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What's the deadline for paying rent?

For work to be carried out in a dwelling, what are the rights and duties of the tenant? The landlord? As a tenant, to what extent can you modify your apartment? We answer all these questions to better help you understand your landlord-tenant relationship in case of work.

What is the definition of major works?

Major works or structural work concern the structure of a building or its external dependencies. For an apartment, this could be the demolition of a facade. For a house, repairing the roof or insulating the frame. Excavation work, foundation work, and base work are also major works.

But for these works, what are those that are the responsibility of the landlord and those that are the responsibility of the tenant?

Works the responsibility of the landlord

The landlord is responsible for their property. They must provide their tenant with a decent place to live. Therefore, they must bear the cost of most renovation and improvement works.

These works include:

  • Urgent repairs: restoring heating and radiators during winter, plumbing leaks or issues with toilets, electrical problems.

  • Maintenance works to keep the accommodation in good condition: repairing a leaking faucet, replacing worn-out carpet, replacing furniture (cupboard, wardrobe, table) in poor condition.

  • Improvement works for performance: upgrading the electrical system, better insulation, installing high-performance heating.

Works the responsibility of the tenant

As a tenant, you are responsible for returning the accommodation to a similar condition as it was when the lease was signed. Most works therefore concern the maintenance of the accommodation:

  • External maintenance: mowing the lawn, maintaining the garden and driveway.

  • Maintenance of openings: replacing a broken window, repairing a damaged door or window.

  • Maintenance of walls, floors, and ceilings: minor repairs to walls, cleaning and maintaining the parquet flooring, minor paint touch-ups.

  • Plumbing and electrical maintenance: replacing seals, annual maintenance of heating equipment and chimney sweeping (if there is a fireplace).

Major works: the rights and duties of the tenant

You can see that the vast majority of major works are the responsibility of the landlord. If yours also decides to undertake this type of project, here are your rights and duties.

The right to have decent housing

Your landlord has a legal obligation to provide you with decent housing. In this context, they may need to impose major works on you for the replacement or renovation of existing equipment. They may also want to carry out transformation works (changing a bathtub for a shower, demolishing a wall, etc.) for improvement reasons.

For all these interventions, they must inform you in advance. The notice period for tenant works is 2 months. If the landlord receives no response from you during this time, it constitutes acceptance on your part.

The obligation of the right to access housing for work

For works, your landlord has a right of access to your accommodation. You are therefore obliged to allow the responsible persons for the works into your house or apartment.

If you refuse, your landlord can take you to court for not respecting the clauses of a private contract. You are therefore required to:

  • welcome professionals to prepare the works (quotes, plans...);

  • welcome professionals to carry out the works despite any potential nuisances and inconveniences;

  • allow the verification of the quality of the works by the landlord.

If you wish, you have the option to prohibit work on weekends or public holidays. Furthermore, you may be entitled to tenant compensation for works lasting more than 21 days.

What work can the tenant carry out without and with the landlord's consent?

Now that you know your rights and duties in case of major works carried out by your landlord, let's present the options available to you to improve your interior by your own means.

Works permitted to the tenant

You have the possibility to modify your interior as long as you do not alter the accommodation entrusted to you by your landlord. This gives you many options for your decoration. For example, you can refresh the paint on your walls or even have new carpet installed, if it does not interfere with the current flooring.

Works requiring the landlord's consent

To install a household appliance, it may sometimes be necessary to drill holes in a partition or modify electrical connections. In this case, it is advisable to make a written request to your landlord to avoid any subsequent issues.

If not consulted, your landlord may request that the premises be restored to their original condition, at your expense of course. They may even request termination of the lease for non-compliance with the rental contract that binds you.

Our advice: share the costs of the works

Our vision of housing, at Colonies, is based above all on trust and feedback between the tenant and the landlord. Therefore, we believe that the best solution is dialogue and exchange. If you want to carry out works yourself, you can offer to split the costs with your landlord. You can even carry out some works yourself that do not require professional expertise in exchange for a rent reduction. Thus, you improve your habitat and offer value to your landlord's property. A win-win contract.

The Colonies solution: reinventing housing codes for more humane management

At Colonies, we only offer fully renovated houses, equipped, and decorated by interior architects and designers. Thus, as soon as you step through the door, you already feel at home. There is nothing to add to the decor.

Moreover, all our shared accommodations are managed by a Residence Manager who takes care of the tenants' daily questions and fosters a relationship of trust with the owner of the property. In case of urgent repairs or work to be carried out, you don't have to do anything, we take care of everything for you.

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