A decent home should include:
- A main room of at least 9 m2 with a minimum ceiling height of 2.2 metres, i.e. a living area of at least 20m3.
- The living room and the bedrooms shall have one natural light source and an opening to the outside.
- A kitchen (or a kitchen area) equipped with a gas or electricity supply allowing connection of a cooking device, and including a sink producing hot and cold water.
- A room (providing privacy) equipped with a shower or a bath with hot water supply and sewage disposal.
- Toilet inside the house and separated from the kitchen and the dining area.
Useful information: In a one-room dwelling (such as a "chambre de bonne", or an attic room), the toilet can be located outside the dwelling as long as they are part of the same building and easily accessible, i.e. on the same floor, or sometimes one floor below. It does not need to be private.
- Sufficient electric light in all rooms and corridors, as well as wall sockets for ordinary electrical appliances necessary for daily life.
- A system that enables normal heating.
- Gas and electrical networks installation, heating and hot water production facilities in line with safety standards and in a proper state of repair.
- Sufficient pressure and flow for drinking water production.
- Sewage and treated wastewater disposal system including siphons preventing bad smells from spreading.
- Sufficient vents and ventilation facilities for air renewal.
- Building materials, piping, and coating that do not pose a health risk (free from asbestos and lead).
- A roof and outdoor woodwork allowing no water penetration.
Useful information: For rentals, decency requirements impose a running water supply but not to comply with electrical installations standards. Except if the lessee proves that their use brings danger or inconvenience (Court of Appeals of Paris, 6th division, section B; March 27, 2003).
If "decent home" requirements are not met, the lessee is entitled to demand that the lessor - at any time along with an expert report - that work be carried out to bring the property into compliance.
In the absence of amicable agreement between parties, it is the judge's decision to order that the necessary work be done.
If the landlord/lessor does not comply with his or her obligations, the judge can decide on a rent reduction.
Photo credit to StockMonkeys.com.