Tenant obligations

6 August 2018

Tenant obligations

C. The obligation to use the space with caution and diligence

According to art. 1799 The new Civil Code, the holder is obliged to use the goods taken for tenancy with caution and diligence and according to the purpose established by the contract. Taking into account the above stipulations, the tenant will not be able to change the purpose of the rented space except with the lessor's consent.

When the contracting parties have not expressly determined the intended use of the space, it shall be determined by the nature of the good, the habit of the place, its previous destination or the tenant's occupation (assuming that the space was rented for it).

If the lessee modifies the property or changes his destination or uses it in such a way as to damage the lessor, the latter may claim damages and, where appropriate, terminate the contract (Article 1800 of the New Civil Code). The lessee has the obligation to use the space as a good owner, which implies maintenance for the entire duration of the lease, in order to maintain the condition in which it was handed over by the lessor.

According to art. 1802 The new Civil Code, "current maintenance repairs", called dwelling, is the responsibility of the lessee. In addition, the tenant can perform minor work, which is not considered a change of destination, eg gas installation, telephone, alarm, air conditioning, etc. We mention that major repairs (capitals), as well as degradations who come from the normal use of work, are the responsibility of the lessor. In such a case, the lessee is obliged to immediately notify the lessor, under the sanction of the payment of damages and of any other expenses, to make the necessary repairs under his responsibility (Article 1801 of the new Civil Code).

If, however, the degradation of the space is caused by the lessee's fault, he will be required to repair at his expense (even if repairs are important). In this case, the degradation concerns "including that caused by fire, if it does not prove that an accident has occurred" (Article 1822 (1) of the New Civil Code)
Similarly, the liability of the tenant is also attributable for the degradation caused by the members of his family, by his subordinate, as well as by the deeds of other persons who have allowed in any way the use, possession or access to the good (Article 1822, paragraph 2 of the New Code Civil).

Repairs to the common parts used by several tenants, if not caused by them, are the responsibility of the owner. If the tenant fails to make residential repairs, he may request damages, but only at the end of the location, "for the inconvenience of lack of maintenance (eg painting) is borne by the lessee." Instead, the lessor may, at any time, request the necessary repairs or termination of the contract if the lessee's housing repairs are likely to cause the destruction or loss of space.

In order to verify the use of the property, the lessee is obliged to allow the property to be examined by the lessee at reasonable intervals in relation to the nature and purpose of the good, as well as those who wish to buy or who wish to terminate the contract (see Article 1804 of the New Civil Code)

The burden of proof rests on the lessee.

You can read more here.

If you are interested in a legal opinion, this is how it is:

1. There shall be the contract which should lay down the obligations for each party.

2. If the contract does not say anything specific, then the general rule of law shall apply.

According to the law, there is a major difference between major repairs and small / usual repairs. The landlord is responsible for major repairs, while the tenant is responsible for minor repairs. For example, a broken door handle or a light bulb will fall under the tenant. But like I said, first you have to check your contract.

Source: Legeaz