Renting a house: Everything you need to know about the maintenance of the property.
Renting a house: Everything you need to know about the maintenance of the property. What the damages does the tenant pay for? Before you sign The lease of your new home, make sure you know.
Dictionary of rental terms that you need to know when you’re in the process of renting a home (or even selling!).
Renting a home for the first time? It would be very helpful to know the interpretation of some useful rental terms. More specifically, the best-known terms are:
Tenant: Is the one who is renting a house. Landlord: Is the owner.
Rent: Is the agreed amount of rent that is written on the lease (eg 300 euros). Lease: Is the rental of a main residence, which usually has a minimum duration
of three (3) years, unless a shorter period has been agreed in the lease.
Lease contract: It is a private lease agreement, signed by the two parties, the owner, and the tenant, to know exactly what their rights and their obligations are.
Guarantee: It is paid by the tenant to the owner once. Usually they are 1-2 leases (usually one for older houses and two for newly built or furnished ones). In case that there are no damages or unpaid bills at the end of the lease, then this amount of money is returned to the tenant after he leaves the house.
Brokerage fee: This is the fee-commission that the broker or the brokerage office will receive for renting a property. The amount of the brokerage fee, which is freely negotiable and not subject to legal minimum limits, is agreed between the contracting parties.
Shared: These are the shared costs related to the maintenance, cleaning, and repairs of the building. The costs are shared between the owners of each apartment as provided by the apartment building regulations and usually the management of the repayments is undertaken by the manager of the building.
Some of these terms will be useful, even if you proceed instead of renting to purchase a home.
Now let’s talk about another very basic issue that will concern you when you enter the process of renting a house: Which costs does the tenant ultimately
pay and which ones does the owner pay.
- The payment of the guarantee
- The payment of the rent
- The payment of the basic costs of running the property such as utilities,water, electricity, and telephone/internet.
- The restoration of extraordinary damages, caused by him(eg if a windowor a tile breaks).
2. On the other hand, the owner is basically responsible for the following costs:
- Covers the cost of repairing damages caused by physical wear and tear on the home, such as painting, electrical or plumbing failures, etc.
- He is responsible for all kinds of emergency repairs concerning the apartment building and not only the apartment he owns(e.g changing the door phone).
- He is also responsible for the payment of TAP( this is the name of the real estate tax i.e the tax calculated on the value of the property located within the administrative region of specific municipalities and communities), unless the bill is issued in the name of the lessee. Then he undertakes the repayment of the TAP.
He also pays the ENFIA (the tax imposed on every type of property, regardless of whether it is buildings or land surfaces inside or outside the plan).
Property deterioration: Tenant or Landlord, who is responsible?
A property that is inhabited, it is natural and inevitable that at some point it will face damages due to the time that passed. A house even a rental one requires regular maintenance in order to remain in good and sustainable condition for the tenant.
But which damages are those that come with the passage of time (natural damages) and which are the damages that are the result of the
misuse of the house (or in other words, damages)? Which ones must be repaired by the lessee and which by the lessor?
A few typical examples will be mentioned below in order to understand the differences between physical damages and the damages mentioned above.
Therefore, the damages caused by daily life in a house constitute the natural damages and usually for their restoration, the owner of the property is responsible.
Some examples of natural wear and tear, are the following:
- Marks on the wooden floor and tiles
- Cracked paint on the walls
- “Loose” bathroom tiles
- “Loose” doorknobs
- Drains that clog easily
- Small cracks and nail holes in the walls
- Sliding doors that ‘’stick’’
- Worn enamel in the bathtub
- Closet doors and cupboards in the kitchen and bathroom which do notclose properly.
On the other hand, damage is considered damage that was caused by the tenant’s negligence or carelessness and could have been avoided. In this case the lessee is considered responsible for the restoration of the specific damages. Therefore, the owner keeps part or all the guarantee in order to carry out the necessary technical restoration work.
Some examples of damages are the following:
- Scratched or dented floor (parquet, marble, tiles)
- Broken mirrors, sanitary ware and windows
- Broken tiles in the bathroom
- Broken hinges on doors
- Walls painted without approval or smudged or with large holes
- Missing or broken doorknobs
- Plumbing fixtures from the bathroom or kitchen that are broken.
The lessee is therefore only responsible for the costs and repairs related to the use of the property, while the owner is solely responsible for repairs and costs related to the fixed assets of the property such as
plumbing, electricity the elevator, the boiler.
But what about electrical appliancies?
If you are renting a furnished house, you must also know what applies regarding
the existing electrical appliances. First you have to assess the condition they are in (Are they very old? Are they working?)
Then you have to come to an agreement with the owner, whether you or him be responsible in replacing them in case of damage.
Most owners change appliances in a renovation or when it is necessary. However, sometimes prefers a broken electrical appliance be replaced by the tenant, so this should be agreed from the start of the rental agreement, in order to avoid any misunderstandings.
Let’s look an example below in order to make it better understood.
What if the water heater needs to be replaced? Who takes over the costs of the replacement?
The replacement of the water-heater is the responsibility of the lessor-owner of the particular property. In particular, as mentioned above, the lessor has the obligation to keep the house suitable for the agreed use. This commitment includes of course both physical and legal preservation.
In fact, according to the interpretation of article 592 of the Civil Code, the lessor must repair all damages to the lease that are attributable to the agreed use. This means that that the owner of the property has to pay, unless it is a case of damage, outside the agreed use.
Such expenses are called necessary and are indicative of the expenses for the restoration of water pipes, drainage, doors, roof, electrical installation, heating, water heater etc.
Case of compensation to the tenant from the owner-In which case are you
entitled to it?
If the property has damages or defects that the owner did not inform you about, before signing the lease, you have the following rights:
- Demand the repair of the defect with all costs be paid by the owner and at the same time you can request a reduction or even non-payment of the rent until the time of the repair.
- To request compensation for the additional expenses that occurred due to this defect.
- If the owner refuses to repair the defect within a reasonable period of time you have the right even to terminate the lease as well as to claim
compensation for all expenses that may have occurred due to this defect.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You must know that you do not have the rights mentioned above in the event that you knew from the beginning about the defects, or in case that you signed a document, stating that you ‘’receive
the house unconditionally’’.
Does the tenant have the right to make changes in the house? And if so, what changes are those?
The tenant cannot make major changes in the house. That means that he does not have the right to change the internal layout, the façade or to use the building for another reason than has been agreed in the contract. Nevertheless, after a relevant agreement, the tenant can undertake some non- radical changes, such as painting the house.
So now, you know which damages the tenant has to pay and which ones the owner. If you intend to rent a house, you must remember that both sides have obligations as well as rights of course, but you also must remember that proper communication between landlord and tenant is the most important thing of all!
SOURCE: SPITOGATOS TEAM