"Fees and announcements: reminder of the posting rules", Me Cyril SABATIE – Lawyer specializing in real estate law - THECHOWANIECS.COM

“Fees and announcements: reminder of the posting rules”, Me Cyril SABATIE – Lawyer specializing in real estate law

Since April 1, 2022, new rules have come into force for the display of fee schedules and the drafting
some announcements.

photo: agency journal fees and announcements

Under the decree of January 26, new rules for the drafting of real estate advertisements and the posting of fee schedules came into force on April 1. The decree in question modifies articles 2 and 4 of the decree of January 10, 2017, relating to consumer information by professionals involved in a real estate transaction.

Let’s take a look at the changes brought about by these provisions. On the one hand, this text thus revises the obligations relating to the display of the price lists of the professionals of the Hoguet law and on the other hand, it also completes the content of the rental advertisements, published by these same professionals, for real estate located in areas subject to rent control.

Modification of the scale of fees: towards a relaxation

First of all, the modification of article 2 of the decree of January 10, 2017 now provides that the price list displayed by the real estate intermediary mentions the MAXIMUM prices of its services in order to allow consumers who wish to do so to negotiate downwards the price of the services of the professional holder of the professional card.

This revision thus aims to correct absurd situations in which the scale displayed could be considered as not respected by the DGCCRF (General Directorate for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention), if it were negotiated downwards at the benefit of the buyer or the seller. In fact, this wording therefore seems favorable to the professional who no longer incurs the risk of sanction on this count. In principle, this approach is relevant, in that it does not harm the consumer either.

But be careful though: it seems prudent not to fall into a bias or a deviance that would come to consider that because it is the maximum fee that is displayed, it necessarily becomes negotiable! These are therefore maximum amounts that are displayed, without this term appearing on the scales. Otherwise, this statement would necessarily lead the buyer or seller to systematically negotiate the professional’s fees.

Posting of rental advertisements in the rent control zone

On the other hand, the modification of article 4 of the decree of January 10, 2017 takes into account the provisions of article 140 of law n° 2018-1021 of November 23, 2018 known as Élan. This provision provides on an experimental basis, and for a period of 5 years in the areas mentioned in Article 17 of Law No. 89-462 of July 6, 1989, the possibility of setting up a rent control system.

This system, which replaced that provided for by the Alur law of March 24, 2014, requires in particular that the amount of the basic rent (rent excluding charges) does not exceed the amount of the increased reference rent, fixed by prefectural decree. . It also provides that a rent supplement can only be applied if the accommodation has location or comfort characteristics justifying it, and if the amount of the basic rent corresponds to the amount of the increased reference rent.

In order to allow tenants to ensure compliance with these provisions, the list of information that must appear on rental advertisements for real estate is being extended (heavily) with the addition in particular of the mention of the amount of the basic rent and the amount of the increased reference rent. From now on, the amount of the increased reference rent must be preceded by the words ” reference rent increased (base rent not to be exceeded) “. The amount of the base rent must be preceded by the words ” base rent » and, where applicable, the amount of the additional rent required must be preceded by the words « rent supplement “. These amounts will also have to precede in the posting the mention ” Area subject to rent control “. Note that the font size of the monthly rent amount must be larger than that of the increased reference rent, the base rent and any additional rent.

It should also be noted that this obligation initially provided for in this decree for advertisements published by real estate professionals, has also been extended to rental advertisements for individuals, following the publication of the so-called 3DS law of February 21, 2022 (law relating to differentiation, decentralization, deconcentration and various measures to simplify local public action). This standardization of obligations seems all the more justified since in a recent study by the Abbé PIERRE foundation, it emerged that 35% of advertisements published for Paris between August 2020 and August 2021 exceeded the rent ceilings authorized by law (out of 15 000 ads listed). The foundation pointed out the donors on this point and not the agencies.

It will be interesting to follow the implementation of this measure of transparency in the contemporary real estate landscape and their real impact in terms of the fight against abusive pricing practices in tense areas.

Precision on the energy audit

Finally, let’s take advantage of this calendar reminder to confirm that the entry into force of the obligation to carry out an energy audit before the sale of an individual dwelling (excluding condominiums) classified F or G in the energy performance diagnosis (DPE) is postponed in April 2023 (initially scheduled for January 1, 2022 then postponed to September 1, 2022, finally postponed to April 1, 2023) . E housing will be subject to this obligation on January 1, 2025. Next will come D-classified housing on January 1, 2034. Note that this audit will be valid for five years.

After consultation with professionals, the Minister responsible for Housing Emmanuelle Wargon had announced this postponement before the publication of this decree “thus leaving the time necessary for the sector to prepare, guarantee the
quality of the performance of energy audits and avoid slowing down home sales”.

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