Housing

Rental accommodation: the landlord’s responsibilities

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.

Againthe 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.

landlord responsibilities
Photo by Julie Molliver

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. Alsothe 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.

Rental accommodation landlord responsibilities
Photo by David Pisnoy

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).

 

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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.

2 Comments

  • Anthony Greenish

    I’m sorry for repeating myself. I sent you an email on the same subject but we really need confirmation of a certain point in a french rental agreemant. I have consulted the different documents and links you have provided especially https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/ site which I find really useful. But I am still not sure I fully understand French law concerning rental agreements and especially the “Préavis et formalités du congé donné par le locataire” clause. You see in Switzerland where we live now, you sign a one year rental lease with the “Régie ou Gérance” which means you cannot leave the apartment for one year, you are responsible for the rent for the full first year. If you want to leave at the end of the year you have to give them a 3 month notice. After the year, your lease is automatically renewed for either another year or 3 months depending on your rental agreement. But it is impossible to leave without paying the full rent for the first year.
    From what I read on the Service Publique site is that a renter can leave at any time after giving a “Preavis” of either one or three months, whatever is specified in the rental agreement. Is this right? There is no obligation to complete the first year?

    • Mademoiselle Guiga

      Hello Anthony,
      You did well to write your question here, that way the answer can benefit everyone.
      French real estate law is quite different to other countries when it comes to the break clause, so I understand it can be confusing.

      Indeed, there is no obligation for the tenant to complete the first year of tenancy. The tenant break clause will be either one month or 3 months, for unfurnished properties, depending on the city where you are renting. If you are renting in a city where the 3 months rule applies, in specific cases (like a change of job or a move abroad), you could even bring the break clause down to one month if you have proof.
      You will also find more information on this post:
      https://expat-in-france.com/renting-furnished-or-unfurnished/
      French law is clearly pro-tenants and gives more flexibility to the tenants on many things, which as a consequence can make it more difficult to have its rental file application accepted.
      I hope this answer your question.
      Good luck with your coming move.
      All the best,

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