The last time I payed a visit to my tenants, I discovered my apartment in a horrible state: dust all over the place, dirty dishes everywhere in the kitchen, sticky floors and marks made by posters pinned to the walls… I certainly was surprised because being from a good family, I am not used to that… I went home with the need to reassure myself about the state of the apartment once the current tenant will be gone but mostly about the fact that I had rented it to the wrong person…
For me as for you, here is a brief reminder of the things to know about the obligations of the tenant.
The Tenant’s Obligations
The tenant must answer to any damage and loss that occurs during the term of the contract for which he has the exclusive enjoyment. He also must assume the responsibility for taking care of the house, facilities referred to in the contract such as small repairs unless they are caused by time, dilapidation, construction’s defect or cases of force majeure. The tenant must not change the premises and equipment rented without the written consent of the owner.
Dealing With Small Repairs
The tenant must repair, for the duration of the lease, small repairs necessary for the maintenance of the house:
• Coating of walls and ceilings that must be maintained clean;
• Carpets, floors and other floor coverings must be regularly cleaned. The lessee shall change the damaged windows or opening and closing systems. If he has lost a key, he must replace them;
• Electricity, gas and water. The lessee shall replace the switches, the joints of the water lines, gas lines, and shower hoses connecting pipes. He also must ensure the maintenance of the ductwork venting (chimney) or the boiler.
The Place should be Left as First Found
At the end of the contract, he tenant will have to leave the house according to what is described in the inventory. Accordingly, he must bear for damage suffered during the duration of the lease. But he does not have to bear the costs of refurbishment of the premises, nor that he cannot be required to repair damage due to normal wear and aging of the premises.
Cleaning Issues at The End of The Lease?
If some damage occurred only in respect of the cleanliness of the house (no deterioration requiring repair), you then have 3 solutions:
Do the cleaning yourself: pretty well if you’re a cleaning freak but you will not have the right to withhold fees on the deposit if you are the one who cleaning the place (except for the purchase of cleaning products).
Ask to the next tenant some compensation: you can offer him to reduce the rent for the first month as a compensation for the cleaning. There again, this is a loss for you. Plus, it will affect your tenant opinion on the state of your house is your ad mentioned in good condition. And you will have to rely on the cleaning standards of your next tenant…
Hiring a professional cleaner: pay the bill and hold the same amount on the deposit. You will not lose your time and you’ll have spent nothing from your pocket. This solution is the best: simple, practical and you get your money back!