Lease for a definite period. Deposit. Written demand.
The parties entered into a lease for a definite period, which ended on 1 June 2020. The tenant did not return the apartment until 5 June. The landlord said he had had to dispose of rubbish and to clean the apartment himself. The landlord said he had also contacted the tenant orally in connection with damage to the property and that the tenant had agreed to pay expenses relating to the damage. Furthermore, the landlord had suffered loss of rent as he had not been able to let the apartment out before 1 July. The tenant demands the return of his deposit in full.
Point 4 of the first paragraph of Article 40 of the Rent Act states that the landlord may not dispose of a deposit or make deductions from it without the tenant’s approval unless a final conclusion has been arrived at regarding compensatory liability on the part of the tenant. However, it is stated that the landlord may at all times use the deposit as payment of rent that is outstanding, both during the lease period and at the end of the period. Paragraph 4 of Article 40 of the Rent Act states that the landlord shall, at the first opportunity and no later than four weeks after the return of the rented premises inform the tenant in writing of whether he intends to make a claim against the deposit under point 4 of the first paragraph or reserve his right to do so (see also the first paragraph of Article 64). If the landlord has not made a claim under the first sentence he is to return the deposit to the tenant, with interest and without unjustified delay, and shall pay the tenant overdue interest under the first paragraph of Article 6 of the Interest and Indexation Act from the date on which four weeks have elapsed since the return of the rented premises until the date on which he returns the deposit. As the landlord’s claim for compensation from the deposit due to alleged damage was not received by the tenant in writing within the time limits stated above, the committee could not accept it. On the other hand, rules of this type did not apply to the demand for the payment of outstanding rent, and therefore the landlord was within his rights in disposing of part of the deposit towards the payment of rent up to the return of the property, i.e. until 5 June.
Conclusion: The landlord was entitled to deduct rent up to 5 June from the deposit; all his other claims were rejected.