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New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

WSP
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New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

(Please forgive me in writing this in English; My french is at very beginner level)

I am a new landlord plus syndic of a "maison de maitre" converted to three apartments.
I own ~80% of the building.

I live in the ground floor. Unknowingly, I leased my first floor apartment for 9 years last July 2011 to two students.
I assumed they were couple or married. These couple?? occupied this apartment since September 2011.

After 3 or months, problems started from them. Although they pay rent in time,
they are treating this "single family/maison de maitre" as their own.

# They do not respect other tenants or adjacent neighbors in the street
# They converted garage into a gymnastic centre with bunch of gym equipments setup.They use electrical heating and music doing gym in the garage. (we need to pass through their garage to goto our garage or backgarden)
# They also have table football and table tennis setup in one of the bedrooms.
# They play indoor football or ping pong even after 10PM with their visitor friends. WE told them children cannot sleep but they do not stop playing indoor games after 10 PM.
# They do conduct party every weekend with friends. Sometimes They make loud noise after 10 PM.(Building from 70s and not sound-proof)
# They moved out barbeque to the common backgarden and left it there for more than a week now.
# I had to call them at atleast twice to remove their car from the common area as my car couldn't enter or leave
# I am worried when they will bring out thier garden tabel/chair and leave it in common area.
# They also invite friends who come to play table tennis pr football with them either in the common backgarden or in their garage or in one of their bedrooms.
# They flush out at least bathtubs every day since they know they have to pay for water based on quotite part.




## (Q1) Do I have the right to evict them (without paying any penalty from my side) if this becomes unbearable?
(I have a valid reason as my 3 children need more space so we can always sent a six months notice requesting them to quit as we need it for our children, )
The template I used for signing the contract was The contract templates were taken from PIM and the form is “contrat de bail de résidence principale pour un immeuble sis dans la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale” <https://www.pim.be/telechargement/bail_principal_v2009_bruxelles.pdf> :
My contract say:
"- à tout moment, en donnant un congé six mois à l’avance, s’il a l’intention d’occuper le bien personnellement et effectivement ou de le faire occuper de la même manière par ses descendants, ses enfants adoptifs, ses ascendants, son conjoint, les descendants,"

##(Q2) As a syndic of this apartment, can I send out following "REGLEMENT D'ORDRE INTERIEUR "?
    (a) Tenants & inmates need to respect other tenants/neighbors
    (b) Tenants & inmates need to respect the apartment
    (c) Keep the front door to street locked after 8 PM
    (d) Keep the garage door and access to garage door locked all the time
    (e) Except for loading/unloading, cars should not be parked in access-road/approach to our garage or in front of the garage
    (f) Do not play any indoor games after 8 PM
    (g) Do not make loud noise/music/sound after 8 PM
    (h) Do not use high heels shoes in the upper floors
    (i) Using fire crackers are not allowed anywhere in the building premises
    (j) Setting up barbeque are not allowed anywhere in the building premises
    (h) Electrical heater should not be used anywhere in the building premises.
    (i) No visitor or guest should be allowed access to garage, back garden or garage access area
    (j) No visitors or guests should be allowed to play any indoor or outdoor sports or games in the building premises
    (k) Apartment premises, inside or outside, should not be used as a party venue or weekend meeting center???
    (l) If inmates cannot help with cutting/pruning garden fence, we would hire external party to cut fence and add it common garden expenses.
    (m) No personal items should be left in the common access areas, in front of garage, Access to garage, at the road giving access to garage. This includes barbeque, garden chair, table foot ball, tennis table etc..
·     (n) Garage could be used for organized storage of acceptable material or as a garage. Garage should not be used as a gymnastics or sports center


##(Q3) As my 8 year old children play with neighbor's children in their garden or the neighbors children play with our children in our garden, will point (i) and (j) apply to our children too???
##(Q4) We do have a small shoe rack and buggy in the common area but without hindering anybody's passage. Should we remove if point (m) need to gets applied?


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WSP
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

Panchito,

# OK, I can wait with submitting a "Requette en matiere de bail a loyer(Art.1344bis do code Judiciare)

# How about submitting a police complain today?

I am worried the youngsters will turn arrogant. I would put comments that if "somethings happens to me they are responsible" and "request protection for my family while I out the country the whole for work, which is the situation for last 125 weeks"


# By the way, I am going to SNP also today


!!!Will await feedback from the forum before lodging my police complaint!!!!


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WSP
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

Panchito/Grmphh,

Like what teh notary said, You are perhaps very right. I don't preficiency in French and the laws.

I looked at my insurance policy whcih states the following
quote]Dans l'assurance protection juridique famille, les litiges juridique suivant sont assures:
-(1)-recouvremnt de domanges jusque a concurrence de 40 000,00 EUR
-(2)indemnite en cas d'insolvabilite at avances jusque a concureence a'un montant 12 500, 00 eur Pour le dommages corpoal, nous prevoyons un montant complimentaire de 12 500, 00 EUR
-(3)DEFENCE PENALE et caustion jusque a concureence de 40 000, 00 EUR
-(4) DEFENCE CIVILE jusque a concureence de 40, 000, 00 EUR
[/quote]

I already approached my insurer saying my tenant MAY sue me and requested when should I engage them and what's the coverage. They didn't respond back yet.


(q1) My impression, based on above points (3) and (4) cited, they MAY only  cover me in case if I need to defend myself. That is , if tenant sues me and not when I trigger a court case myself, even a Requette en matiere de bail a loyer with teh Jdge de Paix.. Is that right ????

-(q2)If I need to respond to Litigation from tenant on this context, through a lawyer, would it be PENALE or civil defense?

-!!!Will await feedback from the forum before lodging my police complaint!!!!


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WSP
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

Have you registered the contract together with the inititial house inspection report? (this is compulsory)

Yes, I have registered teh contract with fiscal authorities,   within 2 months of signing contract

What I have not done are:

(a) I don't have "entretien complete" done within three months before the occupation of tenants

(b) I am yet ensure the electric circuitry in the leased apartment complies with current standards as per report from ABRAGAS at the time of purchase this apartment leased. I normally have 18 months to fullfil this compliance.
I still have time until Dec 2012 to fulfil this,a s the purchase happended in July 2011.

But, teh tenants are running around the apartment witha lectic heater rated for 3kW, which , electric circuits from apartments won't eb able to withstand.

I know tenants openly commented before that i should ensure this compliance is fulfilled before renting it-Although Electrician assures nothinbg will happen and not dangerous.

I am awaiting dates from electrician to start this work. Tenants said in one of their emails this can't be done in May, June 2012. But , I am thinking of sending a letter (envoye recommende) to tenants proposing dates for this work in May, June and await their response. Honestly, I don't know if I shouldn't rented it without fulfilling electricity compliance, although by law, I have 18 months from date of purchase to comply.


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Panchito-9340
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

The "standard" familial insurance with a "protection juridique" don't covers, generally speaking, disputes between tenants and landlords (as this risk is too high).

So if yours does cover this kind of disputes, I would like to know which one it is.

In any case, don't hire a lawyer without having their written approval that they will pay your lawyer's fees!!

If the case seems weak to them they may decline their intervention.

NB: Do you want to file a claim with the Police of WSP for "tapage nocture" because they play Ping-Pong at 21:30??

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Panchito-9340
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

Do you have proceeded to an "ETAT DES LIEUX D'ENTREE"?
Do you have a written report made by an Expert or signed by both parties?
Has it been registered together with the rental contract?

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WSP
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

I remember "ETAT DES LIEUX D'ENTREE"? is signed by both parties, myself and tenants, not an expert, enclosed along with the contract registered with fiscal authorities

I checked and my policy is "policy global familiale" covering responsabilite civile et protection juridique famille. I don't know if this covers disputes between ladlord and tenant.


Do you want to file a claim with the Police of WSP for "tapage nocture" because they play Ping-Pong at 21:30??

Yes, but also seeking proection from  my family as I am out of teh country the whole week.
I will certainly not go to  Juge de Paix.

(1) Should I hold on with this complaint? AS they don't break teh law playing pong pong at 9.30 PM saturday night?
(2) should I hold on sending lease termination notice as electricity doesn't comply with norms, although I still have time until Dec 2012 to fix it?
(3) Should I send a letter(envoye recommende) to tenants proposing dates to fix electrical compliance first? Or can I still send my least termination today???


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WSP
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

I just picked up a letter from postbox from "Judge de Paix WSP" inviting me fora "conciliation", asking me to present on May 3rd.

Th e copy of conciliation says the following"


Trouble de jouissance pa le fait du proprietaire et autres.

Odurs de gas, pas d'eau chaude et refus d'intervention, dans la facture du baileur

Resolution du bail

-Does it change anything. Can I still send termination notice???
-My impression, they can't do anything if I am not present for conciliation?
Also Going to SNP & Juge de Paix to clarify.


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WSP
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

By the way, I have fixed the Water heater at own cost yesterday.
This wasa "technical problem" which normally the teant shoudl ahve done.
Since there is not "entretrien complete" 3 months before they occuied,
I intervened to resolve gas smell once in October 14 1 and  rpair issue yesterday.

tenant doesn't have wny written proof for any gas smell.
Heatr is working within 24 hrs they have reproted ther confirmation when we can access thier aprtment tof xi this problem.

-Can I ignore "cionsilation and don't for ti?
-Can I still file my lease termination regsitered.
-Request for concilation came in a naormal letter and IMHO, Juge de PaIX can't force me to attend concilation. Is that right?


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Panchito-9340
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

If you don't attend the audience in front of the Judge, you may loose the case by default...

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Panchito-9340
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

By the way, your tenants ask the Judge to break the lease at your fault.
Do they require you pay them any indemnity?
If yes, how many months of rent?

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WSP
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

Looked at the concilliation again and it simply says

what is cited by me already below from me at "Date : 12/04/2012 à 11h02" is teh only contest filed by teh tenant with Juge de Paix.

Nothing mentioned about indemnity for leaving the apartment.
I believe it has to do with asking for indemnity yesterday for not being without hotwater since April 6th.

But the fact is:


The problem is fixed yesterday. This is teh status of the issue as of now:

•    Although the email title from teant said says "Chauffe-eau en panne depuis le 6/4/12",heonly reported this to me on  Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 12:08 PM,it was a easter Monday, public holday. He aslo said it works intermittently , that you have to wait for hour for it to work "quote:Concernant le chauffe eau de la salle de bain, il ne fonctionne plus depuis trois jours, il s'éteind tout seul... Nous devons constamment le rallumer et attendre une heure pour qu'il fonctionne à nouveau. "
    •    He only confirmed to me 10/4/2012 at 19:51 that he will make himself available anytime when a technician comes.Without this information I couldn't call any technician for intervention as we need your appointment to let the technician in his apartment.
    •    So, 11/4/2011 was the first  working day I can act to call a technician for his intervention  
    •    This heater issue has been eventually fixed by a technician yesterday.
    •    There was no proof of gas smell from any technician yesterday.
    •    But a technician who can on October 14th  confirmed smell and it has been fixed right then.
    •    There is written report anywhere confirming any gas smell.
    •    I don't have an invoice for the repair for yesterday. But issue is fixed now, within 24 hrs after the tenant gave me permission to access faulty heater


I am sure the kids love our apartment. They just want indemnity for not having hot water since April 6th two have two baths every day until yesterday. They also want to make it serious by pointing gas smell but the technician who came in yesterday didn't find any gas smell.

# They just took a ride for a "technical problem they are supposed to fix" by
riding on me two times that I pay maintenance so far since I don't have a "entretien complete" for the mainteanance done within tyhree months of occupation.

So, I am still serious to snd termination notice as I belive the indeminuty they might ask for is for heing without hotwater. They don't have intentions to leave until 2020.

# There are some eamils talking about gas leak but nothing in written from technican who visted on 14th October. I don't know if you remeber and say that to court too.



What do I do now?

-Exercise my right sending termination and face consilation prove my facts?
And try negotiating indemnity as low as possible?


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grmff
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

-Can I ignore "cionsilation and don't for ti?

On contrary of information given by Panchito, you can perfectly ignore this request for conciliation.
The judge will then note that you was not there, and therefore that the parties could not reach any conciliation. AND THAT WILL BE ALL.

Panchito is mismatching "requete" and "conciliation"

-Can I still file my lease termination regsitered.

Yes.

-Request for concilation came in a naormal letter and IMHO, Juge de PaIX can't force me to attend concilation. Is that right?

Yes.

But you should go to conciliation. Because even if you go to conciliation, the judge can not force you to anything. And he can not make a judgment. All he can do is to give some advice (some judge are quite good at it), take note of an agreement between the parties, or take note of desagreement.

What's important is that the agreement will have the same value as a judgement, and can be executed by huissier de justice.

So, go there. Because the next step will be that the judge, the very same judge, will have to make a decision!


Grmf!
----------------
Le bonheur n'est pas une destination. C'est une façon de voyager. (Lao Tseu)
Et un peu de chocolat... (Grmf!)

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Panchito-9340
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

Let's be serious.

Your tenants have asked to the Judge a "résolution du bail", which means to be able to break the lease without having to pay any indemnity.

You desperately want them to be evicted.

So why not sit together and sign a document confirming both parties agree to break the lease without having to pay any indemnity?

Giving your health problems, you can avoid to have to support a legal procedure, that can takes months before to get any decision from the Judge. Moreover, you don't know the Belgian laws on renting (Main Residence) and you are not fluent nor in French nor in Dutch.

+ Given the fact that your case is extremely weak and that Belgian laws protect extremely well tenants who have a 9 years contract for main residence purpose, I would avoid by any means to have to go to Court!!

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grmff
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

Your tenants have asked to the Judge a "résolution du bail", which means to be able to break the lease without having to pay any indemnity.

You desperately want them to be evicted.

So why not sit together and sign a document confirming both parties agree to break the lease without having to pay any indemnity?

I fully agree. In French: je plussoie abondamment. (don't try google translator on this...  lol )

This is the very objective of the conciliation procédure: find an arrangement, and validate it with a judge.

The conciliation procédure is the less vexative procédure, because you agree together on a negociated solution.


Grmf!
----------------
Le bonheur n'est pas une destination. C'est une façon de voyager. (Lao Tseu)
Et un peu de chocolat... (Grmf!)

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WSP
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

Folks,

Your tenants have asked to the Judge a "résolution du bail", which means to be able to break the lease without having to pay any indemnity.

I certainly won't believe this. I have been living with them and I know who they are.

# Both are 25 years old, , living together but  one designated as "sans profession" and the other "vendeur et demostrateur en magasins". male and female,  registered as "celibataire". Learnt all this only when I got a copy of their certificate de residence this week.

# When they met, being a newbie, I just asked for a copy of id card, which dutifully did so copying thier creditcard size e-id card. They introduced themselves as studying, law etc. Eventually they have referred temselves as academicians. I didn't even as for a payslip. Just got folled seeing parents behind, didn't feel the need to ask as they were students. I am sure a stupid moron wink

#  While payment was not a problem so far, they were Sitting in teh apartment 7 days a week, nothing do much, mostly watching TV, not visiting the parents etc.Parents only came to see the apartment the day they have signed the contract

# Their whole attire changed the moment they have signed the contract.
They made me run more than a month to sign the eat de lieux.
#  Were always behind the technicians, asking how old the equipment is, intention where(*) they could catch me nicely,

.#.... or asking electricians is it safe to live in an apartment which has not been certified  for compliance etc. On the other end, were carrying a 3KW electric heater everywhere around, from garage while doing gymnastics to bedroom and all. Knowning that this budiling is from 70s, and not rated for a elctrcial heater we still had time to do electcical safety compliance certifciate.

# With respect to heating, They knew how to exploit the system and how to make ISTA to read a  0 consumption on calrorimetrs by not turning on heaterr heaters at all, rather depend on electrical heating and candlelights. They knew Mazhout is more expensive in central heating and play to keep thier common charges down.

# They also knew water is divided based on quotite part so were very generous with at least two baths a day, not sure what the others guests/girls were doing, meticulous car washes every month etc...

End of the day, we have lost serenity, tranquility and privacy of our "maison de maitre" apartment. While they were "enjoying the property" , playing Ping Pong in the garage or Table football in the first floor, we were stuck and sandwiched in between in ground floor, feeling strangers ourselves.

# There were weekend parties and yearend parties which went upto 2AM.
Parties always will be done with Table FootBall late night but they have stopped by 10 PM.

# They reported problem this Monday, confirmed this wednesday night when will they allow a technician, but already went for conillation, before doing so, threatening they will ask me indemnity for not having hot water. The summary was, it was a technical/mechanical issue, not aging, to covered by tenant. Once they specified times for access, issue was fixed with in 24 hours.



So, do you want me to believe them they will depart shaking hands if I waive of indemnity? They would have brought stories like, gas smell, heating didn't work for 8 months etc. They might get money from me, make me waive off indemnity , let them chose when they want to leave etc.. If nothing works to their favor, they would have abandonded the "concillage". If I couldn't get to meet them in teh last 4 months to address some issues for harmonious living, how could I expect them to come to an amicable settlement?

I tried meeting them in person. tried this 6 times so far.Last invite was to  bring there parents. They deemed it unnecessary.

# By the way, this is not the first time, they are copying many barristers/ lawyers from fromBrussels  while sending emails to me, threateing they will engage advocate, go to concilage, ask for indemnity etc.


So folks, I believe I tried limiting the damage to maximum 6 months.
I will try going concillage and see what they are willing to offer.



And I forgot the barbeque which they have started on the first good spells in March in our private garden, as they have access since they have rented the garage, although used garage for storage and setting up gymnastics and bring friends to play.

Question:

Didn't do so yet, as it was not strong. But have the necessity, as I am out country whole leaving, leaving behind kids/family here.


Should I file the long pending police comaplinat today, as I am worried of ther reaction when they receive thier notice tomorrow?


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grmff
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

I read your long story. Still, even if you feel there is no chance with "conciliation", you made the right decision to give it a chance. If you manage to get an end of contract on wathever date based on "mutual agreement", you will gain the fact that they leave, and that you can rent again your studio without question about 18 months indemnity.

Globally speaking, you have nothing to loose and everything to with with conciliation.

On the other side, as for the complaint to police, it is up to you. Did they threaten you physically? If not, there is no NEED to file a complaint with the police.


Grmf!
----------------
Le bonheur n'est pas une destination. C'est une façon de voyager. (Lao Tseu)
Et un peu de chocolat... (Grmf!)

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grmff
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

WSP a écrit :

being a newbie

Do we need to confirm?  yikes

I am sure a stupid moron wink

Don't be so rude to yourself... You're just learning the hard way...

With all our support  smile


Grmf!
----------------
Le bonheur n'est pas une destination. C'est une façon de voyager. (Lao Tseu)
Et un peu de chocolat... (Grmf!)

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Panchito-9340
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

.#.... or asking electricians is it safe to live in an apartment which has not been certified for compliance etc. On the other end, were carrying a 3KW electric heater everywhere around, from garage while doing gymnastics to bedroom and all. Knowning that this budiling is from 70s, and not rated for a elctrcial heater we still had time to do electcical safety compliance certifciate.

This is not mandatory to rent out (but well to sell...)

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Panchito-9340
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

rather depend on electrical heating

Since how long are they in your flat?

After 1 year, they will probably get a huge adjustment bill since in Belgium, electrical heating is much more expensive than any other energy.

I do hope they have private electricity meters at least...

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Panchito-9340
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Re : New tenant issues-What the landlord/syndic can do?

# With respect to heating, They knew how to exploit the system and how to make ISTA to read a 0 consumption on calrorimetrs by not turning on heaters

In standard "copropriétés" the "acte de base" always forseen that all the costs related to the warming installation (electricity, maintenance of the furnace, reparations, issues fixing etc,...) are distributed as following:

25% (or more) as fixed costs based on the "quotités".
65% (or less) as variable costs based on the private consumptions (ista meters).

This is to avoid that occupants that would never turn on their radiators, would not participate to the costs.

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