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Apartment in Poland is not up to standard; right to terminate the rental agreement?


hythorn 3 | 580
18 Nov 2011 #31
if I had to make a judgement, I would say that Wedle has given the best advice here so far

all I have really done is to point out that I would not consider it prudent to follow the advice of Grubas
which I suppose is valuable information in its self
grubas 12 | 1,390
18 Nov 2011 #32
Why do you think I can't either read or speak Polish? I'm perfectly fluent in both

Wedle, myself, Hythorn and Rozumiemnic

You are funny guy,you know that?None of you is even Polish,nothing wrong with that but don't claim to know Poland better than someone who was born and lived in Poland 30 years funny guy.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
18 Nov 2011 #33
If it's genuinely just the kitchen floor, and the rest of the flat is fine, the price is fine, the location's OK - I would still talk to the landlord before making any sudden decisions. Apart from anything else, it might not be terribly easy to find another flat which is flawless plus has the right price, location etc. And if the OP has not even talked to his landlord about the problem, we are unable to give him any REAL advice.
grubas 12 | 1,390
18 Nov 2011 #34
Sorry, but you left years ago.

It wasn't even 10 years ago and since then I visited 4 times (for at least a month each time),also internet and my family in Poland keeps me updated.
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
18 Nov 2011 #35
was born and lived in Poland 30 years

And left a long, long time ago. And we've all rented flats. Recently. So yes, WE are the experts, not YOU.

If it's genuinely just the kitchen floor, and the rest of the flat is fine, the price is fine, the location's OK - I would still talk to the landlord before making any sudden decisions. Apart from anything else, it might not be terribly easy to find another flat which is flawless plus has the right price, location etc. And if the OP has not even talked to his landlord about the problem, we are unable to give him any REAL advice.

This is quite sound advice too. The OP may well fnd a flat that has a warm kitchen floor, but which has other drawbacks that outweigh that small benefit. Or indeed, buy some slippers!
grubas 12 | 1,390
18 Nov 2011 #36
And left a long, long time ago.

Really?

And we've all rented flats

Oh I see.You are right,that makes you experts, funny guy.Seriously though, as for law in Poland,how many times if any have you read Kodeks Cywilny,Kodeks Handlowy.Prawo giełdowe i papierów wartościowych because I had them memorized at some point of my life.How about you?
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
18 Nov 2011 #37
You are right

Yes.

Kodeks Cywilny,Kodeks Handlowy.Prawo giełdowe i papierów wartościowych

In which case you'll know how complicated it would be for the OP to be sued by the landlord since he doesn't have a Polish-language contract, just some 'agreement' written in English. Somehow, I suspect the Tax Office don't know about that particular bit of rental income...

I still can't figure out how you can comment on subletting clauses in the OP's (English language) 'agreement' without having seen it. Maybe telepathy.

So stop trolling and stick to things you know about, like guns, pick-up trucks and Dolly Parton.
grubas 12 | 1,390
18 Nov 2011 #38
No,it only leads me to conclusion that the landlord is also a foreigner.And it's not complicated at all.Of course as a landlord I would have him sign lease agreement in Polish and if he insisted a copy in English,but even with the copy in English only I would simply get it translated by a sworn translator and head for court.No big deal.

Somehow, I suspect the Tax Office don't know about that particular bit of rental income...

It won't matter in a court room.
LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
18 Nov 2011 #39
I signed my contract for a full year starting from 30 September 2011.

Signing a contract for a full year does not mean you have to stay and pay a full year whether you like it or not if you encounter a problem in the property you rentbut you need to send a registered letter to the agency or the owner giving them notice ( you need to check your contract )it could be 1 month, 2 months or 3 months notice but there is a clause in the Civil code of Vis Major and casus fortuitus (latin) which allows you to resign from a rental agreement since there might be a draft and it is freezing or if you are sent away for a new job.

I do not see how the owner/agency can make you pay unless you have already paid for the whole year but they do need the notice.

Do not forget that the owner is supposed to provide by law a property which satisfies the comfort of the tenant.
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
18 Nov 2011 #40
Of course as a landlord I would have him sign lease agreement in Polish

Yes

and if he insisted a copy in English,

No

I would simply get it translated by a sworn translator and head for court.No big deal.

A very big deal to ask the court to rule on a contract written in a foreign language (where at least one of the parties isn't even from an English-speaking country) translated afterwards or not. They'd probably get involved reluctantly, but only probably and a level of ambiguity affecting the outcome would have already been introduced. Especially since (as far as we know) English isn't the first language of either party.

It won't matter in a court room.

Don't be naive. If a landlord sued me over a dodgy bit of paper he could rest assured I'd have dobbed him in to the tax office before the case came to court. In fact immediately before, if he was daft enough not to have come to an agreement.

You'll also know how expensive a civil case can be in Poland, especially if there are as many grey areas as this one. It wouldn't be worth his while to sue.
grubas 12 | 1,390
18 Nov 2011 #41
It wouldn't be worth his while to sue.

That's the bottom line and this is why I advised him to break the lease and then sue for a security deposit (if he paid one) which the landlord will witheld.He can also give a 30 days notice but it won't make his flat any warmer.Actually some people owe me rent money but the amount is not worth court troubles.I have something much better.I had them sign weksel IN BLANCO!I really wish them to become rich soon!!!
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
18 Nov 2011 #42
So we agree. I feel the same!

My own feeling is that if the contract is kosher and the landlord is declaring tax etc he's probably a good (or at least efficient) landlord. If there isn't a valid contract and it's all a bit iffy, then neither the landlord or the tenant can expect perfection from each other. ;-)

I have something much better.I had them sign weksel IN BLANCO!I really wish them to become rich soon!!!

Now THAT's a good idea. Mind you. it would be illegal in a lot of jurisdictions - not sure about PL, but certainly in UK. :-(
OP Fredrikkk 3 | 13
18 Nov 2011 #43
Oh wow! Hello everyone. I just read through this and there is a lot of crappy advice and a lot of good advice. Let me fill you guys in on the situation:

My landlord is a very nice woman, who I think has no intent on screwing me over. She seems like a very sincere person. I pay 1,500 PLN per month, and 1,000 PLN in gas per month, totaling up to 2,500 PLN per month. Supposedly, according to the realtor, who speak English, I will get money back some time in the spring time if I have used less than 1,000 PLN worth of gas every month. The apartment is 84 square meters, perfect location for me where I can walk to school and hospital.

Now let me tell you about the condition of everything:
There is vinyl flooring everywhere except the living room and bathroom. When I vacuum in the kitchen, I can pull this vinyl up, which would lead me to believe it's done poorly.. The reason I want to leave the apartment is primarily because it is not in the standard I want. For the price I'm paying, I could get something way more modern for less money. I would like to shower standing up, not sitting down. I want to be able to walk around in my apartment and not have to be freezing cold.

Regarding my contact, I signed both a Polish and English version. I don't know if the Polish version was any different, but I would not think so. I do not have the Polish version either.

I live in Bydgoszcz, so going to Warsaw for free legal services would be a waste. I have only so far asked my realtor once about this and she just said in Poland there is no notice period. Again, in my contract it says I signed for one year, and I pay monthly. It does not say anything about me not being able to terminate.

I hope this enlightened some people. I appreciate the advice I am getting, especially JonnyM and magdalena. Everyone else with good advice, thank you.

Phew.
LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
18 Nov 2011 #44
I would still talk to the landlord before making any sudden decisions.

Exactly .It is not only legal but in the interest of the landlord to provide a flat without problems passed on to the tenant because otherwise he will never have any tenant who can accept to stay in his flat.
grubas 12 | 1,390
18 Nov 2011 #45
Mind you. it would be illegal in a lot of jurisdictions - not sure about PL, but certainly in UK. :-(

What do you mean?Prawo wekslowe in Poland says that if I go to court to obtain nakaz zapłaty weksla the court will not investigate legality of my claim but only validity of weksel.That means that even if I enter some ridiculous amount of money on this weksel like 10000000000000000000 PLN the court will tell them to pay it.Of course then they can sue me in another lawsuit about the legality of my claim.
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
18 Nov 2011 #46
She seems like a very sincere person

1,000 PLN in gas per month

I'm sure she's sincere, but she's probably jumping for joy if you're paying 1000 for the gas bill. I suspect this includes gas to heat the water, but even so, It seems a lot.

Supposedly, according to the realtor, who speak English, I will get money back some time in the spring time if I have used less than 1,000 PLN worth of gas every month

According to time-honoured rental tradition, the key word is 'supposedly'. Who are you paying the money to?

The apartment is 84 square meters, perfect location for me where I can walk to school and hospital.

Seems great by Warsaw standards.

There is vinyl flooring everywhere except the living room and bathroom

Unusual in Poland.

which would lead me to believe it's done poorly..

Not unusual in Poland.

I strongly suspect, since there's a realtor that you have a Polish-language contract. Maybe you could call the realtor. Also, you'll need to be registered in the flat (zameldowanie). If you aren't, then it's a fairly good (though not 100%) sign that you're renting the flat on the black economy. This means they can't really do much if you leave. They will however make a lot of noise, and you should consider whether it's worth the hassle etc.

Personally I would have a look on Gumtree to check out what you could be getting in Bydgoszcz for the same money or less. I suspect you might find somewhere smaller and more modern in a block for that price. It would probably have district heating and be very warm indeed.

What do you mean?

This

Of course then they can sue me in another lawsuit about the legality of my claim.

LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
18 Nov 2011 #47
I have only so far asked my realtor once about this and she just said in Poland there is no notice period.

So you are free to leave anytime as long as you paid for the time you stayed.

My advice would be you just talk to your landlord and explain to her that the flat is no longer suitable for you, it is too big or too far or something , you don't need to give her a reason actually but if you feel she would benefit from knowing that the freezing floor is really unpleasant you may have her informed.
OP Fredrikkk 3 | 13
18 Nov 2011 #48
Jonny, yes, 1,000 PLN is gas for water and heating.

Since I don't have a Polish bank account, I pay the owner in cash under the witness of the realtor. I'm now starting to get a little bit of a bad feeling that I'm contributing to the black economy...

And I have been looking around and I know that I can get something much more modern for about 1,000 PLN less. I mean, I can survive in the apartment. It's just that if the kitchen gets this cold now in November, how will it be in January?
grubas 12 | 1,390
18 Nov 2011 #49
This
grubas: Of course then they can sue me in another lawsuit about the legality of my claim.

Yes but it may be a long trial and in the meantime I have all legal rights to execute nakaz zapłaty weksla.
LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
18 Nov 2011 #50
Jonny, yes, 1,000 PLN is gas for water and heating.

This seems a lot and too much especially of you are away part of the day. Are these official bills from the Gas provider and buidling administrator ?

If i were you i would not have any scruples in leaving soon but it is up to you.
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
18 Nov 2011 #51
Even so, the bills are extremely high, especially for one person. If I were in your position, I would leave. And I'd do it just before the rent is due to avoid hassles from the landlady and realtor and to avoid being too out of pocket yourself.

I'm now starting to get a little bit of a bad feeling that I'm contributing to the black economy...

Definitely. Which relieves you of any moral obligation to behave as if everything were correct.

It's just that if the kitchen gets this cold now in November, how will it be in January?

I don't know if you've ever seen the film Dr. Zhivago where they arrive at the house in Russia where everything is covered with ice. Not as bad as that, but certainly unpleasant.84 metres makes me think the flat's in an old building. Is it insulated and how high are the ceilings?

Yes but it may be a long trial and in the meantime I have all legal rights to execute nakaz zapłaty weksla.

That would depend on whether the defendant's lawyer appealed against the judgement within 14 days.
OP Fredrikkk 3 | 13
18 Nov 2011 #52
I would estimate the ceilings to be about 4 meters high. The building is a very old building I assume. And I have seen Dr. Zhivago.. I feel like that when I walk into the kitchen. I don't know how much gas is per cubic meter either, so I don't know if I'm using a lot or a little.

Now I guess it's just a matter of talking to my parents to get the guts to go to the realtor and say I want to move out. But what if they say that I can't move out? What do I say then? Keep in mind that I'm only 19 years old, and I am one of those people who just kind of go along and say okay to almost everything.
LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
18 Nov 2011 #53
Keep in mind that I'm only 19 years old, and I am one of those people who just kind of go along and say okay to almost everything.

The fact that you came to this forum for advice shows that you are not an immature and a yes person:

You have already made up your mind to move out and not stay in an expensive place if you are not perfectly happy with it because it is a waste of money;

The landlord may be super nice but she is not your landlord and not your mum or sister and your family pays for a place and assume you are not freezing in it.

Hurry up though because January and February are close and your family will have paid 2500 zl per month to have their son turned into an iceman !
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
18 Nov 2011 #54
people who just kind of go along and say okay to almost everything.

How about instead of starting the conversation with the moving out part, you start by asking about the gas bills (seem very high to me also) and about the problem with the kitchen floor, and see where that takes you. I assume the realtor is giving you receipts for your cash payments? Then, if they seem uncomfortable and shifty, you will know that it's really time to move.
OP Fredrikkk 3 | 13
18 Nov 2011 #55
Hurry up though because January and February are close and your family will have paid 2500 zl per month to have their son turned into an iceman !

I am going to start the process on Monday and go have a talk with the realtor. And yeah! I want a warm apartment, not some ice box...

I assume the realtor is giving you receipts for your cash payments?

I did not get any receipt on the payment... Now that I think about it, my internet deal is also under the landlord's name, and not my own. I just pay everything to her... Is this how things work in Poland or am I getting the short end of the stick on this one?
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
18 Nov 2011 #56
Is this how things work in Poland or am I getting the short end of the stick on this one?

This is how things work anywhere in the world if you're too trusting, sadly. I'm starting to have a rather bad feeling about all of this. No matter when and where you are, you should always insist on getting everything in writing. You said you give cash to the landlord in the presence of the realtor. Does the realtor at least keep some sort of track of these transactions, like a ledger you get to sign or whatever?
OP Fredrikkk 3 | 13
18 Nov 2011 #57
I do suppose you are correct... I do not know if the realtor keeps any record about the payments. I just know that we have a verbal agreement on paying the rent in cash every month.

I am too starting to get a bad feeling... I mean the apartment spoke to me in the beginning and all was well, but I am now starting to see all the flaws and things that I don't like, and I can't see that I should be forced to live there for a year if I don't want to.
mafketis 29 | 9,518
18 Nov 2011 #58
Poland will knock that out of you _very_ quickly.

In short, you have to learn how to stand up for yourself in an assertive (not aggressive!) manner. It won't always be pleasant but the process will ultimately make you happier and more self-confident.
OP Fredrikkk 3 | 13
18 Nov 2011 #59
Thank you for the constructive words, mafketis!

I know I have to stand up for myself, and I do, in other situations. It's just that this is my first time living abroad, and away from home, so naturally I don't have so much experience yet!
Wedle 16 | 496
18 Nov 2011 #60
This is how things work anywhere in the world if you're too trusting, sadly

This is the point I disagree, I have experience of negotiating and concluding deals in many countries in the world and Poles are at the top of the league as liars and cheats in the professional arena, even more so than the Spanish. Although the people outside the work circle are wonderful and so eager and resourceful. Poles are so obsessed with short tern gain and the desparate need to prove themselves as equals to their western partners it is cringeworthy.

Magdalena- it is not how the world works, it is how people operate at the lower levels of society.


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