than what you sell! This would particularly be true if you were to buy a place that didn't have a built in kitchen or any closets.

Lana