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27 December 2022

If you, as a landlord, own more than one residential lease, you are covered by the rules on holding move-in and move-out inspections.

Failure to comply with this means that you as the landlord lose your claim to repair the lease upon the tenant’s vacating, this also applies even if the tenant has defaulted on the lease. A great many rent board cases include the landlord’s eviction claim in connection with the tenant’s eviction, and if the formalities are not in place, the landlord has lost the case in advance, which unfortunately we see all too often.

Settlement inspection

The tenant must be summoned to a move-in inspection, however, there is no requirement for a written summons or requirement for the length of the tenant’s notice, as the tenant must be able to adjust accordingly in terms of time. It is our clear recommendation that the move-in inspection is always held at the same time as the keys to the tenancy are handed over.

During the actual move-in inspection, the condition of the tenancy must be documented by drawing up a real move-in report. It may be a good idea to take pictures of the rental, as a supplement to the report. The move-in report must be handed over to the tenant during the inspection itself, and the tenant must acknowledge receipt of it.

It is therefore not sufficient that e.g. send the report subsequently per email to tenant. If the report is prepared electronically, it must be sent to the tenant at the end of the inspection, and the tenant must acknowledge receipt of it immediately upon receipt.

Only if the tenant does not attend or refuses to acknowledge receipt of the report, you have the option of subsequently sending it to the tenant, which must be done no later than 2 weeks from the move-in inspection. In practice, however, this exception has little meaning.

The most important thing for you as a landlord is to prepare a correct and detailed report as well as secure documentation that the tenant has de facto received this during the actual move-in inspection.

Evacuation view

When the time has come for the tenant to move out, an eviction inspection must also be called and held.

At the eviction inspection, the tenant must be summoned to the eviction inspection in writing with at least one week’s notice. In the event that the tenant does not attend the eviction inspection, it is important that the formalities surrounding the summons are complied with, as otherwise the eviction inspection cannot be validly held, and the deadline for holding it risks being missed.

Invitations can be made per letter, email or SMS, depending on your agreement on digital communication and how you have communicated so far. It is important that you have documentation that the tenant has been duly summoned.

After the tenancy has been terminated or terminated, it is possible for you and the tenant to enter into an agreement on a shorter notice for the eviction inspection. However, always remember to follow up such an agreement with a written notice, e.g. ”According to the telephone agreement, I hereby confirm our agreement on holding the eviction inspection[dato] , at[tidspunkt] ”.

The eviction inspection must be held within two weeks of the tenant’s eviction (key handover), or from the time when you become aware that the tenancy has been vacated, e.g. upon notice from the tenant.

During the eviction inspection itself, a written report must be drawn up – as with the move-in inspection – in which the condition of the tenancy at the time of eviction is indicated. Again, it is a good idea to supplement the report with pictures, especially of any damage to the tenancy for which the tenant is liable. It is essential that it is specifically stated which renovation works the tenant is responsible for, e.g. wallpapering and painting walls in the living room and bedroom, replacing a broken door in the kitchen, etc.

It is not possible to make further claims than what is stated in the eviction report, unless there are hidden faults and defects which could not or should not have been discovered during the eviction inspection. Therefore, remember to bring everything with you.

The tenant must – as when holding a move-in inspection – have handed over a copy of the eviction report at the inspection itself, and the tenant must acknowledge receipt of this.

It is not sufficient that e.g. send the report subsequently per email to tenant.

If the tenant does not attend the eviction inspection or refuses to acknowledge receipt, the report must be sent to the tenant in writing no later than two weeks from the inspection.

The most important thing for you as a landlord is to prepare a correct and detailed report and secure documentation that the tenant has been summoned to the eviction inspection and has received a copy of the eviction report during the inspection itself. Alternatively, this has subsequently been sent to the tenant, due to the tenant’s failure to attend or if the tenant has refused to acknowledge receipt.

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KATJA SKOVLUND JENSEN

KATJA SKOVLUND JENSEN

Lawyer

kj@dslaw.dk

Dir. (+45) 55 75 00 73

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