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Renting an empty apartment

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    The choice of housing is a question that every future tenant must ask himself.  it depends not only on the motivations that drive the taker to rent (residential use, professional use, commercial use, periodic or seasonal use…) but also on the legal conditions attached by law to a particular type of rental.

    Empty housing, for example, is one of the types of real estate rentals subject to a specific legal framework, as is the related FISCALITE.  

    Among the motivations for a landlord to rent a particular type of housing is taxation. The tax cost of the type of accommodation makes such a rental more attractive than another for the landlord.

    The dwellings in question can be either furnished premises or empty premises. This is the case with empty rentals, which have a specific tax system, separate from that of furnished rentals.

    The taxation of the empty tenancy is linked to the property income of the landlord.

    Taxation of an empty housing rental

    The tax system for empty housing rentals requires the landlord to declare its rental resources as a basis for their property income, annually.  In the context of an empty housing lease, these rental incomes will sometimes be declared under the micro-land regime, sometimes under the real regime.

    • The micro-land regime
    • The so-called “micro-land” scheme applies in one way: when gross property income does not exceed a ceiling of 15,000 euros per year. Hence the term “micro-land.”

    The tax administration will then apply a flat-rate allowance of 30% on property income. However, it is possible to apply for the real scheme in two cases: either when rental expenses exceed 30% flat rate allowance, or when large repairs are to be made on the rented dwelling.

    • The real regime
    • Rental resources for empty housing are to be reported to the real plan when the landlord has a large tax household. This is the case when your rental income inflates your tax household above 15,000 euros. The interest of the real plan is that it allows the lessor to recover part of its rental capital expenditures. These include expenses related to large works (roofing, boiler, walls, etc.), but also other expenses such as interest on loans, insurance premiums, or property tax. 

    Tax return for renting an empty home

    Rental income must be included in property income: tax return, established on Form 2042. Simply put on the form the amount of gross rents collected during the year. The tax office is responsible for calculating the 30% abatement to which you are entitled.

    A dwelling can be described as “empty” when it does not have sufficient personal property on the day the taker takes possession to meet the needs of the tenant’s day-to-day life. However, the empty or non-empty nature of the dwelling should not be confused with the existence of the minimum facilities and facilities of which any dwelling is normally furnished. The accommodation will always be described as empty even if it has sanitary facilities, a sink, a kitchen (not equipped), electrical equipment…

    Rental conditions for empty accommodation

    Empty housing is still one of the most sought-after types of rentals, although there is a clear trend towards furnished housing. 

    To lease a so-called “empty” dwelling, the dwelling must not have the furniture that normally makes up any so-called “furnished” dwelling. Accommodation can be described as empty when it includes only rooms with living space, toilets, kitchen (un equipped) as well as outbuildings of the house or apartment. The fact that the dwelling has a kitchen does not remove its empty character since this room is a part of the building and is attached to it. Electrical installations, water or gas connections are not likely to affect the “empty” nature of a dwelling.

    The tenant must furnish his own apartment or house.

    The conditions of the statutory empty tenancy scheme

    Empty rental is governed by the Residential Leases Act. This is Act 89-462 of July 6, 1989  on improving rental relations between landlords and tenants. This legal framework applies to empty dwellings used primarily as a dwelling by the taker, and incidentally for mixed use. The latter refers to both residential and professional use.

    Empty dwellings subject to the residential lease regime are only those used as principal residences. 

    Empty rental offers a safe and protective legal regime for the tenant. For example, the latter is guaranteed to remain in possession of the premises for at least three years, which in fact corresponds to the minimum duration of this type of lease.

    Another condition of renting an empty dwelling, the landlord as well as the tenant are required to contract for a certain period of time, which is generally greater than that of a furnished dwelling lease.

    The lease of an empty dwelling

    The rental of an empty dwelling is strictly regulated by law. The lessor and the taker must sign the tenancy agreement for a period that is in principle three years renewable. Renewal is done by tacit renewal, i.e. automatically once neither party has indicated its intention to terminate the lease.

    An empty lease is necessarily subject to Act 89-462 of July 6, 1989. This law relates to measures to improve the relationship between landlords and tenants. It subsequently underwent some reforms.

    In particular, the 1989 Act sets out the conditions for the establishment of the lease agreement for either residential or mixed premises. Empty dwellings are naturally part of the premises for residential use…

    But it is not enough that the dwelling is empty, it must also be declared as the principal residence of the tenant.

    Once these conditions have been achieved, in an empty rental, the landlord agrees to rent his property for a period of no less than 3 years. 

    At the end of the 3 years, the lessor must make the lessor aware of his desire not to renew the lease, if this is the case. The leave given must thereby be express (in accordance with a 6-month notice), otherwise there will be tacit renewal.

    The taker is relatively advantaged in the context of an empty rental. The law states that the tenant benefits from the dwelling for a period of no less than 3 years. In addition, the underwriter has the option of unilaterally terminating the pre-term lease, i.e. before the 3-year period expires. He can do this by giving leave in the form of notice, 3 months before the desired departure date.

    SPECIFIC case for renting an empty dwelling:

    In the context of renting an empty dwelling when the tenant is over 65 years of age special protective conditions apply to him. 

    The Unfurnished Main Residence Leases Act provides special protection to tenants over the age of 65 (formerly 70 years of age reduced to 65 years by the Alur Act), and provides, among other things, that tenants will not be denied a renewal of their lease after it expires, if they meet certain conditions related to their age and their situation of indigence.

    In other words, the eelderly tenantin a precarious situation is entitled to the renewal of the lease, except for the landlord to relocate it. In such cases, the landlord must offer alternative housing that is both in accordance with the financial needs and opportunities of the elderly tenant, but also that this alternative dwelling be close to the current dwelling.

    The conditions for this protection

    In order to legitimately object to the potential leave given by the lessor and to claim a renewal of his lease, the 65-year-old tenant must fulfil a second condition: he must be in a situation of destitution such that he has income below a certain limit of resources set by regulation. These two conditions are cumulative and not alternative.

    Cases where the protection of elderly tenants does not play a role:

    • That the lessor himself be over 65 years of age on the expiry date of the lease.
    • When he can also prove that he has income below the same threshold as that required for the tenant over 65 years of age.

    It should be noted that, as far as the landlord is concerned, entering into one of these two hypotheses is sufficient to defeat the particular protection of the elderly tenant.

    in Rental
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