Rights and obligations when renting a property in Mauritius
When looking for a property to rent in Mauritius, some important aspects should be considered as a tenant. The signing of a rental lease agreement certifies the rights and obligations of both parties, namely the Lessee and the Landlord.
All the important details must be mentioned in this contract which must be carefully read so that everyone is aware of their rights and duties towards each other. The laws governing the renting of real estate are covered in the Civil Code of Mauritius, more specifically from Article 1721 to Article 1762. It is very important to be well advised and accompanied by a professional to avoid possible disputes and which can sometimes result in legal actions.
The Tenant’s rights
The tenant is entitled to a home in good condition of use and repair. This includes the dwelling itself and its contents such as cupboards, appliances, furniture, etc. This is the most important aspect of the lease agreement that the landlord must honor at the start. The landlord is therefore obliged to provide a well-maintained property to his tenant.
The lease must be written in such a way that it favors and protects both parties equally. A lease must specify the period of the lease, including the date at which the property will become available. It must also accurately describe the property by listing all the rooms and list of furniture and equipment (inventory), the amount of the monthly rent, the security deposit, and the conditions for revising the rent, as well as the terms of termination of the lease.
The tenant is also entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of the home, so they must be made aware from the start of any defects likely to disrupt this right. The owner has no right to enter the premises without authorization and without giving notice to the tenant, which must also be mentioned in the contract. Inspection visits should also be scheduled and mentioned at the outset if the landlord is planning to do some during the duration of the lease.
The obligations of the tenant
The most obvious obligation of the tenant is the payment of the rent and the initial payment of the security deposit. As stipulated in the contract, the property must be used only as specified in the contract. A property intended for residential use should not be transformed into commercial premises.
Once the tenant has taken possession of the premises, maintenance works that must be carried out will now be at their expense. Although they can do minor maintenance works, they must not venture in any major works to the rented property or equipment without the prior written permission of the owner. The aim is to always keep the house in a good condition. The tenant should hand over the property to its original state when they leave, except for what is considered normal wear and tear. The tenant would need, for example, to fill any drilled holes in the walls and repaint them. Importantly, there are insurances which are specially designed to cover tenants’ risks on both sides.
The tenant is entitled to accommodate relatives or friends free of charge but cannot sublet even for a few months the property, unless the landlord agrees. This should always be done in writing.
In Europe, usually, the owner is entitled to ask for a third party security. This consists of requiring a third party, family member or employer, to guarantee the payment of rent and expenses in the event of the tenant failing to do so. This commitment is in writing, with the mention and signature of the guarantor.
This is not standard practice in Mauritius and is not required.
When the tenant decides to end the lease agreement, there is usually a 3 months’ notice, which will be included in the contract. Most contracts would include a period during which both parties are locked in the lease agreement and cannot give each other notice, unless one of the parties defaults to comply with any of the conditions of the lease.
Obligations of the owner
As is customary, the tenant is required to take care of routine housekeeping and minor repairs, such as changing switches, touching up paintwork or plumbing repairs. As for major works, it is up to the owner to take care of them. For example, they will have to repair the roof, or any other large-scale work. The landlord is also responsible to insure the property and its contents.
Park Lane Properties
Park Lane Properties, real estate agency specializing in the rental of houses, apartments, offices and commercial premises, accompanies tenants and landlords in the signing of lease agreements. Park Lane Properties also provides a rental management service in the interest of the landlord and the tenant.