The inventory of fixtures also known as the état des lieux in French is a major step in the process of renting real estate in France. Some components are mandatory and it is therefore very important not to overlook its redaction.
What is an état des lieux ?
The inventory of fixtures is an official document that is meant to simplify the relations between the landlord and the tenant of an estate. In France its composition is planned by law. the Loi ALUR of 2014 and more specifically the decree n° 2016-382 of mars 30, 2016 indicate what is to appear in an inventory of fixtures.
If no inventory is made at the tenant’s arrival, the place is considered to be in good condition which implies that the tenant has to leave it in good condition when he moves out. It is therefore highly advised to write one at the tenant’s entry in the apartment.
Note that if the landlord has not planned an état des lieux, the tenant can demand that one should be made. In that case, if the landlord persists in refusing, he is then considered fully responsible for the condition of the place and can not ask the tenant to pay for any redoing.
How should an état des lieux be done ?
An état des lieux must be done in the presence of both the landlord and the tenant (or their agent).
- The full name and address of both partis;
- The number of main rooms;
- The types of equipment in the residence (e.g. furnace, water heater, electricity meter, gas meter, etc);
- Relevant meter readings;
- Any additional private property at the tenant’s disposition (e.g. cellar, parking space, balcony, terrace);
- Number of keys, their description and their destination;
- Detailed description of all fixtures in the rooms (walls, doors, windows, lighting, closet space, etc);
- Any additional comments about the state of the residence;
- both signatures.
As starters, the landlord and the tenant should agree on a meeting in order to have enough time to write the inventory of fixtures. They should have a model of an état des lieux that follows the legal standards.
The best way to make sure that you are not being fooled is to enter as many details as possible when doing the inventory.