Whether it is for a landlord or a tenant, the inventory of fixtures step is crucial before taking or giving back the keys of a dwelling, whether it is an apartment or a house. This procedure is essential at each stage, whether it is at the time of the entry in the places or at the time of the exit. In other words, it is not just a formality. It allows you to avoid unpleasant surprises as well as legal and financial consequences. We explain everything and give you our advice.
The inventory of fixtures is a mandatory document that serves as a legal basis for determining responsibilities in case of disputes. It is all the more important when the tenant must provide a deposit. For example, if a tenant notices a stain of humidity on a wall during the inventory of fixtures at the entrance, and that it is mentioned in the document, he cannot be held responsible for this stain during the inventory of fixtures at the exit. On the other hand, if the stain is not mentioned at the time of the inventory of fixtures of exit, the owner will not be able to turn over against the tenant for the cost of work.
The inventory of fixtures must be carried out in the presence of the owner or his representative and the tenant. It can be done using a model available on the governmental website logement-public.lu. It is advisable to use a tablet to take photographs during the visit, in addition to a paper or digital medium. The document must be signed by both parties and kept for an unlimited time.
If the tenant notices a stain after the signature of the inventory of fixtures, he can send a registered letter to the owner to ask for a modification of the document. However, the owner is not obliged to accept. It is therefore crucial to be vigilant when drawing up the document.
Finally, it is possible to mandate a third party to establish the inventory of fixtures, such as a real estate agent or a bailiff. The fees are to be paid by the tenant and can vary from a few hundred euros to one month's rent.
It is important to note that the inventory of fixtures document must necessarily include certain mentions or information. In addition to the type of inventory (entry or exit), it is necessary to mention the date, the precise address of the accommodation (with the floor and apartment number if necessary), as well as the names of both parties (owner and tenant). Furthermore, the number, detail, and use of keys must be specified (front door, cellar door, etc.), as well as badges or magnetic or digital passes if applicable. Readings from individual meters (electricity, gas, water, etc.) are generally also noted.
In the case of a furnished accommodation, an inventory must be drawn up detailing the furniture items (wardrobes, beds, chairs, etc.), as well as the electrical appliances such as a television or washing machine, and usual items such as dishes. For each piece of furniture, equipment, and object, a description must be indicated (working condition, signs of wear, etc.).
It is essential to be precise and detailed during the entry inventory, as this will facilitate the exit inventory and avoid potential conflicts. Therefore, it is necessary to note, for example, the condition of wall coverings (wallpaper or tapestry in new condition, or tapestry/paint in very good condition except for stains, flakes, or marks), as well as the condition of the floor (cracked parquet slats, stains on the carpet, broken or chipped tiling elements). It is also important not to forget to mention the condition and proper functioning of window and door frames, doors, windows, shutters, cupboards, locks, sanitary facilities, faucets, electrical installations, as well as dependencies such as the attic or green space (indicating the number and condition of plantings).
It is therefore strongly recommended to take photographs during the inventory and attach them to the document for complete and objective documentation.
As previously stated, the reimbursement of the security deposit (or bond) paid by the tenant upon entering the premises depends on the comparison between the move-out condition report and the move-in condition report. However, it is important to note that damages resulting from normal use, wear and tear, or aging are not considered as damages. For example, a small hole in the wall caused by hanging a picture does not need to be mentioned. Jurisprudence stipulates that the tenant is not required to return the property to a new condition, but simply in the condition it was received. However, if damages were caused by the tenant, the tenant can either repair them before the move-out condition report or the corresponding amount will be deducted from the security deposit. If the deposit is insufficient, the tenant will be required to pay the difference. It is important to note that if repairs were made by the tenant without the prior agreement of the landlord, the latter may require the tenant to pay for the restoration costs. On the other hand, if the tenant replaced the wallpaper or carried out minor maintenance work, this does not pose a problem. Finally, if repairs need to be made due to damages caused by the tenant and this results in a delay in re-renting the property, the lost income can also be charged to the tenant.
It is therefore essential to carry out a precise inventory of fixtures at the entry and exit of the accommodation. Indeed, there are pitfalls to avoid for the tenant and the landlord. If the lease contains a clause that obliges the tenant to declare having taken the premises in good condition, in the absence of an inventory of fixtures at the entry, the tenant will not be able to prove otherwise at the end of the lease. Thus, he will be responsible for all the damages noted. Similarly, in the absence of an inventory of fixtures at the entry or if it is poorly drafted, the security deposit cannot be used as a refund for any damages caused by the tenant. It is therefore important to document the condition of the accommodation at the entry and exit to avoid any subsequent disputes.