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Apartment damage and rental deposit in Poland


reliantship
11 Jul 2013 #1
My son rented an apartment near Wroclaw and when he moved out at the end of the lease, there was an inspection. The landlord signed the paperwork indicating that everything was okay and refunded the tenant's 600 zl deposit via bank transfer. Two weeks later she sent him an email claiming the stove top was damaged, the vaccuum cleaner was broken, etc. and she is now demanding payment of 800 zl or she will go to court. If my son has the paperwork she signed, agreeing that there was no damage, can the landlord still go to court and win?
jon357 63 | 14,128
11 Jul 2013 #2
It depends on what proof she has of the condition of those items before he moved in.

Worth mentioning that it's expensive and complicated to go to court in Poland and most threats of legal action are just that - only threats.
Harry
11 Jul 2013 #3
Just tell her that if the case comes to court, you'll win; but before it comes to court, you'll lodge with her tax office proof of your son's payments to her (which she won't have paid tax on).
OP reliantship
11 Jul 2013 #4
Thanks Jon and Harry for replies. Can he safely do NOTHING and just hope she goes away?
Jon, they did not take pictures of anything when she signed off on the inspection. I don't believe there is any proof of how it looked before he moved in. The "damage" was just normal wear and tear after 9 months. (and he forgot to clean out the refrigerator).

Update, there are pictures of the apartment's original condition that were attached to the lease.
Anthonycasey 1 | 11
12 Jul 2013 #5
If he has the paperwork, he can safely ignore this. I've a friend who runs a letting agency, who has new stories of such attempts at extortion every week. Her clients (the landlords) sign off with an 'okay' and promise to return the deposit... then come back with mysterious damages. I asked her for her stats on this, and she said that 'at least 20' have threatened all manner of legal nastiness in the past year, yet not one has ever come to court.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
12 Jul 2013 #6
Worth mentioning that it's expensive and complicated to go to court in Poland and most threats of legal action are just that - only threats.

If court's so expensive, what does a tenant realistically do if a landlord refuses to return a deposit or keeps some of it unfairly? Nothing?

I will clean my rented flat and the fridge, hob etc, when I move out (I am moving out because of bad noise from upstairs, second flat in a row with very bad neighbours, banging around 1-2am etc, dog barking much of the day etc).

If the landlord falsely accuses me of not cleaning something or damaging something, I guess I can whistle for my deposit, right.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,719
12 Jul 2013 #7
If court's so expensive, what does a tenant realistically do if a landlord refuses to return a deposit or keeps some of it unfairly? Nothing?

Ask for receipts for the rent so that you can give them to the tax office as part of your yearly tax return. Watch as landlord gets frightened.
cms 9 | 1,272
12 Jul 2013 #8
easiest thing is to not pay your last months rent.

Have been on the other side of the equation though - had a tenant stop paying then ruin a flat causing me heavy losses. Not a lot you can do about it with the courts being so slow unless you are unemployed and have time to pursue it.
Harry
12 Jul 2013 #9
If the landlord falsely accuses me of not cleaning something or damaging something, I guess I can whistle for my deposit, right.

Wrong: make it clear to him that not only will take him to court for the return of your deposit (initially at the e-court), which will waste his time and he'll then end up paying your deposit back and the court costs, but that you will report him to the tax office for taking money from you in rent every month and not declaring that money as taxable income (he won't have been declaring it). You are guaranteed to get your money back.
jon357 63 | 14,128
12 Jul 2013 #10
The "damage" was just normal wear and tear after 9 months.

They often moan about that and really expect every cheap saucepan to look unchanged after years of daily use. They don't really have much of a concept of wear and tear (unless specified in a contract), however along with the rental agreement there is sometimes a separate bit of paper listing the furniture fittings with a vague one word description of the condition. This means very little as there's nothing to say it's the same item (yes, Polish law is this useless).

If court's so expensive, what does a tenant realistically do if a landlord refuses to return a deposit or keeps some of it unfairly? Nothing?

Nothing, really.

Update, there are pictures of the apartment's original condition that were attached to the lease.

I just noticed your update. Pointless unless the photo was witnessed by a reliable person, signed, dated and a second photo (also witnessed by a reliable person, signed, dated) was used in court to prove the present condition the moment your son left the flat with no possiblilty whatsoever that the damage occurred afterwards.

After all - the landlord did give the deposit back and the time for grumbling would be before, not after. Anything could have happened in the time since while the flat is not in your son's care.

Ask for receipts for the rent so that you can give them to the tax office as part of your yearly tax return. Watch as landlord gets frightened.

Normal enough.

In short, if the landlord actually did try to take any action (and there isn't the same small claims procedure that the UK has) they would be laughed out of court and end up out of pocket too. In Poland they often try this sort of thing on, but it is bluster. If they keep pestering, Harry's suggestion about tax will put a stop to any silliness once and for all.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
12 Jul 2013 #11
Ask for receipts for the rent so that you can give them to the tax office as part of your yearly tax return. Watch as landlord gets frightened.

Landlord's paying tax, it's all legit. :o)

easiest thing is to not pay your last months rent. Have been on the other side of the equation though - had a tenant stop paying then ruin a flat causing me heavy losses. Not a lot you can do about it with the courts being so slow unless you are unemployed and have time to pursue it.

I don't like doing that, call me a fool and I probably am, I can't explain exactly why except to say I wouldn't like that done to me so I don't do it to anyone. In the UK, never once had even a penny deducted from a deposit, but I suppose I won't be so lucky here...

Wrong: make it clear to him that not only will take him to court for the return of your deposit (initially at the e-court), which will waste his time and he'll then end up paying your deposit back and the court costs.

But Jon said it's expensive etc ...? So, won't the LL dismiss it as a bluff and keep hold of the deposit, and laugh in my face, which as it happens is exactly what the noisy neighbours did when I asked them to consider me being disturbed under them when they thump and slam around at 1am as if it were 1pm. "Go live in a house if you don't like noise" chided the well built blonde wife and floor stomper/door slammer par excellence. Her lycra cycling shorts wearing husband could barely stifle his mirth at his wife's reposte and her motormouth-like robust denials. No apology offered of course, except from the dog who came out and wagged his tail at me. Another neighbour apparently moved out above them due to their noise, although for him it was their dog that caused the most nuisance.

Nothing, really.

That's what I fear. It may be Hobson's to do as cms suggests then I s'pose.
Harry
12 Jul 2013 #12
Landlord's paying tax, it's all legit. :o)

You know that how exactly? Because he says so?

So, won't the LL dismiss it as a bluff

Start here: e-sad.gov.pl/Subpage.aspx?page_id=35
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
12 Jul 2013 #13
You know that how exactly? Because he says so?

Because a notary was involved, and I am registered at the address etc.

Thanks Harry, much appreciated. Hope I don't need it, but... :o)
Harry
12 Jul 2013 #14
Because a notary was involved, and I am registered at the address etc.

None of that means he's telling the taxman about you being there. I've been registered at places where the landlord certainly wasn't paying tax on the rent I gave him.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
12 Jul 2013 #15
OK, will bear that in mind if push comes to shove, though I'd be v surprised if it's sans tax. Thanks again.

easiest thing is to not pay your last months rent.

What are the consequences for me if I insist that the deposit be used for the last month's rent or I simply don't pay it on the 10th when due? I ask mainly because I am starting to doubt I'll get my deposit back quickly or at all. I have not damaged anything but nevertheless some information has come to light which makes me far less confident of my deposit return than before.
poland_
4 Oct 2013 #16
It depends on the contract you signed, normally the deposit will be returned 14/21 days after you leave. If you do not want to pay the last month I would suggest you only withhold 80% of your final month, which would allow cover her for Gas/Elec/Water. You should also send her a letter explaining exactly why you are withholding the money and that your intention is to cover all out-standings.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
4 Oct 2013 #17
all out-standings.

Well, I very much doubt there's anything outstanding, and it would appear I'm actually due a refund of the monthly bills payment in addition to my deposit if I didn't use it for rent. But, I'd be open to persuasion otherwise if the landlord produces the bills.
Arhsub - | 5
22 Oct 2013 #18
I think she can't claim anything because she already signed the papers that everything is ok. On the other hand it depends upon what prove she have about that the things were broken before leaving the apartment.
DigginGold:)
22 Oct 2013 #19
Deplh and Harry why you guys always think landlords in Poland will not be paying 9.5% or so tax on rental income?I as a landlord will be so happy to act as a dumb landlord and let you take me to court and sue the sheet out of you afterwards and making you look like dumb fools....seriously:)

Oh sorry to add 0n 2000PLN rented flat it will be almost 190pln lol almost 65$ in todays date almost...get seriousd about talking taxes and risking...then again is it the level they go through?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,719
22 Oct 2013 #20
Deplh and Harry why you guys always think landlords in Poland will not be paying 9.5% or so tax on rental income?I as a landlord will be so happy to act as a dumb landlord and let you take me to court and sue the sheet out of you afterwards and making you look like dumb fools....seriously:)

I'm fairly certain you wouldn't have a chance in a Polish court, given the amount of enemies you already have in Warsaw...


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