Security deposit in rental agreements: Unfurnished property
The landlord may require the payment of a security deposit to cover any possible failures of the tenant (rent or unpaid charges, realization of rental repairs, etc...). The amount of the security deposit, its payment and its restitution are framed by the law.
If the lessor requires the payment of a deposit, the amount must be obligatory included in the lease contract.
It cannot be more than 1 month rent, excluding charges.
NB: the amount of the security deposit cannot be subject to any revision in progress or renewal of the lease.
The security deposit must be paid to the owner immediately after the signature of the lease:
- directly by the tenant,
- or via a third party like “Action Logement” (eg 1% Housing) with the advance loca-pass or solidarity fund for housing (FSL) with the help to finance the deposit.
In case of payment in cash, the tenant can request from the owner a receipt specifying the purpose of the remitted sum.
Delay of restitution of the security deposit
The deposit must be returned within a maximum of:
- 1 month if the condition of the apartment at the move-out (act of the move-out) is in conformity with the inventory of places of entry,
- 2 months if the inventory of places of exit reveals differences with the state of the places of entry.
The delay is calculated from the day of the return of the keys by the tenant. The keys can be transmitted:
- in the hands of the lessor or his agent (the real estate agent),
- or by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt.
NB: if the landlord has not carried out an inventory of move-out, the tenant may require its drafting via a formal notice. Once the exit inventory has been made, the tenant can return the keys and claim his deposit.
Withholding of security deposit
Any deductions from the security deposit must be justified by the lessor. The conditions of retention on the security deposit vary depending on whether the housing is in condominium or not.
If the dwelling is in a condominium building, the lessor proceeds to a provisional order of accounts.
The lessor can keep a maximum provision of 20% of the deposit until the annual closing of the building accounts.
Any document is likely to justify this provision, in particular:
state of entry and exit
letter of claim for unpaid rent remained unanswered.
The final adjustment and restitution of the balance (deducted from the sums remaining due to the lessor) must be made within one month of the final approval of the building accounts.
However, nothing prevents the parties from immediately settling all the accounts without waiting for the approval of the accounts of the co-ownership.
Request a refund of a security deposit:
[Surname, name and address of the tenant]
Objet : Mise en demeure de restitution du dépôt de garantie
A ce jour, vous ne m'avez pas restitué mon dépôt de garantie d'un montant de [montant de la somme due] pour le logement situé : [address] .
Je vous rappelle que suite à mon départ le [date] , un état des lieux contradictoire a été établi le [date] . Les clés vous ont été remises le [date de remise des clés] . Aucune dégradation n'a été commise, l'état des lieux de sortie est conforme à l'état des lieux d'entrée.
Selon l'article 22 de la loi du 6 juillet 1989, la restitution du dépôt de garantie doit intervenir dans un délai de 1 mois à compter de la remise des clés, sans quoi, il sera majoré d'une somme de 10 % du loyer mensuel hors charges, pour chaque mois de retard. Et à ce jour, le délai de restitution est dépassé.
Je vous mets donc en demeure de me restituer la somme de [somme due] pour le dépôt de garantie majorée de [majoration selon le nombre de mois de retard] dans un délai de [délai] à compter de la réception de la présente. A défaut, je me verrai contraint de saisir le tribunal compétent.