Housing

31 March 2016

Renting

Do you want to rent? There is some useful information to be borne in mind, even if the steps are relatively easy. Deposits and organizing your move are just two examples.

What about the rental agreement?
  • The rental agreement must be made in 2 copies. The owner and the tenant, who must both be over 18, sign both documents. Do not forget to find out about the fixed maintenance costs, such as the boiler, and shared costs (for flats), etc.
  • Always check the term of the rental agreement. If no term is stated, the agreement will be for a period of 9 years. You will also often come across agreements of 3 years or less. Also pay attention to the termination procedures when you sign the agreement.
  • Before moving in, you will need to do an inventory. This document describes the state of the accommodation. The owner will not then be able to make you pay for damage that was done prior to your arrival.
  • Check the rent before signing. It cannot be increased without reason during the term of the rental agreement. The owner can only index it once per year.
How do I terminate a rental agreement?
  • Send the owner a letter by registered post (FR) at least 3 months before expiry of the rental agreement. The period of notice starts on the first day of the following month. For example, if you send your letter on 15 March, the period of notice starts on 1 April. However, if the owner terminates the rental agreement, he must give at least six months' notice.
  • Do you want to terminate the rental agreement before it expires? There are some rules you will need to follow. You will probably have to pay a termination penalty in proportion to the term of the rental agreement. Often, you can also come to an agreement with the owner to not pay this penalty or to pay a lower penalty by helping him to find a new tenant.
  • If the rental agreement is not terminated or if you have not left the property before expiry of the rental agreement, the rental agreement is automatically extended.
What is a rental deposit and what do I need to bear in mind?

A rental deposit is an amount of money that compensates the owner if his property is damaged. Depending on the rental agreement chosen, the deposit is 2 or 3 months' rent.

A rental deposit is an amount of money that compensates the owner if his property is damaged. Depending on the rental agreement chosen, the deposit is 2 or 3 months' rent.

Refuse to supply the rental deposit by paying the sum into the owner's account or by giving it to him in cash. In the interest of both parties, it is preferable to pay it into the bank in the form of a blocked savings account in your name. To release the funds, your signature and that of the owner are compulsory.

Maintaining the property: who pays for what?

According to the law, the owner is responsible for major maintenance work and all necessary repairs (e.g. replacing pipes, repairing the roof, etc.). As tenant, you must maintain the property and make minor repairs required as a result of normal use of the property such as maintaining the boiler, clearing the gutters, etc.

Is it necessary to take out special insurance?

Accidents happen suddenly and can be expensive. They often happen when we least expect them. Even if it is a person living under your roof that causes an accident, don't forget that you may be held responsible.

Although the owner of the property you are renting has to take out insurance, make sure that you and everybody living under your roof are covered. Also remember that when you fly the nest, you are no longer covered by your parents' insurance. You must take out insurance in your own name. Why not take advantage of your move to review your insurance needs?

Do you need more advice to ensure your move goes smoothly?