PENCIL CASE. Thermal colanders: the energy diagnosis attached on its reliability

the essential
An essential element in the sale or rental of properties, the energy performance diagnosis (EPD) has recently seen its reliability questioned. This has put some landlords at risk of finding housing considered indecent. Explanations.

It is a real sword of Damocles over the heads of the owners. By classifying the housing from A to G, the Energy Performance Diagnosis (DPE) makes it rain and shine on the real estate market.

Mandatory since 2007, but considered at the time as a simple formality with no concrete effects, it conditions today any transaction and rental of a property.

A kind of lottery

“The potential buyer or tenant has objective information on the quality of the accommodation being offered, which avoids unpleasant surprises,” explains Yannick Ainouche, president of the Chamber of Real Estate Diagnostics at Fnaim.

Yet its reliability has often been questioned, even giving some owners the impression of participating in some kind of lottery.

Recently, it was the 60 million consumer association that pinned this famous DPE. By carrying out about twenty diagnoses, some of them for the same good, the association has obtained more than surprising results.

A new method of calculation

“For the same house, the five diagnostics do not lead to the same result,” explains the 60 Millions de consommateurs association. There are always at least two different letters, and sometimes three for energy labels ranging from A to G ”.

How is such a difference possible? For Yannick Ainouche, two factors can explain this gap. “The new method of calculating the DPE has been much more advanced than its revision in July 2021. The diagnosis now includes much of the technical specificities of the housing. In order for the DPE to be reliable and objective, the owner must provide us with some essential information: type of insulation, its thickness, etc.

However, according to the expert, some of them are absent at the time of diagnosis or simply unable to answer some questions that are a little too technical. “As part of the new DPE, we have to, for example, enter the size of the insulation. If we do not have this information, we put a default index, which degrades the rating of the property “, explains the expert.

Low-cost diagnostics

Another hypothesis put forward by our interlocutor: the use of low-cost, unskilled diagnostics, which sell off prices and tarnish the image of the sector. “Even if it is not the majority of cases, some diagnosticians do their job poorly and provide unreliable DPE,” acknowledges the Fnaim expert. A problem well known to public authorities.

Released in September, a report from the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumers and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) points to some dubious practices by real estate diagnosticians. In question? Unclear prices and too often non-existent displays.

The Fnaim real estate diagnostics chamber therefore asks for the construction of a real professional branch and, why not, to think of an authority that can sanction unscrupulous diagnosticians. Please note that from 1 July 2021 the DPE is legally enforceable.

The condominium enigma

But a new controversy is emerging. While individual homes can see their rankings improve more easily thanks to renovations, this is not the case with apartments.

Depending on the state of the building in which they are located and the heating mode, most of the times collective, the apartments struggle to change class even if they have been renovated from top to bottom.

Faced with this scam, nearly a quarter of owners would be reluctant to undertake the work and would try to get rid of these properties that have become “unreachable” and unsaleable.

Especially since a new provision still risks making one shiver: from 1uh April, an energy audit will be mandatory when selling class F and G condominiums. At the owner’s expense, it should cost between 600 euros and 1,000 euros.

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