Rubbish tax as a tenant

Hi folks,

We moved out of our latest rental property mid April. We'd been there nearly 2 years. At the previous house we paid the rubbish tax as a monthly charge. For this house there was no such monthly charge. So we left, got our deposit back, only to discover the agence has removed 400€ in back payment of rubbish tax from it, with no warning whatsoever...

Now, I know landlords are entitled to ask you to pay this and that's down to their discretion. I also know in theory they can demand back payment (it happened to be on the radio just this morning). Question is, can they suddenly decide to take it out of your deposit, without warning and after the end of your tenancy? Seems dubious to me...



If you have paid your rubbish tax monthly since you moved in until you moved out and can prove it (bank statements), then you have fulfilled your obligation. If you started after you moved in, or have no proof, 'bonjour les ennuis'......


You see, I did read around, albeit subsequently, and the reading I've come across states yes, it is a right of landlords to take rubbish tax (and yes, I was aware of that - we paid it monthly at the last place) but that not all landlords choose to exercise that right. Now given that, it would be reasonable to assume, in the absence of any other information, that the monthly charges we were already paying included the tax. With hindsight I can see that isn't the case, but even had I read around the subject prior, I still would've made the same "mistake".

I should stress, I have no problem with our landlord, by the way. This is all handled via a letting agency, and you're missing an important piece of the story:

The reason we're so mad is we asked the letting agency, twice, how much money we would get back from our deposit. We explained we needed to know to plan our finances. They told us explicitly, twice, in writing (email) that we would get back 700€. Then we got a cheque for just under 400€ out of the blue.

Now, I'm sure you'll agree, regardless of rights, laws, positions, etc. - that *is* rude. 300€ is a decent chunk of our month's grocery shopping. Taken. Without warning.

Had the letting agency told us we'd get 390€ back, because the back-dated rubbish tax was to come out of the deposit, we may have been disgruntled that we hadn't been given the option to pay it monthly, but we would've shut up about it. But they didn't. They told us wrong, twice, then left us with a nasty hole in our budget.

Hi Finn,

That's what ANIL said too... ;-)

Apparently they *can* do this. I never disputed their right to collect the money, only springing it on us at the end with no notice whatsoever. Oh well. I am unlikely to be a tenant again, as we have bought now, but if I am next time I'll make sure I pay this monthly, regardless of contract, since it seems landlords may change their mind on a whim as to whether it's applied or not. Better to insist on paying it so it can't possibly bite you later.

Edit: if it's any consolation to anyone, the nice lady from ANIL said the law is insane - but it is what it is.

ours comes separately from the taxe foncière, we get 6 monthly bills from the communauté de communes which we pay at the trésor public ;-)

That's a relief, was starting to think there was another tax I am liable for!

no jane, taxe d'enlèvement des ordures ménagères (TEOM) - it's the basic tax for removing your rubbish ;-)

By rubbish tax, do you mean taxe d'habitation? and the charge for audio-visual (TV)?

Clearly your landlord is living by the old adage, better to ask forgiveness than permission.

I did a bit more research, dug out our contract. It clearly states charges must be agreed and taken at the same time as rent, either monthly or trimestrially, or at the maximum annually, but in the event of an annual charge being taken the tenant must be given one month of notice plus justification for the charge.

  • They didn't give any notice
  • They have taken more than 12 months-worth of charges
  • There was no agreement in place

In other words, seems clear they've breeched their own contract by charging us 16 months of rubbish tax, with no warning and no agreement. Looks like I'll be calling ANIL tomorrow!