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Use of accommodation and works by the tenant

Verified 16 August 2022 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

The tenant freely uses his accommodation throughout the duration of the rental. But he must grant access to his dwelling to the owner in certain situations (especially when the owner has to work there). When the tenant wants to work there, he must obtain the permission of the owner.

The rented accommodation is the tenant's home. Accordingly, he has exclusive (he can live there freely) provided he complies:

  • to the lease
  • and, if the dwelling is in a condominium, the rules of the condominium.

Tenant rights

The rented accommodation is the tenant's home. The tenant is therefore entitled to organise and use the premises freely. He may also invite or host (free) people of his choice.

Therefore, the owner does not have the right to:

Please note

tenant may sublet housing on condition request and obtain the agreement of the owner.

Use of accommodation

The tenant must use the accommodation in accordance with its use, as provided for in the rental agreement.

For example, the dwelling can be rented for residential use only. In this case, the tenant is prohibited from carrying out a commercial activity that would involve nuisance in the building (especially if this activity involves the reception of customers or goods).

If the rented accommodation is located in a condominium, the tenant must respect the condominium settlement. For example, this regulation may regulate or prohibit certain practices, including:

  • Extend laundry to windows
  • Make barbecues
  • Settle visors on the balconies (canisse, bamboo...)
  • Place flower pots or window boxes on the edges of the windows

FYI  

generally speaking, the tenant must use the accommodation in accordance with peace and quiet.

The tenant must allow certain works decided by the owner to be carried out in his dwelling, including the following:

  • Improvement works in common or private areas of the same building (installation of a digicode...)
  • Work required for the maintenance and normal maintenance of the accommodation (faulty flaps, antiquated valves...)
  • Work to improve the energy performance of the housing (insulation, efficient boiler...)
  • Work to meet the criteria of decent housing
  • Maintenance of roofs and vegetated facades

Before the work begins, the owner is obliged to inform the tenant. To do this, he must send her a notification by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt or hand-delivered.

This notification must specify the nature of the work (improvement, emergency, energy performance...) and the way it was done (start date, duration, need access...).

If this work is urgent (for example, the water heater in winter), the tenant must allow access to his housing for preparation and realisation. But he does not have to allow access on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

The tenant must allow access to his dwelling for the preparation and the realisation of the work at the expense of the owner.

However, if these repairs or works last more than 21 days, the landlord must grant a rent reduction commensurate with the duration of the works.

In some cases, the tenant may use the protection litigation judge the court on which the house depends.

This is the case when the work:

  • are
  • or do not comply with the conditions laid down in notification work
  • or make the use of the dwelling impossible or dangerous.

The tenant can then ask the judge:

  • prohibition of work undertaken
  • or interruption of work undertaken
  • or the termination of the lease, where the work renders the dwelling uninhabitable.

The rules are different depending on the work the tenant wants to do:

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Transformation

The tenant has the right to freely arrange the accommodation he occupies (change of carpet, refresh of wall paintings...).

However, it cannot do major alterations to the premises or its equipment without the written consent of the owner. In case of doubt (for example, if the tenant wants to paint the walls with a garish painting), it is better to ask the owner's permission before doing the work.

If the tenant carries out the work of transforming the premises or its equipment without requesting the written agreement of the owner, the owner may, on the departure of the tenant (at the end of the lease):

  • Either keep the alterations without compensating the tenant for the cost of the work done
  • Require the tenant to return, immediately and at his own expense, the dwelling to the state it was in before the work

If the alterations jeopardise the proper operation of the equipment or the safety of the premises, the owner may require the immediate return of the premises as is, at the tenant's expense.

In the event of a dispute over the nature of the works (simple development or transformation), refer the matter to the protection litigation judge.

Adaptation work (disability, loss of autonomy)

The tenant who is disabled or in a situation of loss of autonomy (e.g.: senior citizen) may carry out accommodation adaptation work at their own expense.

At the tenant's departure (at the end of the lease), the landlord cannot require the tenant to return the dwelling to the condition it was in before the work.

Nature of work

This may include:

  • Creation, removal or modification of partitions or interior doors at the housing
  • Modification of the arrangement or equipment of the water rooms (kitchen, toilet, bathroom)
  • Creation or modification of electrical outlets or electronic communications and lighting points
  • Installation or adaptation of control systems (including control of electrical, water, gas and heating systems, intercom, signalling, switches)
  • Installation of lifts or equipment to allow the movement of persons with reduced mobility
  • Installation or modification of closing and opening (doors, windows, shutters) and warning systems

FYI  

There is aid to finance this work, in particular aid from Anah or local authorities and tax credit.

Video: Adapt housing

Credits : www.pour-les-personnes-agees.gouv.fr, website of the National Solidarity Fund for Autonomy (CNSA)

Before work

The tenant must send a request to the owner by registered letter with acknowledgement. In this letter, the tenant must:

  • Describe precisely the changes envisaged and the conditions under which this work will be carried out
  • Indicate the company that will do the work
  • Write the following sentences: Pursuant to Article 7 of Law No. 89-462 of July 6, 1989, as amended, to improve rental relations, works of adaptation of the housing to persons with disabilities or loss of autonomy or works of energy renovation can be carried out at the expense of the tenant. This work is requested in writing by registered letter with request for notice of receipt from the lessor. Failure to reply within two months of the date of receipt of the application shall be deemed to be a decision of acceptance by the lessor. At the departure of the tenant, the landlord may not require the premises to be returned as is.

The tenant can use this document template:

Request permission from the owner to do work to adapt to disability or loss of autonomy

FYI  

After receiving the tenant's request, the landlord has 2 months to respond. Failure to reply within this period shall be deemed to be an agreement.

After jobs

Within 2 months of the completion of the work, the tenant must certify to the owner:

  • that it was the intended company that intervened
  • and that the work carried out is indeed that which has been notified and authorised.

Energy renovation works

The tenant can do energy renovations of the accommodation at his own expense.

At the tenant's departure (at the end of the lease), the landlord cannot require the tenant to return the dwelling to the condition it was in before the work.

Nature of work

This may include:

  • Isolation of low floors
  • Isolation of attic ceilings
  • Replacement of exterior carpentry
  • Solar protection of glass or opaque walls
  • Installation or replacement of a ventilation system
  • Installation or replacement of heating and hot water systems and associated interfaces

This work must respect thermal and energy standards for existing buildings .

But they don't have to affect the structure of the building, its exterior, change its destination or be subject to an administrative authorisation (prior declaration, building permit...). Where the accommodation is located in a collective building, they shall not affect the common areas or common equipment.

FYI  

There is aid for finance energy renovation works.

Before work

The tenant must send a request to the owner by registered letter with acknowledgement. In this letter, the tenant must:

  • Describe precisely the changes envisaged and the conditions under which this work will be carried out
  • Indicate the company that will do the work
  • Write the following sentences: Pursuant to Article 7 of Law No. 89-462 of July 6, 1989, as amended, to improve rental relations, works of adaptation of the housing to persons with disabilities or loss of autonomy or works of energy renovation can be carried out at the expense of the tenant. This work is requested in writing by registered letter with request for notice of receipt from the lessor. Failure to reply within two months of the date of receipt of the application shall be deemed to be a decision of acceptance by the lessor. At the departure of the tenant, the landlord may not require the premises to be returned as is.

FYI  

After receiving the tenant's request, the landlord has 2 months to respond. Failure to reply within this period shall be deemed to be an agreement.

After jobs

Within 2 months of the completion of the work, the tenant must certify to the owner:

  • that it was the intended company that intervened
  • and that the work carried out is indeed that which has been notified and authorised.

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