Fos­ses sep­tiques

French Property News - - Expert Advice -

Anum­ber of prop­er­ties I’ve looked at say that the ask­ing price re­flects that the fosse needs re­plac­ing. And even some ren­o­vated houses still have a non-con­form­ing fosse sep­tique. Is it pos­si­ble to put a price on re­place­ment? Or is this de­pen­dent on the length of my string? Richard Hills

Mary Hall, prop­erty man­ager and for­mer char­tered sur­veyor, ( replies: Yes, the length of your string is im­por­tant! Non-mains drainage in­stal­la­tions ( as­sainisse­ment non-col­lec­tif) com­prise sev­eral el­e­ments. Pipework takes waste from the house to the fosse tank, which ‘pre-treats’ the waste be­fore it’s fil­tered out through a drainage field ( épandage). The sys­tem needs pri­mary and se­condary ven­ti­la­tion, and if the fosse is sited away from the house, a grease trap ( bac à graisse) it is put in be­tween the house and the fosse.

In­stal­la­tion costs vary ac­cord­ing to the size of the prop­erty, bound­aries, ac­cess and the sub-soil. For three-to-five bed­room houses I’ve re­cently seen bills from €6,500-€10,000; dif­fi­cult sites or larger prop­er­ties will cost more. For non-con­form­ing in­stal­la­tions, the ‘ mise au normes’ to bring them up to stan­dard de­pends on what the in­spec­tion re­port spec­i­fies. If you’re re­ally keen on a prop­erty, the an­swer is to ask the es­tate agent to ob­tain quotes. It’s not an un­usual re­quest, and in to­day’s mar­ket the agent should be keen to do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to achieve a sale.

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