Apartment sharing: what are the rules?
Apartment sharing is a rental carried out by several tenants for the same accommodation, which is used as their main residence. The roommates can either be strangers or friends.
Apartment sharing contract
Writing up the contract
Most of the time, each of the roommates signs the same contract, and has the same obligations with the owner. This is known as a unique lease (compared to the expression “multiple leases”, when several apartment sharing contracts are signed between each roommate and owner). The stated rules underneath are rules which are applicable, in the case of a unique lease (mainly concerning the solidarity and termination clause, given by a tenant).
Rules applying to a contract
Apartment sharing is subject to a legal regime of the accommodation. If the shared accommodation concerns a furnished accommodation rental, it must comply with the specific regulations in keeping with the furnished rentals.
Obligations of owner
Once the accommodation has been rented to several people, the owner must put a decent housing at the disposal of everyone. The owner must also pay for the repairs himself, for example a heater failure during winter.
Obligations of roommates
Generally, the owner makes sure to include a solidarity clause or indivisibility of the rental debt, in the rental contract. Every tenant is responsible for paying all the amounts due to the owner (rent, outlays, rental repairs) right until the end of the contract. The owner can therefore contact any of them, to obtain the full payment.
Roommates are required to have a home comprehensive insurance policy. They can sign a single contract on which, the name of each roommate shall be mentioned.
Security deposit and guarantee during apartment sharing
Just like for any rental, the owner can ask for a security deposit (1 month if the apartment sharing concerns an empty accommodation, 2 months if it’s a furnished one). The security deposit is paid while entering the premises and is returned, after deduction of the remaining amounts, due to the owner, after the very last roommates have left.
The owner can ask for a guarantee from a loved one, who’ll stand guarantee for the payment due by the roommate, mentioned in the deed of guarantee. It’s rare that the guarantor takes responsibility for all the roommates. The guarantee commitment terminates 6 months after the “ensured” roommate has left, except if the latter has been replaced. In which case, the guarantee is released, due to the guarantor’s obligation .
Apartment sharing: how to terminate the lease?
Departure of roommates If everyone wishes to terminate their rental, one simply needs to address a common departure, along with all the names and signatures of the roommate. The amount of the security deposit will be returned to one of them. If only one of the roommates wishes to leave the accommodation, this person’s departure doesn’t end the contract, which carries on with the same conditions, along with the ones who remain in the premises. If a new roommate was to be substituted with the owner’s agreement, an amendment to the contract is essential. The landlord cannot impose a new tenant without the consent of the other roommates. Regarding the rent, the solidarity clause in the contract forces the roommate who is leaving, to remain responsible for the payment of 6 months after his departure, unless a new roommate takes his place.
Termination given by the owner
The termination addressed by the owner to only one tenant is the same for others, if a solidarity clause is part of the contract, which usually is the case.
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