Defects in the resident is something most have experienced during their rental period. Read here and find out who is actually liable if a defect occurs in the resident.
Defects in the resident - What is it?
The landlord must make available to the tenant in good and proper condition in the resident from moving in and throughout your rental period.
Thus, there is a distinction between original deficiencies and defects arising during the rental period.
If one or more things in your apartment do not meet what could be expected after the agreement, then the lease will be considered to be defective. Defects are unfortunately a normal occurrence, both deficiencies that should have been remedied by the landlord, and defects created by tenants, so it is a point that is very important. But most importantly, it can also cost a lot of money if you do not know the rules about deficiencies.
A residence must be provided by the landlord in good and proper condition. This applies throughout the rental period. If all or parts of the residence does not correspond to “good and proper condition”, it is counted usually as a defect in the residence.
What is “good and sound condition” varies greatly from residence to residence and can thus be difficult to assess.
Example of a defect: If you take over a residence and you find that the shower in the bathroom does not work, then it will be considered a shortcoming.
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Defects at move in
It is important that you make sure that you notice any defects from the apartment in the move in report. Thus, under no circumstances may be liable to pay for remedying these deficiencies if they existed at the time of vacating.
In addition, it is apparent from the Danish Rent Act that you may notice errors and deficiencies within the first two weeks from the time you take over the residence. Everything discovered within two weeks of the rental takeover are considered to be defects at the time of move in.
Thus, it is important to take advantage of this opportunity so that you can prove that you have not caused any defects in the lease itself and thus do not have to bear them. It is a good idea to take pictures as documentation of the defects. This can be used as important proof of any subsequent dispute.
Do not forget to be frugal with this list. The more mistakes you notice, the better you will ensure yourself.
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Defects during the rental period
If the landlord has acted fraudulently (eg, did not tell relevant information or lied about these etc.), or the defect is a so-called hidden defect (A defect that will only be shown later – such as leaking windows that first turns out at low temperatures), you may still notice the defect even if the two weeks have passed. Such deficiencies do not hold you as a tenant, because the defect is considered to have been present when you moved into the lease.
Furthermore, it follows from the Danish Rent Act that the landlord is obliged to keep the residence in good condition. This is valid from the start of the rental period and throughout the rental period. As a starting point, it is therefore the landlord who is required to cover the costs of defects in the property. This could include, for example, leaky windows, cookers, refrigerators, etc., which do not work as expected. Defects in inventory you have brought yourself, you are responsible for.
According to the Danish Rent Act tenants can also require that the residence is kept in the condition that should be when move in. If the landlord does not rectify the shortfall immediately upon the tenant’s call, the tenant may, as a rule, rectify the defect on the landlord’s bill. However, we always recommend that you contact us before, as a few conditions must be met before this can be done.
NOTE: You must report a defect in time to retain your claim that the landlord is responsible for correcting it.
Landlord's maintenance obligation
As a starting point, the landlord has a maintenance obligation on the entire property. However, it can be agreed otherwise and most often it is found that the tenant is responsible for the interior maintenance. As a starting point, the landlord has the maintenance obligation throughout the property. But what does the maintenance obligation maean? If nothing else is agreed, the landlord must ensure that the external and internal maintenance are maintained, respectively.
The external maintenance concerns: stairs, stairs, pipes, roofs, windows, basement, supply installations, kitchen tables, cabinets, electrical outlets, toilet, faucets, doors etc.
In fact, the external maintenance concerns anything but the interior.
The internal maintenance concerns: whitening, painting, wallpaper and lacquering of floors. Please refer to internal maintenance. But what does the maintenance obligation entail? If nothing else is agreed, the landlord must ensure that the external and internal maintenance are maintained, respectively.
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Agreed on something else
Section 11 of the lease agreement may stipulate that, as a tenant, you are responsible for parts of the maintenance. This will typically be the internal maintenance.
It is therefore important to check what you and the landlord have specifically agreed so that you know whether it is you or landlord who is in charge of maintenance.
The person in charge of maintenance is responsible for rectifying the defect.
In addition, you and your landlord may have agreed from the beginning that you move into a residence with defects. In this regard, it may be agreed that you are in charge of rectifying the defect or that the defect will be rectified by the landlord later.
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The landlord is of course not liable if the tenant himself is responsible for the occurrence of defect in the lease.
An example of this may be a defect in the oven or stove because the tenant has used this incorrectly. Another example may be burn marks in the floor. Such deficiencies bear the tenant’s own responsibility.
Legal disputes mean that you do not have the rights promised in the Danish Rent Act. There are the same rules for legal deficiencies as for physical deficiencies in the residence. If there is a deficiency, you can terminate the agreement or demand compensation as in the case of common deficiencies.
Compensation or reduced rent
Should there be any defect in the resident, you may be compensated in some cases. This concerns situations where the landlord has not corrected the deficiencies, which were expected to be rectified before moving or the landlord has acted unreasonably.
Typically, costs for warehousing your furniture, temporary housing and similar expenses are compensated for.
If there are defects in the residence, but the defect are not so bad that you need to vacate, you can usually get the rent reduced. You can get the rent reduced, as the rent is inadequate. If the case comes to the Rent Committee, however, the Committee will usually give the landlord a time limit to rectify the deficiencies. If the landlord does not comply with this deadline, the landlord will be asked to reduce your rent.
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If there are significant defects in the residence, you can terminate the agreement. Terminating the lease abruptly, entitles you to get your deposit and prepaid rent refunded as soon as you leave.
Get legal advice and avoid being deceived
This topic can be very complicated as a tenant. The above is to be seen as a general guidance and not as downright legal advice. We always recommend that you contact us to ensure that you get the proper necessary legal advice that is relevant for your specific case.
You can get help with this topic but also any other matters you may have. Unfortunately, we see many tenants that are being deceived. Often, they miss out on a lot of money – anything from a couple thousands to 30-40,000 kroner. Imagine what else you could spend the money on.
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