Just moved to Paris and wondering how to navigate the renting process and your new lease agreement? We’ve got you covered! Here is Lodgis’ Renter’s Guide to Apartment Repairs! This guide will help you to understand what you, as a tenant, are responsible for in terms of property damage and repairs according to the French law, your general responsibilities as a tenant, and the agreement that you reach with your new landlord or landlords.
As a tenant, know that it is the responsibility of the landlord to keep the property in full working condition during the tenancy and to ensure that basic levels of safety and security are maintained. The landlord must also pay for and carry out major repairs, which include: updating common areas of the property or private areas within the building such as elevator cages or restoring the building’s façade. The landlord is also responsible for necessary maintenance in order to keep the property in normal working condition, any repair that is meant to increase electricity efficiency in the property, and the maintenance of the roofs and garden façades of their properties.
Tenants reserve the right to make minor changes to the apartment, such as painting the walls or changing the furniture to suit their tastes, but the rental property must be returned to its original state by the end of the tenancy agreement. If the landlord does not make repairs to the property within 21 days of the first notice of damage, the tenant retains the right to request a reduction in rent.
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As a tenant, you reserve the right to use the property as you see fit, which includes having others to stay with you at no extra costs and having one or multiple pets, but remember that you are responsible for any damage that your guests or your pets may cause in the building. According to French law, a landlord legally cannot ban you from having a pet (with the exceptions of Category 1 “attack dogs”, exotic animals, and protected species).
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As a tenant, you must carry out minor repairs yourself and also allow for the landlord to access the rental in order to make repairs in accordance with their responsibilities and maintain the state of the rental property. It is also your responsibility as a renter to take out home insurance at the request of your landlord and in accordance with your tenancy agreement.
Tenants must NOT make any structural changes (such as taking down a wall) and are responsible for superficial repairs such as filling holes from drilling or repainting walls to their original color at the end of their tenancy agreement. Any major changes (such as painting the walls bright orange for example) can only be carried out with express permission from the landlord.
Although you, as a tenant, are able to use your rental property as you see fit, you cannot sublet the rental without reaching a written agreement with your landlord, and you may not legally charge the sublet tenant more in rent than you pay yourself.
In terms of the repairs, maintenance, and responsibilities that are specifically charged to the tenant, we have created a non-exhaustive list that coincides with French law for you:
private gardens, canopies and awnings, and gutters
door open/close mechanisms, window glazing, shutters and awnings, and gate grills
ceilings, walls, partitions/dividing walls, flooring, and wood accents/furniture
water pipes, gas pipes, septic pits, heating, hot water, and faucets, and sinks and sanitary devices
light switches, outlets/sockets, circuit breakers and fuses, light bulbs, light tubes, and protective rods or sheaths
refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, extractor hoods, solar panels, heat pumps, antennas, sealed furniture, chimneys, mirrors, and smoke detectors
This list of the tenant’s repair responsibilities comes directly from the State and for more information, please click here.
Knowing your legal housing rights and responsibilities as specified by the law beforehand can help you to navigate your conversations with potential landlords and can ease your worries while you are in the process of finding and moving into your new home and helps for every landlord and tenant to ensure the safety and security of everyone involved in the tenancy process and lease agreement.
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