As part of the rental agreement on a second home, which is subject to the provisions of the Civil Code, the parties may stipulate that the rent will be adjusted on an agreed date and according to a specified index. Should this rent adjustment be overlooked, the landlord is entitled to backdate the process as originally agreed. These regulations are very different to those which apply to rentals involving a property deemed to be a tenant’s principal residence.
The rental agreement must mention rent adjustment
Firstly, the rental agreement must include a clause addressing rent adjustment. In fact, if the rental agreement on a furnished rental fails to mention rent adjustment, then the rent will remain the same throughout the term of the agreement. This ruling also affects any automatic renewal arrangements.
Specified index and date for rent adjustment
Unlike the provisions which apply when the rental property is the tenant’s principal residence, the chosen index does not have to be the benchmark rents index (IRL), published quarterly by INSEE. Indeed, landlord and tenant are free to stipulate any index they both agree upon (IRL, ICC etc.).
As regards the rent adjustment date, once again plenty of freedom is allowed. The parties must simply ensure the rental agreement stipulates the agreed date. Rent adjustment will then take place on that date every year, unless a different rental term has been agreed – for example, every six months.
The consequences of overlooking a rent adjustment
Where a landlord fails to implement a rent adjustment, he is still entitled to take advantage later. The law makes it clear that simply not claiming for the additional amount of the adjusted rent does not imply the landlord intended to forego his rights under the rent adjustment clause. Article 2224 of the Civil Code provides that the landlord’s claim for payment of rent and other charges, including rent adjustments, only lapses after five years. This means a negligent landlord could make a retrospective claim for rent increases relating to rent adjustments going back five years.
However, if the furnished rental is a tenant’s main residence, then very different rules apply : Reviewing the rent on a furnished apartment: the rules applicable.