Legal aspects of the rental

Signing of lease or rental agreement

In the event of a conflict with your landlord or a neighbor, start by exhausting all channels of conciliation (be positive, propose solutions, negotiate ...).
If all your attempts prove unsuccessful, you can resort to legal action.
Be aware, however, that legal solutions, more or less simple, can be long and sometimes costly.

The legal action

The Court of First Instance is the only court competent to deal with questions relating to rents and housing leases, with no limit on the amount of money.

The ordinary procedures

The preliminary conciliation procedure

This procedure, although little used, is often very effective and free.

You write to the judge or file your application with the clerk of the competent district court to have the parties summoned for a conciliation hearing.
The Registrar shall notify both parties of the places, days and hours of the conciliation attempt.
Each person must appear in person and may be accompanied by a person of his or her choice.
Apart from any judicial procedure, the conciliator has the task of promoting and establishing a friendly settlement of disputes submitted to him: he may propose a solution.
If a compromise, even partial, is found, the conciliator draws up a statement specifying the terms of the agreement, mentioned in a procès-verbal, which has the same value as a judgment and can therefore be executed by a bailiff.
In case of failure, you will be given a non-conciliation ballot. If you consider it useful, you can then bring the matter before the judge in the normal way. The dispute must be judged "in the merits" according to a normal procedure.

The procedure for assigning to the merits

You appeal to the judge of the district court of the dispute that opposes your opponent.
The assistance of a lawyer is not compulsory. You may appoint a bailiff to request a court hearing date and issue a summons (15 days in advance) to the opposing party.
Above all, make sure you can prove (contractual documents, couriers exchanged, receipts, written testimonies ...) what you are advancing.

Be patient, the procedure can be very long, especially if your opponent requests deferred hearing.
If the decision of the judge does not suit you, you will have a month to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
But this time, the presence of a lawyer will be indispensable.

The interlocutory proceedings

Besides the ordinary procedure, often lengthy (18 months on average), you can use the recourse.

This procedure allows you to obtain an expeditious decision on a dispute, in particular when dealing with disturbances of enjoyment noted by bailiff.
The appeal procedure reduces the duration of the call. The order made is enforceable immediately and becomes final if no appeal is filed within 15 days.
This is the ideal procedure for obtaining urgent work.
The judge hearing the application does not rule on the merits of the case: if the dispute has not been settled completely, it will have to be adjudicated by the court of first instance.

Simplified procedures

Simplified referral

This is the procedure most suited to small disputes.

You can summon your opponent before the magistrates' court without resorting to a bailiff for any litigation involving less than € 3,800. The saving is substantial.

To use the simplified referral, it is sufficient to complete a declaration form at the office of the court of first instance and to accompany this request with the supporting documents.

The procedure then proceeds as for an assignment to the bottom.

The injunction to pay and the order to pay

Created recently, these procedures are both quick and free.
They are reserved for civil litigation involving less than € 7,600.
To use this procedure, it is sufficient to fill out a form available at the Registry of the Court of First Instance and to provide the supporting documents.
The application must be based on a law or a contract.

  • If the judge considers that the application is well founded, it gives an injunction to the other party to execute its judgment within a specified time.
  • In the case of an order for payment, the debtor may file an objection. In this case, both parties will be called for a hearing in order for the judge to rule definitively.
  • If the judge rejects the application, no appeal is possible, but you can summon your opponent before the judge by bailiff.

It is the ideal procedure to recover a sum of money due to you (for example, a deposit that the owner delays in reimbursing you at the end of the rental). The claim must be certain, due and of a definite amount. You must send your request (request) by simple or recommended letter to the registry of the competent district court (where your opponent lives).

Legal aid

Legal aid allows people whose resources do not exceed certain limits to have recourse to the services auxiliary to justice: lawyers, solicitors, bailiffs, experts.
Legal aid may be total or partial.
Applications must be made to the Court of First Instance on which your domicile depends.

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