You are finally settled in your new home in France, even starting to have this homely feeling. And one day your landlord calls you with a situation. You are not sure the request is justified or even allowed because you are not sure how to handle this type of situation in France. Find out more about landlord responsibilities for your rental accommodation.
The first step for you is to check what are your responsibilities as a tenant and also what are the landlord ones. This will help you to manage this type of situation and keep this homely feeling you were starting to feel.
Again, the tenant rights are the landlord duties and the tenant duties are the landlord rights.
The first thing to check is your lease agreement; usually, the landlord obligations are mentioned in the contract. However here are the main French real-estate law elements to be aware of:
The landlord should provide a property in good condition.
Repairs and maintenance
The property should fulfil the decency characteristics as per French law such as:
- The tenant health and safety permitted
- No parasite and pests
- A minimum surface of 9m2
- Minimal energy efficiency
The equipment mentioned in the lease should be in working order.
If the property is not in good condition at the moment of signing the lease, it possible to agree with the landlord who will take care of the necessary repairs. However, the ones allowing the minimum decency should be taken care of by the landlord.
This agreement should be mentioned in the lease and reflect:
- The nature of the repairs
- How the repairs will be deducted from the rent
- The duration of the repairs
- If the tenant leaves the property before the end of the lease, the conditions to the repairs reimbursement.
Some repairs are the landlord responsibility such as the important repairs or the ones due to the property ageing.
Examples of repairs that are the landlord responsibility
- Urgent repairs:
- Boiler failure (remember the annual maintenance is the tenant responsibility)
- Retaining a beam that threatens to break
- Common areas improvements or repairs
- Stairwell repair
- Building façade restoration
- Necessary repairs to keep the property in good condition of decency
- Broken shutters repair
- Faulty pipework repair
Some repairs that are usually the tenant responsibility will be the landlord if they are due to natural wear and tear or in case of force majeure (such as a storm).
Ensure the tenant tranquillity
Peaceful use of the property
The landlord cannot access the premises to check its condition or organise a visit without the tenant prior consent.
The property should be sufficiently insulated to prevent important noise pollution. Also, the tenant should respect the neighbourhood, and it is the landlord right to inform the tenant of a nuisance if the neighbours have informed him/her.
Tenant interior design
The landlord cannot prevent the tenant from decorating and organising the layout of the property in its own way. The tenant can, for example, paint and install shelves. However, the tenant won’t be authorised to transform the property without the owner written approval.
Provide monthly rent receipt
The tenant can request monthly rent receipts. These should be provided free of charge.
The rent receipt can often be used as proof of address and may be requested by some French administration before giving benefits (ie: CAF, CPAM, Pôle Emploi).
I hope this article clarified for you the landlord responsibilities. You can also read the article about the tenant responsibilities to have a broader understanding of everyone duties during the tenancy.
If you have any questions, please let me know in the below comments.