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Renting in Poland - tenants' rights?


InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
19 May 2012 #1
Have done a search of the archive. The below is a summary of what I found, perhaps it needs to be verified as I don't know how accurate it is and contracts may vary.

The questions I have are about renting a property in Poland:-

1. Does a landlord have a right of entry to a paying tenant's accommodation?

2. Can a tenant change the lock for security reasons?

3. Who is financially responsible for repairs to fixtures and fittings that fail, for example a window that does not close, failing oven or failing WC?

4. If a tenant fails to pay the rent, at what point can a landlord enter and gain possession?

5. What documents does a landlord generally require from a Briton or other EU resident pre-contract and/or post-contract?

6. What notice does a landlord need to give under normal circumstances, to a paying tenant?

7. What if a paying tenant cannot leave on the agreed last day of a tenancy for whatever reason?

8. Who does a tenant pay the monthly service charge/admin charge to?

The info I found in the archive:

Contracts should contain a notice period clause, termed as "okres wypowiedzl".

Most rental contracts are 6 months fixed then the tenant needs to give one month's notice. Presumably this is the day before a rent due date plus one month.

Landlords can usually give just 1 month's notice to a tenant if the tenant misbehaves in some way, eg damage or illegal activity.

(above subject to verification and may be inaccurate or vary from contract to contracts)

Anybody who can answer some or all of the questions above, or add some knowledge, or correct the above etc etc - please respond.
poland_
19 May 2012 #2
The questions I have are:-

InWroclaw, Polish law for rental contracts is very ambiguous, the last decision, would be to enter into a spat with your landlord unless you have all the bases covered. In all Polish Law departments at each University there is a evening in which the public can attend with their legal problems and attain legal advice for FREE from law graduates both commercial and criminal law, the idea is for the Grads to gain practical experience supervised by the lecturers. Good luck.
inkrakow 1 | 98
19 May 2012 #3
@InWroclaw

I rent out several apartments and this is my understanding:
1. No
2 & 3. Depends on the agreement you have with them
4. Once you have a valid court order and another address to evict them to (it's illegal to evict people onto the street here).
5. Nothing is specified by law, but I'd suggest a passport/ID and confirmation of an address that they can be evicted to if the need should arise

6. Nothing is specified by law, but I usually have 6 or 12 month contracts with 1 months notice
7. You have to go through the court to evict them (see 4)
8. Depends on the agreement - it's usually easier for them to pay you and you pay it to your building coop

Due to the difficulty of evicting people if they don't pay, I usually rent to foreign professionals working here on short-term (6 or 12 month) contracts, take a month's deposit. If I rent to a Pole, we include an address that they agree then can be moved to in our agreement - it's a relatively new option under Polish law but I am not really sure how it works in practice. Hopefully I'll never need to find out.
OP InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
19 May 2012 #4
InWroclaw, Polish law for rental contracts is very ambiguous

Not got any problems, yet, just want to know where I stand. Thank you for that useful tip on the advice evenings!

@InKrakow, many thanks. Seems much is similar to English & Welsh law except that landlords generally need to give 2 months notice in E&W if a rolling contract, known as a statutory periodic tenancy. Also, seems Polish law requires an "evict to" address, which surprisingly E&W law does not. There's an example of Polish law being far more civilised, unless I am misunderstanding it.

Only thing I don't understand is how my landlord pays me for the monthly admin - by crediting it to my rent?

I've no intention of being a bad tenant and have very much A1 references from my UK letting agents going back 8 years, but I just wanted to know what's what so that I can determine whether any new Poland landlord I encounter is legitimate or a chancer.

InKrakow, Warszawski - again many thanks.
inkrakow 1 | 98
20 May 2012 #5
Seems much is similar to English & Welsh

Unfortunately, that's not true. There's no such thing as an AST in Poland and if the tenant stops paying or breaks the terms of the contract and you win the case in court (eventually), in practice there's often no way of legally evicting them. Things have got better in places like Krakow where students are pretty mobile and foreigners don't know about the weak Polish law, but tenants still hold pretty much all of the rights.
jon357 63 | 14,254
20 May 2012 #6
Re the monthly admin charge (czynsz) it is either included in the rent (in which case the landlord deals with it) or it isn't (in which case the tenant pays). The former is more usual than the latter unless the landlord lives a long way away. They don't always want the spoldzienie - or the tax office - to know they have a tenant.
OP InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
20 May 2012 #7
in practice there's often no way of legally evicting them.

I see, but I guess they send "The Boys" in if they want to get someone out.

All I'm looking for is a decent normal landlord who appreciates a good tenant with references. Made some enquiries at the cheaper end including the Daft site's ads - but everything is let (rented out already) so am having no luck. Seems pretty buoyant for realistic price landlords now.

Thanks Jon, all the ads I replied to mentioned the cztnsz as additional, although perhaps they would collect that and the rent together.

I'm still searching - they do definitely exist in my price range - but go quickly.
pantsless 1 | 267
21 May 2012 #8
"Wynajem" is the sum you pay for renting the property, czynsz is utilities (gas, water, elec), not the administration fee, which is included in the "czynsz".

If you own the property and its a co-op, then "czynsz" for you is the admin fee + other crap.

From my personal experience, most rental contracts are not worth the paper they are printed on, it's more of a gentlemen's agreement.
OP InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
1 Jun 2012 #9
Anyone tell me what this means in a property rental ad: wolne od zaraz

Thanks
strzyga 2 | 993
1 Jun 2012 #10
wolne od zaraz

Available now, meaning you can move in even today.
OP InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
1 Jun 2012 #11
Thank you strzyga
_____________

Am currently seeking someone to help me check a rental contract - either meet in person or can fax it to them for translation -

please see this thread
iwilldoit 3 | 7
1 Jun 2012 #12
I usually rent to foreign professionals working here on short-term

Hi. I see that you offer to rent your appartment which I am in need of.

Place is Krakow and move in ASAP because of my new job.

Please do let me know if you have anything. I am a full time worker.

Thanks
OP InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
30 Aug 2013 #13
Quick question regarding a change in the monthly rent I pay...

If the landlord agrees mid-tenancy to a rent reduction, how is that rent reduction formalised? In other words, does the landlord need to have the tenancy agreement amended and notarised to acknowledge the new, lower rent? Or do I just need a letter on paper with their signature agreeing the rent has been lowered? At the moment, it looks like any agreement to a lower rent would be via email only and the landlord's email address is an ordinary Hotmail account.
Kowalski 7 | 621
30 Aug 2013 #14
If I rent to a Pole, we include an address that they agree then can be moved to in our agreement

In practice if your tenant is a pregnant women or registered unemployed and some other specified cases you'd have to yourself find them the address to move out - which could be any substandard, 5 m2 per person , shared toilet etc place to live.
jukeee
30 Aug 2013 #15
I was talking to a guy who was going to buy a flat that had been "repossessed" due to owners not paying the mortgage he went to view the flat and the previous owners are still living there and if my friend buys the flat he would have to rent them a flat elsewhere for 1 month plus deposit to get them out and then it would only be if they agreed to it the previous owner told him that so far he has been living there rent free for 18months crazy laws for a crazy country
delphiandomine 83 | 17,771
30 Aug 2013 #16
In practice if your tenant is a pregnant women or registered unemployed and some other specified cases you'd have to yourself find them the address to move out

No, it doesn't quite work like that. They have to agree to the move - which means that in practice, they won't.

There are simple ways around this situation, however.
inkrakow 1 | 98
30 Aug 2013 #17
You need a court order to evict anyone who resides on the territory of Poland (a baliff won't just act your say so) and it can specify whether the local authority has the obligation to find them housing, or not. If the local authority has to take them on, you will likely have a problem on your hands as generally they don't have a lot of free habitable property. In practice, some landlords (in Warsaw, or so I've heard) do a deal whereby they renovate an uninhabitable place belonging to the local authority (e.g. structurally sound but with no water, electricity or gas etc), in return for the LA accepting the tenant. AFAIK, the need for the LA to house someone is for the specific cases you mention as well as if they're old or there are young children etc. Otherwise, the law changed a year or so ago and you can evict people to temporary accommodation (e.g. a labourer's hostel) where you pay the first month's rent and then they're on their own.

And of course, this being Poland where the tenants hold all the cards, it can take months to get a court order to evict someone...
OP InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
30 Aug 2013 #18
If the landlord agrees mid-tenancy to a rent reduction, how is that rent reduction formalised?

Anyone have an answer to this ^ ^ ^ or should I start a separate thread to grab the right person's attention?
poland_
30 Aug 2013 #19
If you used an agency ask them to make a new annex to the original agreement.
OP InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
30 Aug 2013 #20
Naaaaaaah. the agency washed their hands off right at the start, in fact the moment she took the fee. Absolute waste of space, she was. What do I do sans the agent? Do I need a lawyer or notary to do an annex? TIA.
poland_
30 Aug 2013 #21
So create an annex with the new information and both sign two copies, I would also send a copy of the annex to the agent.
OP InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
30 Aug 2013 #22
Just a document thingy agreeing the new lower figure? OK I can probably do that. Thanks, W. LOL the agent doesn't give a flying fig, I've never seen someone wash their hands of something so fast as she did, she didn't even answer a simple question about the meters nor landlord's possessions that I found when I moved in. She just ignored email after email that I sent in Polish. Not even a "I dunno". Worse than any British letting agent by miles. If you're saying I'm legally obliged to send a copy of the annex to the agent then I will, but otherwise it's about as likely to bear fruit as a lottery ticket.
jon357 63 | 14,254
30 Aug 2013 #23
f you're saying I'm legally obliged to send a copy of the annex to the agent then I will

It's often better to keep it all informal.
OP InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
30 Aug 2013 #24
Not to bother writing to the agent, or not to bother doing any annex? I'm not quite with you. It's the shocking noise from upstairs probably doing my head in again. Sounds like they're moving out, but it always sounds like that, and so far they're still here, making my life a misery. Anyway, thx Jon.
jon357 63 | 14,254
30 Aug 2013 #25
A gentleman's agreement with the owner might be one way forard.

Your noisy neighbours sound a horror though. Unless the flat is amazing in other ways, I think I'd want to move.
OP InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
30 Aug 2013 #26
Thanks Jon, but I'm not sure that'd be wise because the formal tenancy agreement states the rent as a certain figure, I'm not sure it's be wise to accept an email and nothing more for any new, lower figure.

Yes they are really not the sort of people anyone would choose to have as neighbours, despite their smart attire, warm, off to first communion wholesome family appearance, and brand new vehicles. Money doesn't mean decency of course, appearances can be very deceptive. They have apparently been really quite unpleasant for some years now to various other flats, not just who used to live in my flat (who legged it after a month).

How common is it for a landlord or owner to only require a deposit at the start of a tenancy and not also require some rent?

(In other words, the keys are handed over after the agreement is signed and just a deposit in cash is paid, with the first rent payment due within 10 days but the tenant is already able to move into the flat and live there before paying any actual rent.)

What legal recourse or what happens if the tenant does not pay that first rent on the 10th of the month when due?
garblecomrade
28 Nov 2017 #27
I am in problem with my wife and new born son in warszawa, poland.
we signed the room contract with owner on May 2017 for 1 year with one month notice. Rent was 1100zlt with all utilities with one month deposit as well.

Now owner said we are going to Increase your rent 1100zlt+500 more, more Even he said one month notice period you have to pay rent as well. When you will leave the property that day we will return your deposit but it will not adjust in last month. all those new things is not mention in the contract when we singed.

i told owner my situation is very bad and i will not pay any increases money and deposit which was not mentioned in the contract. but i promise to you i will pay your rent every month which was 1100zlt. but he refused me and said leave my property then this month 19th.

My son born here 2 moth ago in this flat.
I lost my job and my wife cannot do work cause she born baby recently.

please guide me what is best option or way i have go???/
inkrakow 1 | 98
28 Nov 2017 #28
He can't force you to leave without an eviction order from the court, and he won't get one because there's a child involved (under 13 years of age). Keep paying the original rent and get some proper legal advice - Polish law is very much on the tenants side and you have rights that are heavily protected.
Runlucyrun
19 Jun 2018 #29
Hi guys!
Long story short I had a very bad experience with the my Polish landlord this semester. I decided that it was better I just fled out of the flat, so yesterday (18.06) I just took all my stuff and went to a friend's house until I leave Poland.

I do not owe my landlord any money, since I just left her my deposit (instead of paying June). I didn't want to pay June as well because I suspected that she would extort money from me, as she did with the previous tenant and she had lots of money trouble. So to protect myself I only transferred her 100zl for the ┬źnormal use┬╗ of the flat for the 4 months I've been there and left.

I did not steal anything either, and cleaned more or less my room because I was scared or her, but I thought that the 100zl would cover the cleaning as well.

Now she messaged me that she called the police and that I will be flagged in the EU records, which I have no idea what it is. I am also worried she just told a bunch of lies to the police.

So my questions are ;
- What is this record?
- Does this have any effect on me while I'm still in Poland (can the police arrest me ??)
- Will this have an effect on me when I'll fly back to my country, going thru the borders? (Canada)
- Will this have an effect with me trying to get another flat in the EU in future years, hypothetically speaking?

Thank you very much for the info, it is very hard to find it ..
terri 1 | 1,634
19 Jun 2018 #30
I DO hope that she had informed the Tax authorities that she was renting the flat.. No, you have nothing to worry about, if she calls again just tell her that you will tell the tax authorities of the flat and the rent you were paying and the police that she is harassing you. .


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