Last update: 24 March, 2017

Renting a flat or a house

RENTING RESIDENTIAL UNITS

The rules of renting residential units are defined by the following regulations:

Primary obligations of the parties to a housing unit tenancy agreement:

The Lessor: the party that leases out the flat

  • To lease out the flat in a condition appropriate for the agreed use and to maintain the flat in this condition throughout the term of the tenancy agreement.
  • This means, among other things, that the lessor should ensure correct operation of the existing installations and equipment located in the flat and in the building that enable the tenant to use, among other things, water, electricity, heating etc..
  • To carry out the repairs listed in article 6a item 3 of the act.
  • Should the tenant notice the need for repairs that are the lessor’s obligation, the tenant should notice the lessor of this fact (article 666 § 2 of the civil code).
  • To ensure that the tenant can use the flat in peace (by, including but not limited to, undertaking actions aimed at protecting the tenant from any and all interruptions by third parties).
The Tenant: the entity that will be using the flat

  • To pay the agreed rent by the deadline stipulated in the tenancy agreement or the applicable regulations.
  • To use the flat in accordance with the agreement, and if the agreement does not specify the manner of use – to use it in the manner appropriate for the properties and purpose of the flat.
  • To maintain the flat in the appropriate technical and sanitary condition.
  • To care for the building sections that are in shared use, as set forth in article 6b item 1 of the act, and to protect them against damage or acts of vandalism.
  • To carry out minor works connected with the use of the flat (article 662 § 2 of the civil code).These include the repairs and maintenance of flat elements, listed in article 6b of the act.
  • To observe the house regulations and allowing for the needs of other tenants and neighbours (article 683 of the civil code).

The flat’s owner need not always be its lessor. Other parties, such as tenants, users or lessees, may also have the right to lease out the flat. Therefore, when renting the flat from a party other than the owner, it is a good idea for familiarise oneself with such person’s legal title to the flat in question, e.g. the tenancy agreement, because it may contain limitations with respect to the sub-leasing of the flat by such parties.

The parties may conclude the agreement in any form, but the civil code requires that the agreement be in writing in the case of tenancy lasting longer than a year. If the agreement is not concluded in writing, it is automatically assumed that the agreement has been concluded for an indefinite period of time. Due to the requirement to document the place of residence and the requirement to become registered as a tenant, the written form of the agreement is recommended in the case of foreigners.

Concluding the agreement may be conditional upon the tenant’s payment of the security deposit covering his or her liabilities resulting from the tenancy due to the lessor on the date of returning the flat (e.g. outstanding rent or payments for utilities, as well as the costs of repairing the equipment/flat furnishings damaged by the tenant). The sum of the deposit must not exceed 12 monthly rents for the given flat, calculated according to the rates in force on the date of signing the agreement (article 6 of the act); however, in practice, the deposit is usually equal to 1-3 months’ rent. Payment of the deposit should be confirmed by a relevant certificate signed by the lessor. The tenancy agreement should clearly state the manner of returning the deposit or using it to cover the rent. The deposit must be returned within a month from the date of returning the flat by the tenant, after deducting the above-mentioned receivables due to the lessor.

The tenancy agreement may be terminated by notice or by mutual consent of the parties.

Termination by the lessor: may only take place for the reasons set forth in article 11 items 2-5 and in article 21 items 4 and 5 of the act (other reasons may constitute the basis for terminating the agreement solely by the court) and it should be in writing under pain of nullity, and it must also state the reason for termination.

Termination by the tenant: the act’s provisions do not contain special regulations in this regard, and therefore the provisions of the civil code apply (in particular article 673 and article 688).

Occasional tenancy agreement

An agreement regulated by the act, providing special measures reinforcing the lessors position with respect to the tenant, e.g. making it easier to remove the tenant from the flat after terminating the agreement.

Utilising the above-mentioned special measures is conditional upon the lessor’s reporting the fact of concluding an occasional tenancy agreement to the tax office.

Aside from a small number of exceptions the provisions of the act do not apply to such a “reported” agreement; instead, the civil code applies, which grants more rights to the lessor, e.g. the right to freely increase the rent.

If the agreement is not reported to the tax office, its effects are the same as that of a regular tenancy agreement, and, among other things, it is fully subject to the act.

This agreement may only be concluded for a definite period of time no longer than 10 years, and it must be made in writing under pain of nullity.

The agreement must be supplemented with additional documents associated with the possible eviction of the tenant from the flat. These documents include, but are not limited to:

  • A declaration of the tenant made in the form of a notarial deed, in which the tenant surrendered to the enforcement and undertook to empty and return the flat by the date set forth by the lessor (after the agreement expires or is terminated);
  • The lessor’s indication of another flat in which the tenant could stay in case of enforcing the obligation to empty and vacate the premises;
  • A declaration of the owner of the flat or a person with a legal title to the flat to which the tenant undertakes to move that her or she agrees to the tenant’s stay in such a flat; upon request of the lessor the declaration is attached together with a signature certified by a notary.

Contents of a residential unit tenancy agreement

The tenancy agreement should contain the following elements:

The date and city where the agreement has been concluded.

source: http://www.migrapolis.pl/en/thematic-section/flats-and-real-property/renting-residential-units