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Leasing a flat in Poland: How can a foreigner fulfill the guarantor of eviction clause on short-term leases?

18 Jun 2019 #1
I'm looking to rent a flat in Krakow from a private individual. This is a short-term lease, which I understand is one that is for fewer than 10 years and of fixed duration, in my case one year. (Umowa Najmu Okazjonalnego Lokalu).

Apart from some common terms, such as two months deposit the owner wants me to find a person, who owns a property (or mortgaged) to agree to take me into their home should I be evicted. He says this is because for foreigners he is not sure how the Courts would deal with the matter of eviction. (Zgoda Na Zamieszkanie Najemcy Po Ustaniu Stosunku Najmu).

This, as well as the lease, would be signed before a Notary plus a sworn translator.

What can I do about this? Is it perfectly proper? Discriminatory against foreigners? Is it only valid for short-term leases? And what real protections does he gain? It still has to go via the Court system and a judge, right?

Within the freedom of contract, and within the EU, why does it have to be a Polish address?

Read on for my opinion.

I find such a clause very difficult to accept. I am a professional person, in my early thirties. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth because I find it to be a discriminatory contract term. Of course I believe in the freedom to contract, but if all landlords wanted such terms then essentially nearly all foreigners, especially those coming to work and not for family, would be unable to lease any flat. Moreover, if the shoe was on the other foot, and such terms existed in the UK, I guess we wouldn't have anywhere near the number of Poles in the UK. Put it this way, it would be front page news that you need to have someone who will guarantee to take you into their home if you're evicted and that person must own a flat. It cannot be a lease, even a contract for unlimited time like those living in state owned homes.

It struck me that essentially, to rent a flat, I need to own one. Or if I were Polish, I would need to ask my parents or family to agree to this clause to be able to rent. It's bizarre.

I even offered to pay the rent for the entire contract up-front. He refused.

Moreover, he told me that even with this, its only a bit better to evict someone for non-payment using the Court system. And it doesn't stop me, from say, getting married, having a child and using that to prevent eviction. What a nonsense. It offers him not much "protection" at all.

And if the person refuses to take me? Or their circumstances change? Or they move and I fail to inform him, or they fail to inform me, or they lose their house? And then what? The police break in and kick them out of their bed and put me in it!

Thoughts please.
terri 1 | 1,663
18 Jun 2019 #2
The landlord is quite right. The Law states that in the event of non-payment, he cannot evict you (especially if you have a small child) and if he wants to do that, he then has to provide another place for you to live. This is why he has to be sure, that if you don't pay your rent or you behave badly, he can get your stuff out legally and put it in the other place. Once the other people say that this will be your bolthole in case of something, the police can take you out and put you in that other place. This is standard clause in the contract, because in order to evict someone it takes years to go through the Courts, meanwhile the person usually stays in the flat without paying any bills and no one can forcibly evict them.

Your best bet is to go and speak to the police or to any solicitor/lawyer to establish the facts.
Cargo pants 3 | 1,500
18 Jun 2019 #3
Residential eviction in Poland is very hard and long term process esp if the tenant knows his rights,so the landlord is just covering his ass,unlike commercials where when done right you can evict a tenant in 10 working days.Esp there have been rumours(maybe true)foreigners taking off on landlords and destroying the flats.

Poles lately also dont change electricity on tenants name when renting residentials so they can cut it off if they cant evict the tenant.
OP KrakowRenter25
18 Jun 2019 #4
I forgot to say I already saw a lawyer about it, because I wanted to check the status.

They told me it still has to go through the Courts, as you cannot act unilaterally like that. Also police, hmm, I am surprised that the police would be become involved in a Civil matter. That would be quite odd. Even he said it would have to go to the Court, but it would be quicker. However your post has brought that into doubt. Are you absolutely sure you can do that without a court order because I am very surprised the police would act without that.

Interesting, that I did ask about electricity and he wanted to keep it in his name. Is that "by the book" in terms of what they should do? If he plays it that way for the actual lease. If its not a specific agreed term in the lease, it could be an unfair clause where the electricity is a specific cost and not bundled with the lease.

Today I had my friend run the address in the Polish debt database and the previous tenant has an outstanding debt which has been bought by a debt management firm in Wroclaw, originally for Orange PL in the amount of 10k Zl, however, the previous tenant was his brother in law and the mortgage/property database shows his wife and himself as owners of the flat. It amused me that he wants to play it so well, when his family has failed to.
terri 1 | 1,663
18 Jun 2019 #5
Once bitten twice shy. A good reason never to mix business and family. He has been bitten once.
A better idea would be to go somewhere else. If at the start you are having these 'misunderstandings', think of what it would be like later on. If however you decide to rent the place, make TRIPLE sure that you take 100's of photographs of every bit of the flat and get him to sign and date the photos, so that he does not slap you with extra costs at the end.
OP KrakowRenter25
18 Jun 2019 #6
Alls well ends well. I had my lawyer speak to his notary, and we have agreed a resolution. However, in general as I am interested in such matters and if anyone would like to post their thoughts on this, it would be interesting.

I avoid the "what if I" scenarios with landlords, agents and their reps, to avoid planting the seed of what could happen. I'm most curious about the police entering into civil matters. Is that because in PL there is no need for a writ, and evictions do not need to be by court order...

Obviously its unheard of for the police in the UK to interfere with that, but the biggest exception is the idea of a lawful eviction that is not in the form of a court order, ideally signed and upgraded to a writ!

Then I find myself agreeing with my dear friend Jean-Claude Druncker when it comes to reforms of the court system ;).
Cargo pants 3 | 1,500
18 Jun 2019 #7
evictions do not need to be by court order...

Who said so???Evictions are always by court orders in Poland until one uses muscle(muscle days are going very fast there but some places it still works)Also cops cannot do anything for eviction until there is a court order,you may sometimes have to explain to the officer responding that its a civil matter.
pawian 223 | 24,583
18 Jun 2019 #8
Another method of getting rid of unwanted tenants which is popular according to forumers - supply the flat with more tenants. You have the right to do it as it is still your flat. Extra tenants are looked for on the Internet.
Cargo pants 3 | 1,500
18 Jun 2019 #9
NO,you cannot rent it to more then 1 tenant as you have a contract.But I do NNN or 777 (as its called in Poland)umowa.Takes around 5 working days to get the judge signon eviction then get a good komornik who u throw a few xtra Zlots and he will come with you and throw them out or call the cops to help him out.Just did it once in Poland but very effective.This is for commercials only I wonder if 777 umowa can be signed for residentials.
pawian 223 | 24,583
18 Jun 2019 #10
Yes, that`s right. I found the site where I once read it - it describes a case of using extra tenants but it concerned a flat that was inherited with lodgers who didn`t have a contract with the new owner so he could bring in anybody he wanted.
Cargo pants 3 | 1,500
19 Jun 2019 #11
TRIPLE sure that you take 100's of photographs

You really think those pics will stand in court?I once bought a run down restaurant property and did that and guess what, after close to 2 years I get a tax dept bill for paying low taxes on purchase price.Those pics were like trash,and I had to pay almost 9k in taxes /penalty/interest.
cms neuf 1 | 1,753
19 Jun 2019 #12
Seriously you had to pay tax on that perceived low price ? How did they prove it was a low price ?
Cargo pants 3 | 1,500
19 Jun 2019 #13
They said it was way below the market price,and gave a choice to pay or go to court.I chose to pay as the interest and penalty with lawyers fee would not help me.That was in 2003 when cash was king in Poland:)
OP KrakowRenter25
19 Jun 2019 #14
As I thought, no chance to evict without Court Order. Unless they act illegally. Two wrongs don't make a right.
Cargo pants 3 | 1,500
19 Jun 2019 #15
Depending on the owner,most likely when it comes to evict Poles can be very vicious and sometimes even the cops if summoned can be on landlords side.I knew a lady who putout the belongings of her tenant in the hallway and changed locks and even cops supported her.
19 Jun 2019 #16
Is it common to pay separately for hot and colw water as well as electricity for heating and use of plus/power as well as gas if you have it? Because one place I lived at here had czynsz that included garbage and water but this owner of this new place claims I have to pay for it and when I looked at the lease agreement it did not specify it just had czynsz a certain payment and nothing specified for other utilities.
Cargo pants 3 | 1,500
19 Jun 2019 #17
Depends how it is mentioned in your lease.Its a grey area but if you go to court after spending so much moneychances are you might loose.Infact depends on landlord how agressive he is.
19 Jun 2019 #18
He never specified or talked about it when I first moved in. We just talked about electricity and gas. But over time he mentioned it how he has to wait for the bill form the utilities so he will bill me all of it at once after some time. But in general most flats or studios do they require water payment separately from main bill?
19 Jun 2019 #19
Basically the price is 1600 czynsz and it doesnt speify other utilities I think it just says and other utilities but nothing specified like elctricity, etc. I have to look at it again when I get home. But I used to think czynsz includes some stuff like garbage and water because in my last apartment it was included.
terri 1 | 1,663
19 Jun 2019 #20
Water is separate and he can only bill you for it after he produces a bill showing how much they are charging him. You should have a water meter in the flat and should pay according to how many cubic meters of water you have used. Chances are that he can bill you separately for rubbish disposal as well (this may depend on whether you recycle or not).
19 Jun 2019 #21
Damm Warsaw is freaking expensive.

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