Tenant and owner: who pays what?

Tenant’s housing tax, replacement of seals, broken glass, water bill … The costs for an apartment or a rented house are of a very different nature and importance. How to navigate? This article explains how to distinguish the expenses borne by the owner and those due by the tenant according to 3 families of main expenses: taxes, maintenance fees and rental charges.

Taxes of owners and tenants

Who pays the various taxes related to housing?

  • Who pays the housing tax?

The payment of the housing tax must be paid by the person (s) occupying the dwelling on January 1 of the current year, whether it is owner or tenant. It concerns both apartments and houses, furnished or empty. If the unit is rented on this date, it is therefore the tenant who pays the housing tax, even if it is housed free of charge.

The lessor pays the housing tax of the dwelling he occupies, whether he is the occupying or tenant owner.

In the case of a seasonal rental, which is by definition temporary, it is the owner who pays the housing tax.

  • The audiovisual fee

The contribution to public broadcasting is due at the same time as the housing tax. It is due from the moment you own a TV in the housing.

  • Property tax only concerns the owner

Property tax on built properties (housing, business premises …) and property tax on undeveloped properties (building land, pond …) must be paid by the owner. He cannot ask for a refund from his tenant (unless agreed in the context of a commercial lease).

  • Garbage collection: at the expense of the owner and the tenant

Local authorities are between several devices to finance the collection of household and similar waste. The most common is the Household Waste Collection Tax (TEOM). It is the owner who pays the TEOM, the amount of which appears on the tax assessment notice.

However, the owner can recover the amount of this tax from his tenant.

The distribution of work costs between tenant and owner

The law requires the tenant to regularly maintain the dwelling he occupies. However, some equipment may get old or have been installed incorrectly.

As a tenant, you will have to do small jobs, generally inexpensive, to ensure the good condition of the accommodation. If the tenant degrades the premises, voluntarily or not, it is up to him to ensure the costs of repair. For example, if you break a doorknob, you will need to replace it. If you hire a plumber for a clogged sink, you also should pay the bill.

The owner must take charge of the major development work, the replacement of obsolete equipment or damage resulting from a lack of installation or construction.

What are the rental charges?

In addition to the amount of the rent, the tenant must pay in due time the amount of the rental charges. The provision for expenses is based on the expenses of the previous year. The landlord pays the amount each year based on actual expenses. He must then repay his tenant or claim the difference.

  • Water, electricity, gas and heating

Depending on your dwelling, rental expenses cover certain energy costs. The tenant’s consumption is recorded by individual meters and differentiated according to the type of energy. The owner pays the bills before recovering the amount via the charges.

It is therefore important to know at the time of signing the lease that expenses include. If electricity is not included, you will have to budget for a portion of your budget in addition to the rent and expenses.

  • The elevator

Tenants pay a portion of the cost of maintaining the elevator in their charges, except those living on the ground floor.

  • The caretaker’s or maintenance staff’s remuneration

The remuneration of a guard or other staff common to the co-ownership varies according to the tasks entrusted to it. For everyday tasks such as sweeping common areas or removing bins, part of the remuneration can be passed on to the tenant’s expenses.

For more exceptional work such as garbage disposal, which is often outsourced, it is only the owner who will pay for it.

  • The maintenance of the building

The costs of work related to the general maintenance of the building such as facelift, roofing, car park cleaning, automatic watering of common lawns or security (intercom, remote surveillance or guardian), are entirely at the expense of the co-owners. They cannot claim the refund of all or part to their tenants.

Better to find out about the distribution of charges, taxes and expenses of work between tenant and lessor before signing the lease.

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