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After our post “DPE or energetic performance becoming a key factor?” let’s talk about the compulsory lead assessment (CREP), and another “hidden” lead measurement… Yes again an additional “technocratic jargon”, albeit useful for your health. CREP, “Constat de Risque d’Exposition au Plomb”, gives information about lead content in the property. CREP is compulsory for all home with a planning permission older than the 1st of January 1949. The house/flat seller or landlord has to disclose the CREP to a potential buyer or tenant. The CREP is undertaken by a professional certified by an organisation accredited by the COFRAC (Comite Francais d’Accreditation, www.cofrac.fr )

The content of the CREP:

  • Lead content of any home coatings (old paintings, plaster, rendering, bricks…) including outdoor coatings.


  • Rented home: CREP’s validity last for 6 years.
  • home for sale:
    • without limit as long as the CREP states a lead concentration below 1mg/cm2
    • 1 year if the lead concentration is at least or above 1mg/cm2, in this case the CREP is forwarded to the “Préfecture” (state representative at “Département” level) by the certified professional.


  • The CREP has to be attached to the “technical assessment file” and append to the “compromis de vente” or preliminary contract (like the “DPE” and other compulsory assessments…), including an information note summarising health consequences of lead and cautions with coatings lead content. It is the same for the tenancy contract.
  • Depending on lead content and its consequence on health, the “Préfet” may order specific building work/refurbishment
  • If the seller does not disclose lead content to the buyer or tenant, the later may sue the seller or landlord  for “hidden defects” and respectively ask for price rebate/ transaction cancellation (buyer), prejudice and penalties (tenant)

So what about the “hidden” lead assessment?:

Following a European Union directive, the maximum lead content per litre of water stands now at 25mg and  is going to decrease to 10 mg from  the 25th of December 2013. The landlord is responsible for the safetiness, healthiness and habitability , as such has to check the water lead content. It is good to think about the lead content too when you buy a flat/house in France.  Lead was extensively used for tap water pipe in France up to the 1950ies, and was only legally forbidden after April 1995. Today 10 to 15% -2 to 3 millions- of French homes may have led water pipe, especially among block of flats. So do check before buying if you have any doubt, as the potential cost of changing water pipe may also be part of the price negotiation. The water lead test should be undertaken by a  professional, certified by a COFRAC accredited  organisation .