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Landlord`s obligations regarding repairing things that belong to the house in Poland


AppreciateLife 2 | 13
11 Mar 2013 #1
Hello all,

I was wondering about something: my husband and I are renting a house near Krakow, and we have an unlimited (standard) contract with our Polish landlord. We have agreed initially for the gas, electricity & water bills to remain in his name, and we are paying them together with the rent.

However, our gas bill is 1300-1400 PLN for every two months (for heating the house and water heating), and the house has 123 square meters. We know for a fact (and the landlord also knows) that the control panel of the central gas heating system is broken, so we have no way of controlling the temperature in the house, which not only may be expensive at 1300-1400 PLN / 2 months (during the winter), but also uncomfortable since sometimes it`s extremely cold, and other times extremely hot in the house.

so my question is: is it the landlord`s responsibility to repair the control panel (which was clearly broken before we moved into the house, but since we moved in the spring, we did not know about it, as no house heating was needed until September - October); or is it our responsibility as lessees to do so?!

I would think that it belongs to the house, as it is a part of the central heating system that he chose for himself. I would not find it reasonable to have to pay for these repairs ourselves, since we wouldn`t have chosen something so crappy in the first place.

We have had some other issues with living here, and we planned on staying for a while, so we invested a rather large amount of money so far in the house, but we are getting tired of putting up with things just because we are not Polish. The landlord seems reasonable to some extent, and he has repaired so far other things that belong to the house, but he does not want to fix this problem in particular, it seems. Do you guys have any idea why that might be?! I have a feeling it may be VAT deduction related, but I could be wrong, as I am not yet fully knowing of the Polish tax rules.

Either way - what would you guys suggest we do regarding this?! we would like to continue living here for another year, as we love the house and the place, and things are alright in general, but it seems very slow and difficult to get things going when something needs to be done.

thank you in advance for sharing your experiences and knowledge :)
terri 1 | 1,665
12 Mar 2013 #2
I DO hope that your landlord is declaring the rental income which you pay him to the taxman. If not, you could perhaps draw this to his attention.

I would ask him for a formal contract and once you have that, make sure that you have evidence of paying your rent directly to him and then go to the nearest tax office and let them know what's happening.

If your landlord does not want to repair anything, STOP any rental payments immediately - and see what he does. If he wants to throw you out, he will have to go to court which will take about 2 years. What I would do now is tell him what he has to do or you will STOP the rent.
OP AppreciateLife 2 | 13
12 Mar 2013 #3
we agreed initially that we would write in the contract we pay 800 PLN / month for rent, but in fact, we pay 2450 PLN / month. (bank transfer).

The thing is that he would only rent us the house this way, or if we had agreed to pay the extra 200 PLN / month (he said) tax for the 2450 PLN/ month in case we wanted to write that in the contract. I assumed that was not 100% within the law, but also our agent (which we had to pay 2450 PLN, so 100% of the rent (I`ve seen in other threads they say it`s about 50% of the rent, but this is the second agent charging us full price of the rent) said it was alright to do this, that everybody does it. Is this so?! And are we also responsible for his tax duties?! (We do not work in Poland, or have any income here, therefore do not pay tax to Poland ourselves).

Everyone has demands it seems, but nobody wants to do their jobs - in my experience. I was thinking to tell him that we would not pay for the gas bills until he fixes the control panel but I feel strange to threaten someone. Although it seems to be needed among some people. I do wonder *why he would do this, because we are very good tenants, who have actually invested money in his house.

thank you for your reply :)
Harry
12 Mar 2013 #4
we agreed initially that we would write in the contract we pay 800 PLN / month for rent, but in fact, we pay 2450 PLN / month. (bank transfer).

Congratulations: you have him by the short and curlies. The fact that he has a contract to rent out his house but still accepts payment from the people listed as tenants as a bank transfer puts him in a very bad position with the tax office (if they ever somehow learn about those transfers).

And are we also responsible for his tax duties?!

Nope. His income, his tax, his problem.

I was thinking to tell him that we would not pay for the gas bills until he fixes the control panel but I feel strange to threaten someone.

Just ask him if he would like to get the control panel fixed or would he prefer for you to arrange the repair and then deduct the cost of the repair from your monthly rental payment. No need to make any threats. You could, however, also ask him to drop the rent due to the gas bills being so big due to the control panel being broken.

We do not work in Poland, or have any income here, therefore do not pay tax to Poland ourselves

That's not quite how the Polish tax system works. If you're tax resident here, you have unlimited tax liability here (subject to any relevant double taxation agreements). You might want to contact a tax adviser (you very probably do owe nothing to the Polish tax man but there may be some formalities which you need to get out of the way).
OP AppreciateLife 2 | 13
12 Mar 2013 #5
my husband is Norwegian, and travels to Norway and works there, and we have registered NIP and everything, and every year we get from the Polish tax office a paper (for the Norwegian tax authorities) stating that we do not have any income, nor any tax payments in Poland. Do we need to do anything further than that with the Polish tax offices?!

I think we only pay tax to Norway - also in his company there are many Polish people and they also only pay tax to Norway, since they are hired and work there.

I do not work yet, but I am looking into becoming a self employed writer soon and someone replied us on a different thread about having to pay tax to Poland once I start selling my books, as I would be doing the writing in Poland, therefore the tax I would have to pay would also be to Poland, so I think the same applies to working in Norway - since the work is done literally in Norway.

thank you for your reply :)
Harry
12 Mar 2013 #6
my husband is Norwegian, and travels to Norway and works there, and we have registered NIP and everything, and every year we get from the Polish tax office a paper (for the Norwegian tax authorities) stating that we do not have any income, nor any tax payments in Poland. Do we need to do anything further than that with the Polish tax offices?!

That should pretty much cover it.

I do not work yet, but I am looking into becoming a self employed writer soon and someone replied us on a different thread about having to pay tax to Poland once I start selling my books

I'd suggest very strongly against becoming a self-employed writer. The Polish ZUS system for self-employed people features payments every month regardless of income. For the first two years it is only about 350zl per month but then it jumps up to more like a thousand zloty per month. A better way would be to find a person who has a company and is happy to employ you on an umowa o dzielo autorskie (contract for specified work as an author) for whatever work you bring to them.

On the other hand, if you are a self employed writer, you could put the 800zl you pay as rent down as a business expense (leasing of an office).
OP AppreciateLife 2 | 13
12 Mar 2013 #7
I was wondering about what things I could write down as business expenses - so if I do that with the rent, what does that mean exactly?! is there some list online (official list) that we could check out, regarding the "business expenses"?! I have not been self employed so far, and it seems a rather hairy deal, especially since we do not speak Polish. All my books will be in English, and also they will be inspirational books, so I`m not sure who would want to hire me here.

To the questions we have - different people have different answers. Some say to hire an accountant to do all the paperwork, others suggest to do it ourselves as sometimes companies may be unreliable. It`s a whole thing to be a foreigner in Poland - very strange rules, in my opinion. But we have managed quite alright so far, and most people from the public offices are very helpful and friendly. Hiring someone, or signing a contract on the other hand - in our experience - is completely unreliable. Regardless of what`s written in the contract, seems like everyone can do whatever they want to do...only the Polish have rights, or so they say.

thank you for your replies - you certainly know how things here work! :)
terri 1 | 1,665
12 Mar 2013 #8
What I would do is to tell the landlord that you have to put your rent as expenses on the tax form. This should do the trick. If the tax office DOES NOT know of his little scheme to cheat them, then I am sure that he would not want them to know.

I would have a talk with him, and if he is being unreasonable - find somewhere else to stay.
I still think that my idea of NOT paying him at all - stop the monthly transfers is the best. He will soon repair things. It will be very hard for him to throw you out-as you have evidence that he is cheating the tax authorities.

He would have to pay at least 20% on the rent and bills (total amount you pay). Anyway you agreed to pay 800, so pay 800 if you don't like being mean and tell him you will pay the rest when he oresents the gas bills.

DO NOT be soft with him, he is treating you like a piece of sh........
OP AppreciateLife 2 | 13
12 Mar 2013 #9
we have an unlimited contract for renting this house, with a 2 month notice period - I was wondering, in the case that there was no tax cheating on his part, if I told him that we will pay only 800 PLN / month until he fixes the control panel, could he give us notice to move out?! I assume that the 2 month notice period goes both ways, we can tell him we are moving, or he can tell us to move, right?!

do you know what reasons could he (or any landlord) for giving us the notice?! could he say he just wants to rent to someone else?! because as I said - we have invested in the house (repaired walls, painted, put tiles in the kitchen and some other improvements, all at our expense), and although we do not have the receipts for these investments, they are clearly shown by the protocol and pics we took when we first moved in here. And I don`t think he can say he did these improvements, since he doesn`t have the receipts either.

thank you so much for your replies - and for sharing your knowledge :)

Merged: Consequences for signing a lease contract with incorrect amount

My husband and I have signed a contract with our landlord for renting his house for 800 PLN/month, but in fact, we are paying him 2450 PLN/month for rent (bank transfer). We believe that he does not wish to report to the tax office the 2450 PLN/month extra income, so we are wondering what are the consequences for my husband and I, for signing the contract with a fake amount, if the Polish tax office ever found out about his tax cheating? And what are the consequences for the landlord for his tax cheating, if the Polish tax office were to find out about this?

Thank you for sharing your knowledge :)
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
7 May 2013 #10
And what are the consequences for the landlord for his tax cheating, if the Polish tax office were to find out about this?

For you, it's hard to imagine that there would be any consequences.

As for him, well, it's safe to say that the tax office would take a very dim view of it. He would almost certainly be made to pay the entire lot back, along with a punishment equalling 100% of the taxes evaded - in essence, he'd have to pay twice. Are you paying by bank transfer?
OP AppreciateLife 2 | 13
7 May 2013 #11
Yes, we have always paid the rent by bank transfer. Also - our bills (gas, electricity, water) are in his name - so we transfer all this money to his bank account, every month. We suspect he may get some money back from the Polish tax (or some office) for these bills, because he is registered as a company with NIP and everything, and he insisted that we leave these contracts in his name. Also - our bills are quite high, as he did not wish to fix the control panel for the gas for some months, so we paid around 4200 PLN for the gas for September-April (for 125 square meter house).

We have talked today with the real estate agents who have drawn the contract we signed with this landlord, and they said there might be some consequences for us - because we signed a lie (the contract), so we were wondering what could these consequences be? A fine maybe, but for approximately how much?

Merged: Different % tax for different types of income

Hello guys,

I was wondering if, for example, my landlord can say he gets rent income 800 PLN / month, and 1650 PLN / month service income (as in he provides a service for this money). Would these two different types of income be taxed differently?! and is this within the law?! or would the tax be taxed per whole income sum, as a steady %?!

As you may know, in our rent contract it states that we pay him 800 PLN / month rent, but so far we have been actually paying him 2450 PLN / month (via bank transfer).

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience :)
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
11 May 2013 #12
You seem to be absolutely obsessed with your landlord.

Don't worry about taxes, just go to the tax office, report him and hand over all the evidence you have. Let them do the rest.

For what it's worth, any tax office would see through 800zl rent and 1600zl service charges.
OP AppreciateLife 2 | 13
11 May 2013 #13
I am obsessed with my rights - because he has threatened me several times now. Now he wants to change some things in the contract and he insists on doing this. So I have to be informed myself about what are my rights. I don`t want to report him, only to find out there was never anything to report because what he did was minor and within the law. I don`t like being accused of things - so I also don`t like accusing others and creating problems, unless I am 100% sure there is no possibility for my accusations to be untrue.

Also - do I have to report him?! does the law require me to report him?!
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
11 May 2013 #14
does the law require me to report him?!

Yes. You have an obligation to report a crime if you witnessed it.
jon357 63 | 15,667
15 May 2013 #15
Agreed. If he gets caught for some other reason and it is discovered that you were complicit, you might have to answer some awkward questions.


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