An old electrical installation might not have to strictly comply to the actual regulation, but it however needs to meet essential security requirements. Moreover there are particular rules to respect for the installation of electrical appliances in the bathrooms.

The electrical security of an empty or furnished property

The regulation to follow: the one that existed the day the electrical installation has been made

An old electrical installation of a property opened to rental does not have the obligation to comply with the actual regulation. Indeed, a ministerial reply detailed that the state of the electrical installation has to be assessed “depending on the apparent risk that the installation can pose to a non – expert technician without the necessity of proceeding to any upgrading if the installations are not dangerous even if it is old. Only the works done on this installation must comply to the operative regulation of the period” ( Rép.min. n° 73576 – JO AN 6 mai 2002, p. 2428.).

The characteristics to respect for an electrically secured accommodation

Be cautious, respecting the standards of the time does not mean the installation is safe. With regard to the security requirements, the electrical installation of a furnished or empty property must present the following characteristics:

  • Presence of a general device that commands and protects the installation
  • Protection through a differential device corresponding to the conditions of the setting up of an earth ground system
  • Presence of safety mechanism against over current adapted to the cross-sectional areas on every circuit
  • Presence of an equipotential link and of an electrical installation adapted to the particular conditions of rooms containing a tub or a shower

Electrical materials that are not secure for use or posing risks of direct contact with voltage-carrying components must be removed from the accommodation. The same must be done with the mechanically unprotected links.

Particular rules for the installation of electrical appliances in bathrooms

The NF C 15-100 standard, applying to electrical installations, provides that security volumes in bathrooms of a rented accommodation as furnished or empty.
You can not plug in any device there. Indeed, the closer you are to the tub or the shower, the greater the risk and the security requirements are. Layout of security volumes in the bathroom of a home rented furnished or unfurnished

  • Volume 1: this volume corresponds to the area that goes up 2,25 meters above the bottom of the tub or the shower tray. You can only have your water heater there under the obligation for it to be splash-water proof.
  • Volume 2: this zone is authorized for class II heating devices only, that is with a double isolement, splash-water proof and bearing the NF standard mark.
  • Volume 3: this is where you can install the plugs and class I devices (washing machine, dryer). Make sure that they are not linked to any earth ground electrical plug, that they have the double isolement symbol or that they are on a separating transformer and protected against vertical water drops.

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About me

Maud Velter
Maud Velter
Legal & practical advice for furnished rentals
Associate Director of