Furnished rental: What repairs are the responsibility of the owner?

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Furnished rental: What repairs are the responsibility of the owner?
Do you want to rent your accommodation ? As a landlord, you're probably wondering what your obligations are to your tenant.

Owners are required to carry out all repairs other than routine maintenance. It is requested to ensure the proper functioning of carpentry, building materials, plumbing.
The responsibility for all repair work caused by natural deterioration must come from the owner.

What are the main obligations and rights of the owner?

1. Obligations

In general, the owner must undertake all the work necessary to ensure that the rental property is in good condition. Oftentimes, this means that they have to shoulder the most expensive costs in sprucing up and/or maintaining the place. On the other hand, tenants are primarily responsible for ongoing maintenance work done during their stay on the property and within the term of the lease.

In the case of damage/s within the property within the term of a current lease, the tenant has to shoulder the repair costs if they were the cause. But if they (the tenant) can prove that they did not cause the damage, the owner/landlord then has to take responsibility. However, they can stipulate in the lease that the expenses will be shouldered between both the owner/landlord and tenant in the event that the damage was caused by a third party. 

Moreover, in the event of a conflict between both parties, they can take the case to the District Court to help settle the matter.

2. Rights
The landlord has the right to:

  • Collect rents : the lease contract is not a free contract. By signing this contract, the tenant has undertaken to pay each month the rent and charges stipulated in the contract.
  • Require a security deposit: The landlord may request a payment of the security deposit to guard against potential negligence on the part of the tenant in terms of maintenance or unpaid.
  • Require a deposit: the deposit is a precaution, a security, which allows the owner-lessor to turn against the tenant in case of unpaid and rental debts.
  • Obtain a certificate of rental insurance: The landlord is entitled to claim from the tenant upon entering the premises and each year a certificate of insurance from the tenant. 
  • Access to housing in case of repair and work. Before the work begins, the owner-lessor must inform the lessee, in writing, of the nature and methods of carrying out the work. The work cannot be carried out on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays without the express agreement of the tenant.

What work is the responsibility of the owner?

The 10 most common costs that the owner/landlord has to shoulder include:
  • Modernization and repair of electricity and gas networks 
  • Ventilation System (including installation)
  • Heating System (including installation)
  • Drinking water supply
  • Replace faucets and mixer taps 
  • Pipe installation and repair 
  • Boiler replacement
  • Descaling of electric water heater
  • Upholstery due to deterioration of the flooring 
  • Replacement of windows that are broken/outdated. 

Typically, these have to be done before the tenant signs the lease and moves into the property. 

Important Note: The fact that there is construction work in the rental property does not allow the owner to increase the rent.
Ce qu’il faut retenir :
  • Landlords must cover the cost of major repairs, aging rental repairs and replacement of worn equipment.  
  • The owner must undertake all the work necessary to maintain the rental property in good condition
  • Like the tenant, the landlord has obligations but also rights.

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