Termites, Fungal and Insect related damage (Termites/Etat Parasitaire)

The report on termites is only a compulsory requirement in a number of areas, however completing the Etat Parasitaire is recommended for buildings over 25 years old. The report is valid only for 6 months. The types of damage to wood are typically: termites, beetle or woodworm infestation and dry rot.

Generally as an agent, we recommend vendors to get this report done even if not mandatory. Woodworm is present in just about every French house over 20 years old. The absence of the report can suggest to a buyer that there may be a problem.

If termite damage is in evidence, then the vendor is normally responsible for any remedial action. Capricorne beetle or woodworm treatments are more of a negotiating matter between buyer & seller. Good reports advise whether the infestation is active (live) or dormant (dead). There is also a diagnostic report for “mérule”, a fungal growth which is a problem in northern France. It does not affect houses in S W France.  

Termite damage is by far the most serious. Having said that, it is possible to eradicate, and provide long term guarantees for new owners. Woodworm damage is very common, and not considered to be serious.


This publication is not a substitute for detailed advice on specific transactions and problems and should not be taken as providing legal advice on any of the topics discussed.