In which cases should the departmental conciliation commission be consulted?

Verified 18 December 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Cancelation of the conciliation obligation

Published on 17 November 2022

In a ruling on September 22, 2022, the Conseil d’État annulled article 750-1 of the code of civil procedure, which establishes the obligation of conciliation and mediation prior to litigation.

The Departmental Conciliation Commission (CDC) helps the landlord and tenant find an amicable solution to their dispute. Depending on the type of dispute (state of play, decency...), it may be mandatory to refer the case to the CDC before appealing to the judge. The CDC intervenes free of charge.

Warning  

The tenant and the owner of a rented accommodation with a mobility lease do not have access to the CDC.

Individual Dispute

The DCC: titleContent seeks an amicable settlement of disputes between landlord (private landlord or social landlord) and tenant (using the dwelling as the principal residence) to avoid recourse to the court if possible.

It is a joint body made up of equal representatives of landlords and tenants.

The appropriate CDC is the one where the dwelling is located.

Reminder

the tenant and the owner of a rented accommodation with a mobility lease do not have access to the CDC.

The CDC intervenes when the rented accommodation (empty or furnished) constitutes the principal residence of the tenant, whether the landlord is a private landlord or a social landlord.

Private

The CDC shall have jurisdiction in the following individual disputes:

  • Security deposit
  • State of entry or exit
  • Decent housing
  • Furnishing (only for furnished rented accommodation)
  • Repairs to be made by the lessor or tenant
  • Rental Expenses
  • Notice (leave) given by lessor or tenant
  • Setting the new rent (lease of exit from the law of 48)
  • Rent fixing at the time of the rental or rerental
  • Increase in undervalued rent (at lease renewal)
  • Decrease in overpriced rent (during lease or at lease renewal)
  • Rent supplement
Social

The CDC shall have jurisdiction in the following individual disputes:

  • Security deposit
  • State of entry or exit
  • Decent housing
  • Repairs to be made by the lessor or tenant
  • Rental Expenses
  • Holiday given by the tenant

Warning  

it does not have jurisdiction over disputes concerning rents.

Is it mandatory?

It is compulsory to refer the matter to the CDC before being able to refer the matter to the judge on the following grounds:

  • Rent increase understated at lease renewal
  • Decrease in overvalued rent (demand in the lead-up to the lease renewal)
  • Supervision of the evolution of rents between 2 successive tenants
  • Rent supplement

For all other reasons, the procedure to be initiated differs depending on the amount of the dispute:

  • where it is less than €5,000Then you have to go to the conciliator of justice and then you can go to the judge
  • when it is greater than €5,000, the CDC or the Justice Conciliator is optional. It is possible to refer the matter directly to the judge.

FYI  

the tenant must continue to pay rent and expenses. Only the judge can decide temporarily block rent payment (excluding charges) to the lessor, pending resolution of the dispute.

Who's going to the CDC?

The CDC may be seized by the lessor or the lessee.

How do I seize it?

The CDC's intervention is free of charge.

The CDC must be seized by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

Tenant: letter to refer to the departmental conciliation commission (CDC)

This letter should be addressed to the CDC of the department where the dwelling is located.

Who shall I contact

The letter must specify the following information:

  • Names and addresses of the tenant and lessor
  • Subject matter of the dispute
  • Copy of the lease
  • Benchmarks if it is an undervalued rent increase
  • Documents useful to support the case (state of play, emails, letters, plans...)

Within what timeframe?

The CDC may be referred to it at any time, except for the following disputes:

Tableau - Time limits for bringing certain disputes before the CDC

Dispute

Time limits for filing a complaint with the CDC

Rent supplement

Within 3 months from the signing of the lease

Undervalued rent (application in the lead-up to lease renewal)

Within 4 months of the lease due date

Rent overstated (demand in the lead-up to lease renewal)

Within 4 months of the lease due date

Decent housing

Within 2 months after a formal notice to do the work remained unanswered

Setting of a new rent (gradual exit lease from the 1948 Act)

Within 3 months of receipt of the proposal for a gradual exit lease by the tenant

Warning  

for an understated rent increase or rent decrease, the judge must be seized after the expiry of the CDC response period (2 months) and before the expiry of the lease.

Summons

The parties (the lessor and the tenant) are summoned by simple mail or by email at least 15 days before the date of the meeting.

In case of absence of one of the parties for a legitimate reason (medical, professional, family reason...) and justified (in support of a supporting document), a new and last summons may be sent.

Process

Parties may present themselves in person (possibly with assistance).

In the event of being prevented from attending, it is possible to be represented by an authorized person (by written conciliation warrant).

Please note

if one of the parties is absent on the day of the sitting, the CDC finds that it is impossible to reconcile them. It may also express an opinion on the situation which may be presented to it by the party present.

After hearing the parties, the CDC is trying to reach an agreement.

Agreement

In the event of agreement, the parties shall sign a conciliation document. The recourse to the judge is then no longer possible. For example, if the tenant forfeits part of his security deposit, he can no longer bring the matter before the court for restitution.

If one of the parties fails to comply with the signed agreement, the other party may bring the matter before the judge to enforce it.

No agreement

In the absence of an agreement, the CDC shall, within two months, issue an opinion which it shall address to the parties by simple letter.

One of the parties may seize the judge.

The opinion of the CDC may be brought to the attention of the judge.

Collective Dispute

The DCC: titleContent seeks an amicable settlement of disputes between landlord (private landlord or social landlord) and tenants (occupying the dwelling as principal residence) to avoid, if possible, going to court.

However, referral to the CDC is optional: it is possible to directly refer the judge.

It is a joint body made up of equal representatives of landlords and tenants.

The appropriate CDC is the one where the dwelling is located.

Warning  

the commission does not have jurisdiction to deal with a dispute relating to mobility lease.

The CDC intervenes when the dwelling (rented empty or furnished) is the principal residence of the tenants, whether the landlord is a private landlord or a social landlord.

Private

The CDC has jurisdiction in the following class actions:

  • Application of national or local agreements
  • Operation of a building or group of buildings (if entirely for rental use)
Social

The CDC has jurisdiction in the following class actions:

  • Application of national or local agreements
  • Operation of a building or group of buildings (if entirely for rental use)
  • Implementation of the collective agreement plan

Who seizes it?

The CDC may be seized by the lessor, or by several tenants, or by an association representing the tenants.

How do I seize it?

The CDC's intervention is free of charge.

The CDC can be seized at any time.

The CDC must be seized by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

Tenant: letter to refer to the departmental conciliation commission (CDC)

This letter should be addressed to the CDC of the department where the dwelling is located.

Who shall I contact

The letter must specify the following information:

  • Names and addresses of affected tenants and lessor
  • Subject matter of the dispute
  • Copy of leases
  • Documents useful to support the case (state of play, emails, letters, plans...)

Summons

The parties (the lessor, the tenants or the representative association of the tenants) are summoned by simple mail or by email at least 15 days before the date of the meeting.

In case of absence of one of the parties for a legitimate reason (medical, professional, family reason...) and justified (in support of a supporting document), a new and last summons may be sent.

Process

Parties may present themselves in person (possibly with assistance).

In the event of being prevented from attending, it is possible to be represented by an authorized person (by written conciliation warrant).

Please note

if one of the parties is absent on the day of the sitting, the CDC notes the impossibility of reconciling them but may also issue an opinion on the situation which may be presented to it by the party present.

After hearing the parties, the CDC is trying to reach an agreement.

Agreement

In the event of agreement, the parties shall sign a conciliation document. The recourse to the judge is then no longer possible. For example, if the tenant forfeits part of his security deposit, he can no longer bring the matter before the court for restitution.

If the signed agreement is not respected by one of the parties, the other may bring the matter before the judge to enforce it.

No agreement

In the absence of an agreement, the CDC shall, within two months, issue an opinion which it shall address to the parties by simple letter.

One of the parties may seize the judge.

The opinion of the CDC may be brought to the attention of the judge.

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