Just as the inventory of fixtures is carried out when the tenant receives the keys upon entering the apartment, a second inventory of fixtures must be carried out upon leaving or upon returning the keys to the apartment owner. The goals are to describe the housing, make the observations, and compare the inventory of fixtures.
In other words, it is a matter of finding out what has deteriorated at the tenant’s departure compared to the initial state of the dwelling. Are the obligations of repair incumbent on the tenant after the inventory of fixtures has been carried out?
The tenant’s obligations
As the occupant of the dwelling, the tenant must take care of the routine maintenance of the property as well as the furniture (in the case of a furnished lease). In other words, he/she is responsible for the maintenance of the plumbing, the replacement of light bulbs, the painting, etc. In addition, during the inventory of fixtures, both parties note together the degradations at the level of housing that occur in the event of bad maintenance and/or by fault of inattention on behalf of the tenant.
One can, for example, quote the cases of water leakage at the level of the joints of the tap, of scratch and/or crack at the level of the floor covering and/or the walls, a broken glass coffee table, etc. In these cases, the tenant is obliged to pay for the necessary repairs. In addition, the tenant must pay a security deposit to the landlord at the beginning of the rental contract, especially at the signing of the contract.
This deposit is generally equivalent to 1 month’s rent for an empty apartment and 2 months for a furnished apartment. Thus, the repair costs will be deducted from this amount. On the other hand, if the amount corresponding to the security deposit is not sufficient to pay for the cost of repairs, the tenant must make up the difference.
Legal provisions concerning rental relationships
- The law n°89-462 of July 6, 1989, tending to improve rental relations and modifying the law n°86-1290 of December 23, 1986, in its first title, article 3-2, in the first paragraph stipulates that: “An inventory of fixtures is established according to the methods defined by decree in the Council of State, taken after the opinion of the national commission of dialogue, in the same forms and in as many copies as there are parties at the time of the handing over and the return of the keys. It is drawn up jointly and amicably by the parties or by a third party mandated by them and attached to the rental contract.
Both parties must therefore be present (or at least send a representative) when the inventory of fixtures is carried out.
- According to the decree n°2016-382 of March 30, 2016, setting the modalities for establishing the inventory of fixtures and taking into account the dilapidation of housing rented for use as a principal residence, in chapter one, article 1: “the inventory of fixtures provided for in article 3-2 of the law of July 6, 1989 (…) must relate to all the premises and equipment of private use mentioned in the lease contract and of which the tenant has exclusive use.”
In other words, only the goods mentioned in the lease contract are the responsibility of the tenant.
- And according to the Civil Code, section 1, article 1731: “if the premises have not been inventoried, the lessee is presumed to have received them in a good state of repair, and must return them as such, unless proven otherwise.”
In summary, after the inventory of fixtures at the end of the lease, the tenant will be responsible for certain repairs.
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