We have rented our apartment in Caen for almost five years since we retired and moved from London. But now the owner is selling up; she lost her job a while back and the syndic has spent a fortune on building renovation, leaving her with a hefty bill.
She has a business partner [the relationship has never been fully explained] who told us only a couple of months ago that they would issue a new lease at the €1000 figure covering the three years to August 2022. But yesterday Mme tells us she has to sell up now, and brought a notaire to measure up and give her a valuation for sale (approx €220,000, we think we overheard him say).
What, if any, are our rights?
When the initial three-year lease ran out she promised a new one, but never delivered. Meanwhile she has increased the rent from €813 in year 3 to a current figure of €1000. But we have nothing in writing – not even receipts for the rent since she stopped using the notaires after the lease expired.
Now we will have all the expense of moving – an expense which we as pensioners were not expecting and can ill afford. Even if there are no agency fees, there will be upfront and consequential costs.
Our initial thoughts are:
- Demand an immediate, itemised account of all rentals received over the years. [Yes, we have bank statements but some agents insist on reports from owners / agents].
- Once we have her account in hand, revert the payment to the level of year 3, maybe adjusting for inflation; that would contribute over €100 a month to the “removal fund”
- The nuclear option – again once we have her report in hand, simply stop paying her.