One of the promises from Emmanuel Macron’s campaign, mobility leases will become part of the future ELAN Housing Law (evolution of housing and digital planning). Who is this new type of furnished rental contract aimed at and what, in the current state of the project, are the specific conditions and provisions that you need to know?
Who will the mobility lease be aimed at?
The mobility lease must respond to the specific needs of anyone travelling for their work or studies. The tenant must justify the start date of the lease, be in professional training or on a business trip, doing an apprenticeship or internship, or be in higher education. This new contract, incorporated into the Law of 6 July 1989, will therefore be found beside the tenant’s main residence lease and contracts subject to the provisions of the Civil Code.
Compulsory information and length of the mobility lease
The rental contract should be in writing and specify:
- The name or the company name of the landlord and their place of residence or company address as well as, where required, the name and address of the agent,
- The name of the tenant,
- The starting date of the contract,
- The length of the rental contract,
- The consistency, purpose and floor space of the rented property,
- A description of the leased premises and its private amenities which the tenant has sole access to, and if necessary, a listing of the building’s sections, amenities and accessories which are for communal use, as well as amenities with access to information and communication technology,
- The amount of rent and the payment terms,
- The reason for establishing a mobility lease and an indication that the rental contract is a mobility lease.
The rental should last between one and ten months, and will be non renewable in order to avoid any insecurity of successive leases. At the end of this duration, the parties could not therefore finalise a new flexible contract concerning the same furnished property. If the tenant stayed in the property with the landlord’s consent, a new lease must be drawn up subject to provisions applicable to the furnished rental that is the tenant’s main residence. In practice, this risks causing problems, for example when an intern who already had a flexible lease wishes to prolong the rental for an extra month for their internship. It would be appropriate to allow the flexible lease to be renewed within the limits of the maximum duration intended by the law.
If the rented property is in a co-ownership building, the landlord would be required to inform the tenant of the regulations of co-ownership regarding the function of the building, and the use of the private and communal parts, and specify the share relating to the leased property in each of the bill categories.
The rent and bills for a mobility lease
The rent can be freely fixed between the parties, but it cannot be changed during the lease.
The additional bills not included in the main rent payment should be fixed and paid at the same time as the rent. The amount and the frequency of payment would be defined in the contract. There would not be additional or future changes.
The amount of the additional charges would be fixed however, according to the amounts owed by the landlord in accordance with the definition of recoverable charges (article 23 of the Law of 6th July 1989). This sum could not therefore be evidently disproportionate to the charges that the previous tenant would have paid.
Incorporated into the Law of 6th July 1989, this new type of lease would also concern rent capping, as well as rent capping for re-renting. Furthermore, fees earned by estate agents for the finalisation of this type of contract would be capped, like a contract for a tenant’s main residence lease.
What guarantees are there for the landlord?
No security deposit would be required by the landlord. Tenants travelling for work would however be eligible for a VISALE guarantee (this guarantee should cover the outstanding debts and potential damages caused by the tenant which would be noted in the inventory at the end of the tenancy). The absence of a security deposit is debatable and risks freeing the tenant from liability. One solution would be to adapt the sum of the payable security deposit to the length of the flexible lease.
It is also worth noting that in the case of flat sharing, any clause anticipating solidarity between flatmates or their guarantors would be deemed void. In practice, this measure risks working against flatmates.
Cancellation terms for a mobility lease
The landlord could not in principle terminate the rental contract in advance, whilst respecting the original agreed length, except to invoke a cancellation clause in the case that the tenant does not respect their obligations.
For their part, the tenant could terminate the contract at any moment, providing they respect a notice period of one month.
The notice must be given by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt or signed by bailiff’s order or even delivered in person. At the end of the notice period, the tenant would be stripped of any occupation title of the rented property.
The tenant would owe the rent and bills for the length of the notice period, except if the property became occupied before the end of the notice by another tenant with the landlord’s consent.
The mobility lease draft included in the ELAN law is likely to undergo many amendments during debates at the National Assembly and the Senate. A dossier to follow.
ATTENTION / Update: In the last few days of May 2018, the ELAN bill has been amended by the Commission of Economic Affairs. Some of these amendments concern the mobility lease. Read the article Amendments to the mobility lease draft by the Economic Affairs Commission