What Are the Obligations of an Owner or Lessor?

What Are the Obligations of an Owner or Lessor?

In the real estate field, the property intended for renting must respect specific standards. The future tenant must feel comfortable in his new home or commercial building. In case of damage during the occupation of the leased property, specific works are incumbent upon the place and the landlord. What work is required of the landlord?

Work Before the Lease

The work done before the lease is the most critical work that the landlord is obliged to do since the future occupant of the premises must enjoy a dwelling worthy of the name.

Improvement Work

Improvement work in the common or private areas is the owner’s responsibility. The landlord must improve and repair the stairs, elevator (if existing), balcony, and electrical installations. The future occupants will have to move into a decent and very comfortable residence guaranteeing rather optimal security.

The satisfaction of the tenant comes first, and the law requires it. The lease contract obviously concerns the property in perfect condition and especially habitable. The owner will also have to improve the property’s energy performance (boiler, insulation, and others).

Small Maintenance Works

Before renting any property, the landlord must conform the property to the criteria of decent housing. This implies small maintenance work and some repairs if necessary. The roofs and facades will have to be reviewed and repaired to offer a waterproof shelter to the future tenant.

These small unavoidable works are part of the real estate renovation before renting. The lessor will have to take care of the maintenance of the equipment such as the shutters, handles and locks, taps, doors, and windows, etc.

Work to Be Carried Out by the Lessor After the Rental Period

The landlord’s duty is not limited to work done before the lease is finalized. Indeed, during the lease, the landlord has responsibilities concerning the rented accommodation.

Restoration of the equipment

The landlord is responsible for the repair of defective equipment under certain circumstances. In case of deterioration of the installations and equipment due to obsolescence, the work is the landlord’s responsibility. It is difficult to distinguish between damage caused by obsolescence and that caused by the tenant.

The work of repairing an old boiler, a dilapidated installation, etc., is obviously the responsibility of the owner of the premises. This does not include custom work such as changing the decoration style, which does not concern the landlord. In this very fact, the recourse to an expert in analysis specific to the situation lies.

Renovation of Defective Systems

The landlord needs to improve the ventilation, electrical, and gas systems in case of inefficiency. Avoiding these events is nevertheless possible by replacing old equipment before the contract if the means are there. However, the small works related to the personalization of the states, for example, painting, are the tenant’s responsibility.

What to Do as a Landlord Before the Works?

Before the realization of the work, the owner must address a notification by registered letter with acknowledgement of delivery or by hand to the tenant. The notification must contain the nature of the work (improvement, emergency, energy performance, etc.) and the methods of execution.

The tenant is thus required to allow access to the dwelling. For example, a floor covering assignment requires the workers to access the dwelling. However, the tenant can claim a rent reduction when the work lasts more than 21 days. Moreover, the tenant is entitled to refer the matter to the litigation judge in the following cases.

  • abusive work,
  • non-respect of the classes defined in the notification,
  • work that makes the dwelling unliveable, etc.

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