Published on: 11 July 2023
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Apartment rental: documents to be provided by the landlord
What documents must the landlord provide to the tenant when renting an apartment? On the first day, during the rental period, and at the end of the rental.
The field of real estate rental is not exempt from the necessary "paperwork". Far from being useless, these documents are essential for both the landlord and the tenant when it comes to settling a dispute. That's why they must be written and read with the utmost seriousness.
What documents should the landlord provide on the day the tenant moves in?
The key handover date is the day the tenant moves into the property. On that day, the landlord (or their representative) provides a large number of documents: the rental agreement, the technical diagnostics file, the condominium regulations, and the informative notice of the rights and obligations of the tenant and the landlord. In addition, the tenant and the landlord jointly establish the entry inventory.
The lease or rental agreement
Renting a property is based on an agreement between the landlord and the tenant. This agreement is formalized in writing in the rental agreement, also called the lease. Several websites offer a rental agreement template, including the French Public Service website.
The lease or rental agreement must contain at least the following elements:
- The contact information (name, first name, address, etc.) of the landlord or the real estate agency if applicable,
- The contact information (name, first name, etc.) of the tenant
- The amount of rent and the amount of rental charges
- The amount of the security deposit
- The due dates for payment and the method of payment
- The duration of the lease: 3 years for an unfurnished rental, 1 year for a furnished rental, 9 months for a student lease, and 1 to 10 months for a mobility lease.
- The notice period for the tenant: 1 month for a furnished rental, a student lease or a mobility lease, and 3 months for an unfurnished rental (which can be reduced to 1 month if the property is in a tense area).
- The notice period for the landlord: 6 months before the lease expires for an unfurnished rental and 3 months for a furnished rental.
- The notice of rights and obligations As an annex to the rental agreement, the landlord provides the tenant with an informative notice that lists the rights and obligations of each party: the peaceful enjoyment of the property, the regular payment of rents, the sending of rent receipts, etc.
The condominium regulations
The DDT, technical diagnostics file
Before renting out a property, the landlord is required to carry out a series of technical diagnostics. These diagnostics, carried out by an independent professional, are compiled in a file that will be given to the tenant on the day they move into the property.
The DDT, technical diagnostics file, includes:
- The DPE, energy performance diagnosis, mandatory in all cases,
- The lead diagnosis or CREP, risk assessment for lead exposure, for any building constructed before 1949,
- The asbestos diagnosis or asbestos report, for any building whose building permit was issued before July 1997,
- The electrical diagnosis or condition of the interior electrical installation, if it is more than fifteen years old,
- The gas diagnosis or condition of the interior gas installation, if it is more than fifteen years old,
- The ERP, state of risks and pollution (natural, mining, technological, seismic, radon...), when the building is in a declared risk area,
- The noise diagnosis, or state of airborne noise pollution, if the building is near an airport.
The entry inventory
The entry inventory is an action carried out on the first day of the rental by the tenant and the landlord (or their representative). All the elements that make up the property (walls, ceilings, floors, doors, windows, furniture, etc.) are reviewed. Each of them is jointly assessed by the tenant and the landlord, and this assessment is noted on a document with the same name: The entry inventory. This document is signed by the tenant and the landlord.
It is recommended for both parties to take the time to carry out this inventory meticulously. The document will serve as a reference when the exit inventory is executed to assess the deterioration of certain elements. The tenant's responsibility for these damages will be defined. Photos can be taken during the entry inventory, which will be added to the document.
The furniture inventory
In the case of a furnished rental, the tenant must also verify that the property offers all the mandatory furniture elements set by decree n° 2015-981 of July 31, 2015.
This list indicates the essential (and therefore mandatory) items:
- Bedding with duvet or blanket,
- Shutters or curtains in rooms intended for sleeping,
- Cooking plates,
- An oven (traditional or microwave),
- A refrigerator,
- A freezer (or at least a refrigerator with a freezer compartment),
- The necessary dishes for meals,
- Kitchen utensils,
- A table and chairs,
- Storage shelves,
- Light fixtures and household cleaning equipment.
What documents should the landlord provide during the rental?
Throughout the rental period, the landlord is required to send certain documents to the tenant: rent receipts, rent calls, proof of charge adjustments, and rent review documents. All these documents must be sent to the tenant's home (the tenant does not have to pick them up). The shipping costs are the landlord's responsibility.
The rent receipt
If the tenant has requested it in writing, the landlord must send a rent receipt after receiving the rent payment. This is a document approving the tenant's rent payment. It includes the contact information of the landlord and tenant, the amount of rent, the amount of charges (the amounts must be separated), the payment date, and the landlord's signature. A rent receipt template can easily be found online.
The rent call (or notice of due date)
If the tenant requests it, the landlord must send a rent call, or notice of due date, before the due date, indicating the amounts the tenant must pay: the rent amount, the charge amount, and any unpaid balance. However, this type of document is increasingly rarely requested.
Proof of charge adjustment
The landlord adjusts the charges each year to calculate the difference between the actual cost of the charges and what the tenant has paid. If there is an overpayment, the landlord must reimburse the tenant. If there is a shortfall, the tenant may be asked for an additional adjustment.
In this context, the landlord must send the tenant:
- The breakdown of rental charges by category (hot water, cold water, electricity, elevator, etc.),
- The method of distribution among the occupants of the condominium,
- An information note on the calculation method for heating and hot water.
If the rental agreement contains a rent review clause, the landlord must inform the tenant of the actual increase (even if the tenant is already aware of this review since it is specified in the lease). The landlord must send a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt at least one month before the first revalued rent payment.
What documents should the landlord provide on the day of the exit inspection?
On the day the keys are returned, the landlord (or their representative) provides new documents to the tenant.
The exit inspection
The exit inspection, carried out on the last day of the rental by the landlord and the tenant, checks for any damage caused by the tenant. This involves reviewing each item seen and noted on the entry inspection and assigning a new assessment on the exit inspection.
The damaged elements will be subject to an estimate (by quotation) of the repair costs. The tenant will pay for this by leaving part of the security deposit and paying for any overages. Elements damaged due to wear and tear cannot be charged to the tenant.
The notice given to the tenant
If the landlord wishes to take back the property to live there themselves or to house a relative, or if they wish to sell it, or, in the third case, if the tenant does not meet their obligations, it is possible to give notice to the tenant.
The landlord must therefore send the tenant a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt specifying the reason for the notice given to the tenant at the end of the lease. The letter must be sent at least six months before the end of the lease.