You are a tenant, you live in drafts and yet your landlord refuses to change the windows. Charlie Cailloux, legal advisor for the PAP.fr real estate website, specifies today what can be demanded and what is not advised.
franceinfo: How to force the owner to do this work?
Charlie Cailloux: Of course, dilapidated windows are a big repair that can be demanded of the owner, since it affects the decency of the home. And in the decree that lists the housing standards, it is clearly stated that the doors and windows must have sufficient airtightness.
Once we have said that, the question that arises is from when we consider that the window should be changed, from when it is no longer sufficiently waterproof, and there, the decree does not do not (for the moment) give a threshold or measure to be respected. For example, the law does not require the installation of double glazing. A simple glazing, that can be appropriate, as long as the air does not pass too much. So it’s a bit fuzzy but it shouldn’t stay that way …
It’s a bit fuzzy and for what reasons?
Well because the Energy-Climate law expects by 2028 that an energy performance diagnosis will be required at least classified E for the accommodation to be rented. 2028, we could say to ourselves that there is still time, but it will increase: from January 1, 2022, the obligation to inform the tenant about energy performance and the amount of heating costs is being reinforced.
From January 1, 2023, the owners of the least well insulated dwellings (a priori those classified in G but that remains to be defined) will have to do work if they want to continue renting. Little by little, minimum energy performance is being introduced as a criterion for decent housing. I remind you, since we talked about it here last week that since October 1, MyPrimeRenov ‘ allows landlords to finance energy saving work in the homes they rent.
But then what are the steps of a tenant who lives in drafts?
He has to prove to the owner that the windows are old, that means taking pictures of condensation, chipping of the sash, damp spots on the walls. And then you can also rely on some really huge electricity bills.
If the lessor resists, you must send him a letter of formal notice reminding him of his obligations (you will find all the applicable texts in the notice of your rental contract) and threatening him with legal action. The court may authorize you to suspend the payment of rent until the work is done.
And can’t the tenant stop paying their rent without going to court?
Well it’s true that it can be tempting! By tapping the lessor in the wallet, you know you’re going to get him moving. But beware, it can really backfire! If you do not pay the rent, you are committing a serious contractual fault (paying the rent is the tenant’s main obligation) and the landlord can take legal action to terminate the lease.