Can a Tenant File a Complaint Against His Landlord?

Can a Tenant File a Complaint Against His Landlord?

Although rental regulations have been improved many times, disputes between landlords and tenants continue to multiply. The sources of conflict are not always the same. They can take place at the time of entry into the premises, during the lease, and even when handing over the keys. Conflicts may concern the state of the dwelling (poor condition), the landlord’s behavior towards the tenant, etc. Although it is very common to hear landlords complain about their tenants, the opposite can also happen. Indeed, the landlord also has obligations to respect. The question arises as to whether the tenant can file a complaint if the landlord fails to meet his or her obligations.

In Which Situations Can a Tenant File a Complaint Against His Landlord?

Rental disputes are very delicate matters. To avoid this, the laws related to renting have been multiplied and significantly improved, even if it is mostly to the tenant’s benefit. The landlord may be at the origin of the conflict. However, it is not always possible to file a complaint against him. Indeed, to be able to bring him to justice, the acts committed must be criminally reprehensible, as in the following cases

  • abusive invoicing of rental charges ;
  • poorly maintained housing;
  • failure to return the security deposit;
  • unforeseen revision or wrong amount of rent;
  • termination of the lease for unforeseen reasons.

The tenant cannot file a complaint against his landlord as long as the latter is not criminally responsible. This is the case when there is:

Risking the life of others

Indeed, according to the law, the owner is in the obligation to put at the tenant’s disposal a decent, healthy and sanitary housing.

Therefore, if he rents you a dwelling in bad condition, containing asbestos or lead, you can file a complaint. The same is true if the tenant does not assume his or her maintenance and repair obligations.

Home Invasion

Be aware that even in a situation involving an emergency intervention, the landlord must always obtain the tenant’s agreement before entering the tenant’s home. The landlord is also not allowed to rent the property in your absence.

Forced Eviction

In case of unpaid rent, the landlord must follow the procedures and must proceed with the eviction only after the court decision.

What Are the Steps To Follow to File a Complaint Against Your Landlord?

If you have a dispute with your landlord, you can always settle the conflict amicably. To do so, you can call upon the conciliation commission which is composed of landlords and tenants. However, the Commission only issues an advisory opinion.

In case of failure, you have as a second option the contentious procedure. For this, you must call upon a lawyer specialized in real estate law to help you in the steps and to represent you. You must go to the police station closest to your home to file a complaint. The complaint must be addressed to the Public Prosecutor and must include the following information

  • your name, first name, date of birth and address;
  • those of your landlord as well as his contact details;
  • a detailed account of the facts accompanied by evidence;
  • the names and addresses of witnesses, if any.

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