At the signature of the rental contract, the tenant must deposit a deposit. As its name suggests it is a guarantee against possible situations stipulated in the contract itself. The law for access to housing and a renovated town planning govern this deposit. There are therefore preconditions that define the payment of this deposit. But what is it used for? It is also important to know what happens to it during the rental period and then when it is returned. And finally, it is necessary to master the modalities of the restitution of the deposit.
The rental deposit: its necessity
The deposit is a guarantee for the owner against possible damages caused by the person renting the property, such as for example, defaults related to the property, the amount remaining due to the landlord. The deposit is effective until the end of the rental period. It is essential to know that it is not obligatory but still has all these legal values when it is stipulated in the rental contract. The tenant does not have the right not to pay his last month’s rent in favour of the deposit. In this case, he would be in a wrong position. The amount of the deposit is worth one month’s rent. Nevertheless, it can be up to two months if it is a furnished rental, agreed or non-agreed rentals according to the conditions governed by law. The landlord can only ask for a deposit for any payment of rent in advance. It should be noted that the deposit can be heavy, especially when added to the agency fees. In this case, help can be found for its financing.
In fact, there are two ways of financing the deposit. But note that you cannot cumulate them. On the one hand, you can have recourse to the solidarity fund for housing in case of a problem. The financing of the deposit will be assured but also a part of the possible expenses before renting. It is necessary to inquire at your town hall about the conditions of their allocation. On the other hand, there is also the device governed by the building and housing code which grants an advance for the financing of the deposit. You must apply for this two months before you move in. It affects the main dwellings to the greatest extent possible and will be reimbursed monthly at a zero rate. It should be noted that there are maximum amounts not to be exceeded with a minimum reimbursement per month. For the various procedures related to the return of the security deposit, go to www.litige.fr.
The security deposit during the rental period
During the rental period, the lessor has the right to use the security deposit as he sees fit. Thus, he can use it as a deposit to make a profit or even spend it. Nevertheless, at the end of the rental period, he is obliged to return the security deposit to the tenant in the absence of a dispute. The amount of the security deposit can neither be revised during the rental period nor readjusted at the time of contract renewal. In addition, during the rental period, it is strictly forbidden for the tenant to demand interest on the value of the deposit. Moreover, apart from this rental guarantee, the lessor could not demand any other form of cash security from the tenant. The amount of the security deposit is used to cover any problems that may be detrimental to the tenancy.
The Law on the Lease Contract emphasizes the nullity of all other forms of money to be paid during the lease. However, if the tenant defaults, it is important for the landlord to require a security deposit from another person who will pay his or her obligations on his or her behalf. However, if the landlord has taken out insurance against non-payment, the landlord is not entitled to require the tenant to post such a bond unless the tenant is still studying. In any other way, the lessor has the right to require the security deposit from the lessee. The housing action grants this kind of guarantee for the assumption of the possible unpaid charges of the main dwelling. As this type of guarantee is very reliable, access to the rental becomes much easier.
The security deposit: the time for its return
As soon as the rental contract comes to an end, and the keys to the accommodation have been handed over in person or by registered letter by notice deducted from the agent, the security deposit can be returned. Nevertheless if the conformity of the inventory of fixtures is similar to the entry, the maximum time to return the deposit is one less. In this case, the tenant has two long months to do so. The tenant is required to give his new address to the landlord when they meet to hand over the keys. In the case of jointly owned buildings, the landlord has the right to a period of time to make his accounts from the handing over of the keys. For this purpose, he may keep part of the deposit until the accounts have been closed. However, he must provide all the necessary justification for this retention. After all the regularisations have been made, the restitution of the remainder of the deposit must take place within one month.
Thus, after any justification for any useful purpose, the return of the security deposit may be made. If necessary, the security deposit has been deducted from the tenant’s outstanding payments, and from any possible deductions. It should be noted that the tenant is liable for a few sums during the rental period. These are the unpaid rents which correspond to one or three months according to the notice period established in the contract, the charges dedicated to the restoration of the premises, and the sum for repairs to the rental. The withholding of these sums must be proven by supporting documents such as invoices, estimates and bailiff’s letters of report. The responsibility for the routine maintenance of the residence and the various equipment mentioned in the rental agreement is obligatorily incumbent on the tenant during the rental period. The states of wear and tear linked to time are stipulated in the decrees linked to the rental. The landlord, as for him, can ask the tenant, one month before the end of the contract, for the receipt of the housing tax. In addition, the lessor is not entitled to withhold sums related to the cost of collecting unpaid rent or the amounts of penalties and fines for late payment.
The rental deposit: how to return it
A priori, it is important for the lessor to make a refund of the security deposit. But exceptional cases may arise. In the event of the death of the original landlord, the heirs of the owner must proceed to the restitution of the security deposit. If the residence is sold during the rental period, it is important for the new landlord to make the payment of the security deposit.
And when the payment of the deposit has been made to a person who is no longer in charge of the rental at the end of the contract, it is the lessor responsible for the rental who should make the payment of the deposit even if he claims not to have received the sum from his own hands. In the case of a shared flat, if one of the persons leaves the premises before the other, the deposit would be returned on the departure of the last tenant. The return of the security deposit can therefore follow several procedures depending on each case.
The rental deposit: the various procedures for its return
Several cases may arise when the security deposit is returned. Indeed, if the tenant has died during the rental period, the lessor must reimburse the beneficiary by transfer according to a ministerial order. In addition, if the deposit was paid by a third party, such as the housing solidarity fund, its reimbursement is expressly due to the tenant unless it is specifically stipulated in the articles of the rental contract. Moreover, if there is a refusal to refund the deposit by the landlord, within the legal time limit, in this case the tenant could write a letter of injunction to put him/her on notice and to remind him/her of this.
Moreover, if the landlord does not respond or refuses, the tenant has the right to appeal to the commission sitting in each department for conciliation. The prefect appoints representatives of the tenant and the lessor equally. In the event of conciliation, a document of agreement will be signed. Otherwise, a notice of dispute will be issued. Otherwise, the tenant has the option of calling in a conciliator before taking the case to the judge. This conciliator is in fact a volunteer looking for amicable solutions. The extreme solution is to call a judge to decide the case. The tenant has the option of obtaining either an order for payment against the landlord from the magistrate or a request to summon the latter before the competent court.