Essential rental info

Can the landlord come to the apartment without the tenant's consent?

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NO, absolutely not. By leasing out their property, the owner has agreed to give away the property's use in return for rental payments. In fact, the renter is entitled to file a complaint for trespass against such action. The owner risks being liable to a one-year prison sentence or receiving a fine of €15,000.

Here is everything you need to know when facing these tricky situations as a renter.

In which circumstances can landlords enter the tenant's apartment rental? 

1. Tenant’s notice to leave

The tenant has given the notice to leave and will move out of the apartment rental in a month. Therefore, the landlord and real estate agency can come to the rented home and show it to candidates. 

Yet, the landlords or their representatives can not come to the apartment rental without the tenant's authorization, and the landlord can not impose the viewing: the law states that the tenant must agree to visits on weekdays and for two hours maximum per day.

2. The owner wants to sell the apartment

According to French law, the tenant must allow the landlord access to the apartment and organize viewings when the apartment is on sale. However, the landlord can not impose the viewing days and hours.

3. The apartment needs renovation or an urgent repair

If there is an emergency, such as a water leak, the tenant must authorize access to the apartment, even on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays. 

If it is for a renovation that will bring added value to private or common areas, the landlord must notify the tenant by registered letter before starting the work and the tenant is obligated to consent to those essential apartment renovation projects.

Here are the types of authorized works:

  • Works bring added value to the rental accommodation. Example: laying of parquet, installation of a fitted kitchen, installation of a digicode, installation of an elevator
  • Work necessary to maintain the condition and maintenance of the accommodation 
  • Work to improve the energy performance of accommodation (insulation, high-performance boiler, etc.)
  • Work to meet the criteria of decent housing
  • Maintenance of roofs and facades

The renovation notification must indicate the nature of the works (improvement, urgency, energy renovation, etc.), the starting date, duration, and the need to access.

Nota Bene:  If the work lasts more than 21 days, the landlord must give a rent reduction to the tenant as reimbursement for the prejudice.

Can the landlord check the apartment's condition during the rental period?

No, the landlord is not entitled to enter the apartment to verify the apartment state during the rental period.

However, the landlord can include a specific clause in the lease agreement to have the right to visit the rental accommodation once a year to check the apartment maintenance condition. The landlord must notify the tenant at least a few days in advance.

If the lease contract contains this clause and the tenant refuses access to their accommodation, the landlord is entitled to go to court. 

Can owners legally keep a set of keys to the apartment rental?

Yes, with the tenants' knowledge, the landlord can keep a duplicate of the keys to the accommodation they have rented out. In case of any emergency, such as a fire or a water leak, if the tenant is not at home, the owner can come in with the plumber, etc. If the lock was changed, then the firemen could break in, but only for very serious emergencies.

Can the tenant change the lock during the rental?

Nothing prohibits the tenant from changing the lock during the lease period, as long as they can return the door to its initial state when they leave the apartment permanently or to give all the new keys they have. 

Editor: Siyi Chen

Credit photo @Spacejoy