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Flatsharing and rights: discover your rights in flatsharing.

Living in a shared flat means living in a sort of community. As a flatmate, you maintain close relationships with your peers as well as with your landlord. For this small community to be viable, it must be governed by pre-established rules. This raises the question of rights in shared accommodation. What rights are we talking about? That might be an existential question you're pondering, and one we feel obliged to answer. But for you to better understand the subject, it's important for you to first grasp what shared accommodation means.

Shared Accommodation: Definition

In France, the reference in terms of housing, and therefore renting, is the ALUR law (Access to Housing and Urban Planning Reform). According to the provisions of this law, shared accommodation is established when:

  • Several people rent and live in the same accommodation;

  • These individuals, constituted as flatmates, make their common habitat their main residence;

  • Each flatmate is linked to their landlord by a lease or rental agreement.

What type of shared accommodation lease to choose?

There are two types of leases: the single lease and the individual lease per flatmate.

Single Lease Shared Accommodation

What is a single lease shared accommodation? This term is used when you (you and the other flatmates) are collectively bound to your landlord by a lease that complies with a well-defined standard contract. This contractual document varies depending on the type of accommodation: furnished or unfurnished. It goes without saying that in the case of shared accommodation, signing such a document is mandatory.

Individual Lease Per Flatmate Shared Accommodation

An individual lease per flatmate shared accommodation implies that each tenant can independently sign their lease with the landlord. Each tenant will therefore have their own lease. But unlike the single lease, the individual lease is not subject to any standard contract, whether it's for furnished or unfurnished accommodation.

Important: In the case of shared accommodation, the individual lease gives you exclusive use of a room that is personal to you. The area of this room is equal to or greater than 9 m², and its volume is equal to or greater than 20 m³. The terms of the contract also determine the shared spaces (living room, kitchen, etc.) that you share with all the other flatmates.

Flatmate not listed on the lease: what happens next?

There are no provisions that require you to register on the lease. When it's your own choice, you have the status of a mere occupant rather than a flatmate, regardless of whether you pay your rent or not. If you're a cohabiting couple (at the time of signing your rental agreement) or a married couple and you're the only tenants of a property, you're also not eligible for flatmate status. Note: when you're a flatmate not listed on the lease, you lose the rights granted to flatmates.

Can you do a mother-daughter shared accommodation?

You want to live with your daughter (or your mother), and you're wondering if mother-daughter shared accommodation is possible? The answer to this question is yes. This is because the ALF (Family Housing Allowance) is one of the housing benefits granted to flatmates by the CAF.

This allowance applies to you if you're a mother responsible for one or more children under 20 years old (regardless of whether they are girls or boys). The same applies if you're a daughter responsible for your elderly or disabled mother.

Note: there are other conditions to meet to qualify for the ALF, and therefore for mother-daughter shared accommodation.

What are the landlord's obligations in the context of shared accommodation?

Just like Colonies, which aims to reinvent housing and offer unique housing solutions to its clients, the law is very attentive to the well-being of flatmates. That's why the legislator makes landlord obligation in shared accommodation one of its main concerns. Non-exhaustively, your landlord's obligations include:

  • Providing you with decent housing: the law protects your health and requires landlords to create a healthy living environment for their tenants;

  • Maintaining and repairing your place of residence as needed: the landlord receives from you the rental charges provided for this purpose;

  • Justifying the amount of rental charges received: they must inform you of the balance between forecasts and expenses incurred;

  • Detailing as much as possible the nature of the rental charges concerned: is it for hot water or cold water, the elevator or electricity, etc.;

  • Informing you about heating and hot water with an information note;

  • Allowing you to fully enjoy your accommodation: you live your life as you see fit, without the landlord interfering;

  • Providing you with a rent receipt: the amount of charges and rent must be mentioned;

  • As strictly as possible, adhering to the terms of the contractual document that binds you, especially the clauses relating to the termination of the lease...

As you can imagine, from this non-exhaustive landlord obligation in shared accommodation, your rights arise.

Shared Accommodation: What rights do you have?

Right to decent housing

As a flatmate, the very first right you have access to is decent housing. This means that by signing your lease, your contractor guarantees that the real estate property they provide you with:

  • Has a heating system and gas and electricity networks that work well;

  • Has sufficient habitable space;

  • Does not harbor parasites and other harmful species;

  • Constitutes a place capable of ensuring your safety and health...

Note: following a finding of indecency of the real estate property you rent, you have the right to file a complaint against the landlord.

Right to housing benefits

As long as you are a flatmate and meet the required conditions, you may be eligible for certain benefits from the CAF (Family Allowance Fund). To benefit from them, you must submit to the institution:

  • Make an individual request if you are a single flatmate;

  • Fill out (if you live as a couple) a joint request because the CAF considers you (you and your partner) as cohabitants.

Specifically, here are the benefits you may be entitled to:

  • APL: Personalized Housing Assistance;

  • ALS: Social Housing Allowance;

  • ALF: Family Housing Allowance.

Shared Accommodation and Rights: What else do you benefit from?

Opting for shared accommodation means choosing to live in a group. As a member of this group, you have the right to participate in decision-making regarding the organization and functioning of the real estate property you rent. You also have the right to terminate the lease at any time, following the clauses of the lease to which you are registered.

Note: you cannot have rights without being subject to obligations.

Flatmate's obligation

As much as you have rights, you also have obligations towards your landlord. These include:

  • Attending the initial inventory of the real estate property and signing the resulting document;

  • Paying your share of the security deposit when the landlord requests it;

  • Providing a guarantor;

  • Paying your rental charges and rent in accordance with the solidarity clause included in your shared accommodation contract;

  • Ensuring strict compliance with the internal regulations governing your shared accommodation life...

Shared Accommodation and Rights: What to remember?

With Colonies, the question of rights in shared accommodation can no longer be a secret to you. We have specialized advisors in this field who are always ready to assist people like you who need assistance. From essential information when moving into your new accommodation to the end of your contract, they have the necessary skills to guide you. Get in touch with them: responsive

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