Tenant: What Are Your Rights and Duties during the Term of the Lease?

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As soon as you sign a lease with a landlord, you validate a contract in which rights and duties of each party (lessor and tenant) are listed. As a tenant, what are your obligations? In order to avoid any kind of litigation, be sure to keep informed and do not forget to learn about your rights in order to claim them in case you do not fully enjoy them.

Pay the Due Amounts on Due Time.

Your first duty as a tenant is to respect the law by paying regularly your rent. Indeed, you must pay your rent each month as stipulated in the contract. In parallel, from the moment you move in, the owner may ask for a deposit: the sum paid out provides for any unpaid rent or damage that may occur during the term of the lease. This deposit cannot exceed three months of rent. You must pay the deposit at the latest on the day of the signing, knowing that there are several ways to finance a rental guarantee (bank guarantee, state aid, underwriting a rental guarantee insurance, etc.)

Then you have to pay the rent and the charges on a monthly basis. You only have to support the expenses spent “for you”: energy bills, maintenance of the technical equipment, replacement of filters, maintenance of the common parts and the garden, garbage management, etc. Depending on the case, charges can be paid on a flat rate basis or based on the actual invoices. It is possible to change the method of calculation during the lease.

You only have to support the expenses spent for you. 

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Warning: your landlord cannot add items such as land tax or property tax to the bills he is charging you!

Living in a Decent Home

Do not forget to make an inventory at arrival! When taking possession of the place, if you notice any important defects that would prevent you from living properly, let the owner know. Your landlord has the duty to provide you a decent and healthy dwelling, in which you can live serenely, without any risk for your health and safety.

If you believe that you incur any kind of danger living in the place, you must require the necessary repairs in order to get the place back into conditions that match the basic safety criteria.

Being a Tenant Implies to Take Care of Small Repairs and to Report any Relevant Issue

As a tenant, you must take care of the minor repairs your home may need, knowing that you are also responsible for its regular maintenance. You must use the property in accordance with the terms of the lease: for example, you cannot transform a home into an office. On the other hand, you are entitled to carry out small decoration works providing you can return the apartment to its original state when you leave.

You must take care of the minor repairs your home may need, knowing that you are also responsible for its regular maintenance. 

As soon as you notice any kind of issue not within your abilities, you must inform the landlord. It is up to him to contact the competent craftsmen and to assume the major repairs (except in very specific cases, in particular when the deterioration is due to bad maintenance). If you do not inform your landlord of the malfunctions you observe, he may later reproach you this negligence!

Eventually, do not forget that you must systematically protect the place you move in as soon as you arrive by subscribing a rental risk insurance. Forgetting this point may cost you a lot in the event of a disaster. Throughout the contract, keep in mind that you will have to explain the slightest degradation, and that too much damage justifies a deduction on the deposit.

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