After challenging apartment search, having a signed lease agreement in your hand surely feels like a great relief. But don’t put down the guard just yet :) There is one more crucial step awaiting: actual apartment handover. It is the process, when the landlord is handing the apartment to the tenant. It is also your last chance to set things straight to avoid any future misunderstandings. So which points need your biggest attention?
– state of the meters and their serial numbers. Meters’ states should be clearly listed in the handover protocol together with the serial numbers of the meters, to avoid any confusion. Every apartment will have an electricity and a water meter, some might have separate heating meters or a gas meter. We recommend to double check the figures or even take a picture of each meter, which can later be attached to the takeover protocol.
– same applies for the state of the apartment itself. Even if the apartment is brand new, there still can be cracks in the walls or scratches on the floor, etc. Every such thing needs to be registered in the takeover protocol. It is highly recommended to take pictures too. You can also make an agreement with the landlord, that you will have 1 week to report any flaws in the apartment, as some of them might not be obvious straight away.
– if you paid any deposit, make sure it’s mentioned in the lease agreement, so that there is no argument about it after your lease ends.
– the lease agreement should also contain a paragraph dedicated to the state of the apartment after the end of your lease. In most cases, it will state something about the apartment being handed over to the landlord in its original state. Which is why it is important to register any damage beforehand, so that you are not responsible for fixing somebody else’s mistakes.
– every apartment complex has a set of House rules (Domovní řád). House rules regulate the conditions upon which the apartments and common areas are used. Needless to say, it’s important to know these rules, even for the sake of maintaining good relationships with your neighbours. Knowing, that you need to keep the volume down between 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. (so called ‘noční klid’) is quite important, isn’t it? The house rules will very unlikely be written in English, but if you need a translation, you already know who to contact :)
Get familiar with a takeover protocol beforehand, check out the full version of Foreigners.cz apartment takeover protocol.