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It can sometimes be confusing to keep track of who has the maintenance duty over your lease. As a rule, according to the Danish Rent Act, it is the landlord who has the duty to maintain the lease. However, there may be exceptions.

Although it is generally the landlord who has the maintenance obligation over the lease, we often see that it is actually the tenant who is required to do so. However, there are exceptions to what your landlord can legally require you to maintain.

You cannot legally withhold payment of the rent, to pressure a landlord to maintain the maintenance in the property. 

What can your landlord impose on you?

Your landlord can always charge you interior maintenance. Interior maintenance is a bit of a misnomer, as it does not include everything that is inside the apartment. In fact, interior maintenance includes only whitening, painting, wallpapering and varnishing floors. This means that everything else is actually exterior maintenance – even if it is actually located inside the lease.

In addition, your landlord can always instruct you to take care of the maintenance of your garden if you have exclusive use of rights over it. The landlord can do this even if your lease is covered by the term "big house" in the Rent Act., where you are otherwise not obliged to take care of the exterior maintenance.

What should you do if your landlord does not comply with the maintenance obligation imposed on the landlord by law?

We recommend that you contact Lejernes Retshjælp, who can handle the contact with your landlord. We contact your landlord in order to rectify the defects that may exist in your lease. If the deficiencies are still not rectified, we can bring the matter before the Rent Board, which can impose a maintenance order on your landlord.

What do the Rental Act say about maintenance?

The landlord's duty of maintenance follows §112, stk. 2 of the Danish Rent Act. The landlord must maintain the property and the rented property properly. Thus, §112 stk. 1 of the Danish Rent Act, the landlord must maintain the lease as often as is required in relation to the age and character of the lease.

In addition, §112, stk. 2 of the Rent Act states that interior maintenance is required by the Act to the landlord. This provision can legally be waived by agreement between the tenant and the landlord, so it is the tenant who has the interior maintenance. The lease must clearly state that the tenant has assumed this obligation.

Finally, §112, stk. 3 in he Danish Rent Act states that the tenant must maintain and change locks and keys when necessary.

The interior maintenance duty is understood by whitening, painting, wallpapering and treatment of floors, in §11 stk. 2 of the Rent Act, which can be transferred to the tenant as mentioned above. The execution of the work is stated §112 stk. 1 of the Rent Act, which states that it shall only be done when required. This cannot be deviated to the detriment of the tenant, §115, stk.1 of the Rent Act.

Furthermore, the tenant can no longer be required to refurbish the lease when moving out. This is stated §115 stk. 1 of the Rent Act, as §112 of the Rent Act may not be deviated from to the detriment of the tenant, except that the tenant assumes the duty of maintenance. In the case of small houses, you can be ordered to keep the garden if it is part of the rented property, in §115 stk. 2 of the Rent Act.

If you have general questions regarding maintenance or questions about a specific case, you can contact Lejernes Retshjælp.

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