After we have received the termination of your rental contract, the landlord or administrator will contact you. We would like for the transfer of your property to go as smoothly as possible. For that reason, we would like to agree to a date with you that we can come by for a short inspection. At a later date, near the transfer of the property, there will also be a final inspection.
What does the initial inspection consist of? A rapporteur will discuss a convenient date with you, for the initial inspection of your property. It is important that you yourself will also be present at this inspection. During the inspection, the rapporteur will inform you of what needs to be done to leave the property behind in an adequate state. This could mean that you might have to repair certain damages or do some maintenance work.
It is also possible that you might have to undo some of the changes that you or a previous tenant have made to the property. The rapporteur will note this in the initial inspection report. This report will be signed by both you and the rapporteur. You will also be provided a copy of the report.
The initial inspection will take place while you are still living in the property. Your furniture will still be in its original spot. Therefore, the rapporteur might not be able to see everything, or miss certain damages and/or changes that have been made. It is also possible that the rapporteur simply has not taken notice of something. If you have made certain changes or if there is damage anywhere in the property, it would be wise to let the rapporteur know about this during the initial inspection. If you are unsure whether you are or are not responsible for certain maintenance, it would also be best for you to ask the rapporteur about this. This way, you will not be taken by surprise or confronted with damage/changes that need to be reversed/maintenance that still needs to be taken care of later on.
The landlord employs the following rule, when the rental contract is terminated: before you move out, you are asked to leave the property behind in a good, clean and empty state, and in the original state it was in when you moved into the property. The original state means the state in which you received the property when accepting the terms of the rental contract. Naturally, normal traces of wear will not be taken into account, as long as you have maintained the property well and timely.
This main rule also applies to any other parts of the property , such as a storage space, barn or a garage.
There are two exceptions to this rule.
1. Any changes that have been made in or to the property with the permission of the landlord, do not need to be reversed if the next tenant will be keeping them and if the landlord agrees that it is possible for the tenant to keep them. The agreements that you make with the landlord and the next tenant about this, will be noted in a transfer-agreement between you and the new tenant.
2. Apart from that, you will also be able to discuss with the new tenant which objects they would like to keep. Examples of this include the carpet, curtains, curtain rails, blinds, etc. These objects also need to specifically be mentioned in the transfer-agreement. It is possible that at the time when you move out of the property, a next tenant has not been found yet. In this case, it is thus not possible to sign a transfer-agreement. In this situation, the main rule applies without any exceptions!
What does the final inspection consist of? You and the rapporteur will discuss when the final inspection of your property will take place. If possible, this appointment will already be set up during the initial inspection. The rapporteur will write a report during this inspection, which will be signed by both you and the rapporteur. At the time of the final inspection, the property needs to be completely clean and empty. This also applies if the moment of the final inspection does not coincide with the date of the formal termination of your rental contract. The only aspects that do not need to be removed or reversed, are the changes/objects that the next tenant will keep and that have been mentioned in the transfer-agreement.
During the final inspection, you will also have to hand in your keys.
Check-up on the basis of the initial inspection report
During the final inspection, there will be a check-up on whether all of the aforementioned changes and preparations have been carried out. If this is not the case, or only partially, then this will be noted in the final inspection report.
If it comes to light during the final inspection that the maintenance that you were supposed to take care of according to the initial inspection report, have not been carried out, then you will be billed for any repairs that the landlord has to take care of. We would like to point this out to you expressly!
It is possible that during the final inspection, the rapporteur will find damages, a lack of maintenance, other defects, or changes, that they did not observe during the initial inspection. If this is the case, this will be noted in the final inspection report. Depending on the circumstances, you might be granted a short period of time to repair any of these defects. If the property has already been transferred to a new tenant, the landlord cannot give you permission to carry out any unfinished work in the property after the transfer date, unless the new tenant agrees to this. If the landlord or the new tenant does not give you permission, or if you do not make use / incorrectly make use of the option to do the necessary maintenance work, the landlord will be obliged to recover the costs of any damage, maintenance work or repairs from you.
123Wonen has compiled a useful checklist for you. Here you will find a list of the most common types of maintenance work that need to be carried out by you before the final inspection.
This way, you will not be confronted with any surprises. This list is not exhaustive. It is simply a tool to help you check whether your property fulfills the requirements. If you do the necessary maintenance work (if possible) before the initial inspection, you will be fully prepared. At the moment of the final inspection, the residence or room will have to meet the following requirements:
A. Unless the next tenant would like to keep them, the following objects will have to be removed:
B. The entire property, including the barn, storage space and/or garage, needs to be clean and empty.
C. The keys of the interior doors need to be left in the keyhole, whereas any keys of the exterior doors (front door, back door, balcony door, garage door, barn door and/or pantry door etc), as well as copies of the keys, need to be handed in during the final inspection. It is never allowed for the tenant to give the keys directly to the next tenant!
D. Any switches and electricity outlets are not allowed to be damaged, painted over or a different color than the original color. Electricity utilities that have been created by the tenant (such as wires running over the floor or through the baseboards) need to be removed.
E. The original doorbell needs to be in its original place.
F. All ceilings need to be left in their original state, and in their original white color.
G. If your property also has a garden, then during the final inspection, the same number of squared meters of paving for the terrace and the path needs to be there as in the original state, without any holes and paved properly. The garden itself needs to look proper as well, without any holes from bushes or plants that have been removed.
H. Any cabinets, kitchen, sanitation and tiling needs to be clean and not damaged.
I. The builders’ hardware of the property needs to function well.
J. If the rented property is supplied with individual central heating, then the following will also need to be left behind: an instruction form or booklet and a radiator tool set.
K. Damaged doors, walls, sanitation and taps need to be repaired or replaced.
L. Tiles through which holes have been drilled or that have been damaged in any other way, need to be replaced with similar tiles.
M. The property needs to be clean. Naturally this is a subjective term, but please try to clean the property to the best of your ability. Amongst other things, clean means: completely free of dust, spots, grease and trash.
Can I be compensated financially for any renovations I have made in the property?
The landlord is not obligated to compensate you financially for renovations you have made. However, sometimes this is unreasonable, and the landlord does need to compensate you. In this scenario, the following requirements all need to be met:- the renovations will remain in the property, and;
- you have not been able to break even on your investment yet (for example, isolation), and;
- the renovations are beneficial for the landlord. For example, the landlord can charge more rent or save on certain costs. Is the landlord refusing to compensate you, even though the value of the property has increased thanks to your renovations? Then you can ask the lawyer to decide on the matter. However, practically speaking, these types of procedures are generally quite complicated.
Am I allowed to take the renovations I have made with me when I move?
Yes, you are allowed to take the objects/constructions with you when you move out. The tenant has the right to remove any constructions that they have installed to improve the property until they have moved out. You are allowed to remove your parquetry, kitchen or any other installations and take them with you. However, the property still has to be left behind in its original state, without damages.
Am I allowed to leave the renovations that I have made behind for the new tenant?
The new tenant is not obligated to accept your or pay you for them. If the new tenant does agree to this, they will have to reverse the changes when their rental property is transferred to another tenant. The new tenant will also be responsible for any maintenance work on the renovations. The transfer of the improvements can also be noted in a transfer document.
Do I have to pay the bill for any maintenance costs?
It could happen that you do not leave the property behind in a proper state. In this case, the landlord is allowed to recover the costs from you, for any reparations that need to be taken care of.
The following conditions apply:
- the landlord needs to inspect the property in a timely manner after the rental contract has been terminated, and state precisely what needs to be repaired;
- the landlord first needs to give you the chance to take care of the maintenance work yourself;
- any charges that you are billed, need to be reasonable. For example, if the landlord needs to replace a damaged door, they are now allowed to bill you for the cost of replacing all the doors in the property.
Is the landlord allowed to inspect my property when I terminate the rental contract?
Yes, the landlord is allowed to inspect your property when you terminate the contract. Generally, there will be two inspections: an initial inspection and a final inspection. You will be notified of each of these in advance.