The ins and outs of the Loi Carrez, governing floor area measurements, explained…
If you are searching for a flat in France, you may notice that there are two different numbers used to describe the floor space. One is the general area given in square metres, and the other lower number is expressed in ‘square metres Loi Carrez’. This concerns the floor area remaining after deduction of any partitions, walls, stairwells, balconies, cellars and any space under the eaves with clearance lower than 1,80 metres.
Lots, or fractions of lots of surface areas of less than 8 square metres (86 sq ft) are also excluded from the calculation of habitable surface area. Typically, maids’ rooms (chambres de bonne) would fall into this category. Cellars, garages, parking places and other storage facilities sold as separate lots are also excluded.
With the exorbitant prices that a square metre can command in some locations, Paris for example, the exact number of square metres can have a significant impact on price negotiations, so it’s very important for both the vendor and the buyer to get it right.
But who exactly is held accountable for this calculation?
Pretty much everybody involved. According to a post on Droit du Mobilier et Droit de l’Urbanisme, a court decision in Paris determined that the surveyor, the estate agent and the notaire are all responsible for any errors in the calculation of the Loi Carrez surface area mentioned in the property description.
If there is any compensation due to the buyer or seller as a result of the error, the three parties responsible can be made to contribute up to 90% of the sum due. You’ve been warned…