Return PolishForums LIVE
  PolishForums Archive :
Archives - 2005-2009 / Real Estate  % width 10

Cancelling Tenancy Agreement Before End Of Contract Query


ianaus 8 | 20  
16 Jun 2009 /  #1
Hello guys,

I have a question about breaking a 6 months tenancy contract.

We have rented property a few months ago and since then we have decided to leave the property two months before the end of the contract for personal reasons that would take too long to describe here. So we informed the landlord a few weeks ago and he said that we must pay the final two months rents of the contract or "face the financial implications of that". I assumed he was talking court, or maybe just keeping the 1500zl deposit, I don't know.

Anyway, we had a meeting with the landlord this afternoon and explained the situation and he agreed that we could stay in the flat for a few more weeks until he finds another tenant but he would keep the deposit of 1500zl. We are losing a little bit of cash but not much so we thought fair enough and agreed that this is the course we would take.

Then 2 hours later he calls and says he has changed his mind, he wanted us out by Saturday and he was keeping the 1500zl deposit anyway, and if we don't leave by Saturday he would take us to court. He then started getting all abusive about the English saying he had lived in England and the English are irresponsible, all they do is smash the place up, and that the English are dirty people.

So I decided to get some legal advice this evening and spoke to my girlfriend's father who asked his work lawyer for advice. He said in the civil code it says that when there is a contract for a certain period, landlord and tenant can both cancel it by rules included in the contract. But in our contract there are no rules in there for this. No talk of termination, nothing. He looked though the contract and said as there is no mention of this, civil code will apply, and that means that one months notice is required for us to leave or for him to evict us. He told me not to meet with the landlord again and to stay put and go through what was agreed at the meeting with the landlord this afternoon, which was stay here for the next few weeks and he can keep the 1500zl deposit. I thought okay, let's do that...

But now I am home and thinking so much and wondering do we have the right? I have no idea about Polish law. English law, yes, US law, some, but Polish er er... That is why I decided to get some legal advice this evening. But have I been told incorrect information? I don't know.

In realistic terms what are the chances of him trying to take us to court over two months rent? The rent is 1050zl per month, so he will be chasing us for 2100zl I guess. We offered to find another tenant for him but he did not want to know.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Ian
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,444  
16 Jun 2009 /  #2
He looked though the contract and said as there is no mention of this, civil code will apply, and that means that one months notice is required for us to leave or for him to evict us. He told me not to meet with the landlord again and to stay put and go through what was agreed at the meeting with the landlord this afternoon, which was stay here for the next few weeks and he can keep the 1500zl deposit. I thought okay, let's do that...

sounds like a good advice. I think that he was just trying to scare you and if you stay within the one months notice period I think you should be fine, since this is what the law dictates.

Keep it cool and don't let the landlord intimidate you. As long as you leave the place the way you found it you should be OK.

He has not base for taking you took court if you fallow the civil code rules.
OP ianaus 8 | 20  
16 Jun 2009 /  #3
Tha

aphrodisiac

Thank you for the information aphrodisiac.

I have another question. If he wants to throw us out on Saturday, he can not just come and do that right? I expect that he would need to supply us with an eviction notice and all of that stuff to do it correctly? I am not sure how this works in Poland.
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,444  
16 Jun 2009 /  #4
well, you got the law behind according to the advice you have received from the layer, so I think you should be OK. From what I understand, he has not right to do that.

If in doubt, have somebody with fluent Polish on Saturday at your place for the purpose of negotiation, support and as a witness (that should put him in place I hope) and if that does not make you comfortable enough, change the locks and stay until you able to leave.

I would put my foot down if I were you and leave when it was initially agreed upon, unless you choose otherwise. Law is on your side and he can talk all he wants, unless you received the wrong advice from the lawyer. Double check to make sure.

DO NOT LET HIM INTIMIDATE YOU:)

good luck.
inkrakow  
16 Jun 2009 /  #5
In realistic terms what are the chances of him trying to take us to court over two months rent?

Pretty much none - going to court for anything is a long, drawn out and painful process that lasts forever. In a country where there is a shortage of housing, the law favours tenants.

I have another question. If he wants to throw us out on Saturday, he can not just come and do that right? I expect that he would need to supply us with an eviction notice and all of that stuff to do it correctly?

He absolutely CANNOT throw you out onto the street if you have nowhere else to go - it's illegal. To get an eviction notice takes months if not years, and cannot be enforced anyway if you have nowhere else to go. If he turns up on Saturday, lock the doors and call the police (and this lawyer). Next time make sure your tenancy contract includes a clause about early termination though!
magdalenaG 2 | 67  
17 Jun 2009 /  #6
He absolutely CANNOT throw you out onto the street if you have nowhere else to go - it's illegal

This does not apply unless you've registered the property as your permanent address ... you probably haven't.

Irrespective of this , you now find yourself in a very uncomfortable situation.
Your landlord seems quite unreasonable but nonetheless you need to talk to him again & try to resolve the issue ( he may have calmed down by now & be more open to discussion ) as the prospect of a couple of heavies calling to your door is not a nice one .

The utilities are also probably still in the landlords name so he could in theory have them cut off .
Do not allow the situation to fester , talk to the landlord again & see if you can resolve it .
inkrakow  
17 Jun 2009 /  #7
This does not apply unless you've registered the property as your permanent address ... you probably haven't.

Not quite true - your meldunek no longer carries any 'rights' with it, it's an administrative thing that gives you an official address. And the OP has a valid contract, so he has a legal right to live in the flat until the end of the tenancy date.
Harry  
17 Jun 2009 /  #8
In realistic terms what are the chances of him trying to take us to court over two months rent? The rent is 1050zl per month, so he will be chasing us for 2100zl I guess.

Less than zero.

Tell him that you're staying until you're ready to go and will be paying him weekly 300zl. If he cuts up rough in the slightest just ask him for a copy of the contract which has been stamped by his tax office (tell him you need it so you can deduct what you've paid him from your British taxes). I can guarantee he isn't paying tax on the rent and never has since he started renting the place out. He wants the tax office to look into his affairs about as much as he wants to get arseraped by a large African gentleman who has AIDS.
nierozumiem 9 | 118  
17 Jun 2009 /  #9
Your typical Polish lease contract will have a termination clause in it which will give the landlord the right to end the tenancy prior to the end of the contract under certain circumstances; for example non-payment of rent, destruction of the property, significant disruption to neighbours. If you have not violated any of the termination clauses in your contract, then I don’t see how the landlord can legally evict you. Threatening to not make future rent payments becomes a problem in the future, not today.

On the other hand, you signed a contract with the landlord for a length of time and committed yourself to paying the rent for that period. So of course legally and ethically you are obligated to pay the rent for the final two months. I can understand his anger when hearing that you won’t fulfil your side of the deal, but he cannot evict you.

I think that the most sensible approach is to let your landlord calm down and then speak with him again. You already offered to help find a new tenant to replace you, and continuing to pay rent until a tenant is found and forgoing your deposit. A couple of thousand zlotys might not be much for you, but it may put food on his table, and could be worth his time pursuing. You owe him 2100, for sure he is keeping the 1500 deposit, so you are really only arguing over 600 zloty here.
OP ianaus 8 | 20  
17 Jun 2009 /  #10
Thanks guys... It is probably worth me saying here that when I initially signed the contract in March he told me that I would not have to pay the bill for the gas, water, and internet as these were covered in the rent, but I would have to pay the electricity. I thought that was fair at the time. In addition, he said if I had problems and I needed to leave at any time he would expect 4 weeks notice and I could leave. He said he would rather that than me being in a situation where I had no money to pay him and we all had problems.

Anyway, 2 months later he charges me for ALL of the bills and tells me he never said anything about the 4 weeks notice. The contract was in Polish and I did not understand it at the time. My girlfriend gave it a quick look over but did not really take it all in. Basically the contract said that I would have to pay all of the bills (which up until now I have), and I there is no mention of termination.

A couple of 1000 zlotys is a lot to me which is why I have not got it to give to him, and I do not get the impression he is living on the breadline like me, but I do get the impression that he says one thing to me and then goes home, tells his wife, and then she moves the goal posts. Bottom line, I can not trust anything that he says. His word is worth nothing to me anymore.

Archives - 2005-2009 / Real Estate / Cancelling Tenancy Agreement Before End Of Contract QueryArchived