First months in a foreign country, we’ve all been through this: searching for a nice apartment, signing the deal with the landlord and happily moving in. However, one might have certain concerns, as we all do, when signing something, we don’t fully understand, like a lease agreement in Czech.
Even if you were lucky to fnd your apartment through reliable real estate agency, used to dealing with foreigners, and the lease agreement is in English, it will still be based on the civil code of the Czech Republic. Most of us are very distant from the legal side of things, even in our home countries. In this article, we try to point out the main paragraphs of a typical lease agreement and those points, which primary deserve your attention.
According to the law, lease must highlight the following aspects:
- Description of the apartment and its facilities. This means: an exact address, number of the building + number of the apartment, number of rooms in the flat, facilities (bathroom and WC), other premises which belong to the flat (e.g. balcony, storage room). The apartment should be described in great details, so that there is no chance to confuse it for apartment of the same size located on the same floor of the same building. Common facilities should also be described in the agreement – some premises may belong to one apartment, some may be common and meant to be used by inhabitants of the block, like a bike storage room.
1.1 The Lessor declares that he is the rightful owner of the studio / 2-bedroom apartment (1+kk) no. XYZ, situated on the 1st / ground floor in the house no. 123. The house is standing on the plot no. 123456789, cadastral area Praha-město, city Prague, district Prague, at the address Legerova 1234, 120 00 Prague.
1.2 The Apartment consists of entrance hall, bathroom with tub, sink, toilet and a place for washing machine, residential room with kitchen with two electric cookers and refrigerator. There is a cellar and shared bike room located in the basement. In the apartment there is connection to a common antenna and the internet (the price is included in Payment for services).
- Monthly rent and utilities and the method of payment. The tenant and the landlord shall agree upon the monthly rent, which relates to living in the apartment and using its facilities (e.g. electricity, heating, hot and cold water, gas, Internet – etc.) and common premises (waste collection, lighting and cleaning of common premises, lift maintenance, etc.). The lease agreement should also determine the method of paying rent.
3.1 The Lessee is obligated to pay to the Lessor the rent for the use of Apartment in the amount of XXXX CZK (in words: XXXX Czech Crowns) per every calendar month (hereinafter the “Rent”).
3.2 Payment for services connected with use of the Apartment, (hereinafter the “Payment for Services”) shall be paid by the Lessee monthly as advance payment. They consist of the following items:
- electricity XXX CZK
- gas XXX CZK
- water/sewer rates XXX CZK
- heating XXX CZK
- services XXX CZK
- lighting of common premises XXX CZK
- cleaning of common premises XXX CZK
- lift maintenance XXX CZK
- waste collection XXX CZK
- internet XXX CZK
- TV antenna XXX CZK
- anything else? XXX CZK
- Period of time, for which the lease is being concluded. Lease agreement can be signed for a definite period of time (6 months, 1 year, etc.) or an indefinite period of time (the date of the termination is not set, the lease continues to be valid, until it is terminated by an agreement or a notice). Pay close attention to the conditions, on which the lease can be extended. One option is, when the agreement is automatically extended, if the tenant didn’t notify the landlord about his wish to terminate, which should be done 3 months prior the end date of the lease agreement. Quite the opposite situation is, when the lease agreement is considered terminated, if the tenant haven’t informed the landlord about his wish to stay in the apartment 3 months prior to the end of the lease agreement. Make sure you have a clear understanding of how things are in your case. Either way, the best thing is to set a notification through your online calendar or smartphone to get in touch with your landlord 3 months before the end of the contract.
5.2 The Agreement is concluded for a definite period from 1 March 2015 till 28 February 2016. Shall both parties not agree otherwise as of the lease termination date, the Lease Agreement is automatically prolonged for another one-year period.
5.3 The Lessor shall be entitled to terminate this Agreement in accordance with the wording of Section 2288 and ff. of the Civil Code, by giving a termination notice with a period of 3 months, as well as Section 2291 without termination period when the conditions set therein are satisfied. The Lessee´s delivery address under this Agreement is the address of the Lessee at the Apartment, the Lessor´s the address in the heading of this Agremeent. It has been expressly agreed that the set deadline for notifying the Lessee of missing payment and the consequences thereof is 7 days of the posting.
- Apartment viewings. Let’s say, you will be moving to a different location after 1-year rental period. So your landlord will be looking for new tenants, while you still live in the apartment, and those future tenants will most definitely want to see the apartment before moving in. According to the law, the landlord has the right to visit the apartment on the date previously agreed with the tenant. Normally, the landlord will contact you in advance, saying that a viewing needs to be arranged, offering a couple different dates to make sure, the apartment will be available.
- According to Czech law, the landlord can not prohibit smoking in the apartment or keeping pets there. One shouldn’t forget though, that after the end of the lease, the apartment should be handed over in its original state. Which means, that if you smoke in the apartment, you might need to fully repaint it and give all the textiles professional cleaning to eliminate the smell of smoke. Same applies for pets, the apartment might need a bigger renovation, if your dog likes biting on the dining table legs, or your kitty loves playing with the curtains :) Even though the law is on the tenant’s side on this one, we recommend to discuss things with the landlord first and not do anything behind his/her back. Just remember, it’s all about personal relationships and your good (or bad) deeds come back to you.
- Any other specific arrangement, which the tenant and the landlord may agree upon. For example, it can be a way of paying for repairs in the apartment (usually, small repairs up till 500,- CZK are paid by the tenant, everything above 500,- is covered by the landlord), cleaning premises outside the flat, etc. However, it is not possible to agree upon anything that is contradictory to the Czech civil code. For example, it is not possible to determine a different notice period than the one regulated by law, inviting visitors to the apartment can not be banned by the landlord etc.