Rents in Poland – Guide To Agreements and Responsibilities

Not all of us can afford to buy our own property in Poland. That’s when renting an apartment or house becomes a necessity. The most common type of rental agreement landlords use is the traditional residential rent agreement. It doesn’t require any extra hoops to jump through, unlike the occasional or institutional rent. If you want simplicity, this type of agreement is for you.

The Traditional 12 Month Rental Agreement

I know, you might be wondering, „What’s so special about this 'traditional’ agreement?” Well, it can be made for any duration (typical is 12 months), unlike occasional or institutional leases. This flexibility, I believe, makes it the go-to choice for many.

A rental agreement, whether for a house or an apartment, is an essential document for both the landlord and the tenant. It’s a foundation that helps settle any disputes that might arise. Remember, clarity in this document is in the interest of both parties.

Rents in Poland

Let me say it straight: a rental agreement binds the landlord to provide the property to the tenant for use for a defined or undefined period, while the tenant is obligated to pay the agreed-upon rent. The rent can be specified in money or in other forms of benefits.

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Now, let’s delve into what an agreement should entail:

  • The date and place of the agreement.
  • Details of the parties involved: names, Company ID number/Vat Number, and for individuals, identity document numbers.
  • The duration of the agreement.
  • Termination conditions.
  • A detailed description of the property, including its condition, amenities, and size.
  • The amount of rent, along with its breakdown.
  • The rules for bearing operational costs.
  • The mode of rent payment.
  • Rights and responsibilities of each party, including usage, liability for damages, and repairs.
  • Provisions for subletting the property to third parties.
  • Additional provisions (for example, regarding security deposit, list of occupants).
  • Final provisions.
  • Signatures of both parties.

Remember, you need to understand the importance of a well-drafted rental agreement. It’s your best defense against any potential disputes or issues that might crop up during your tenancy.

Rental Agreement – What You Need to Keep in Mind

According to the Civil Code, a property rent agreement that lasts longer than 12 months needs to be put in writing. If not, it’s considered an indefinite-term contract. See? Already a valuable tip, right there.

Let’s not forget, there are rules about protecting the rights of tenants too. They state that you should prepare a delivery and acceptance protocol before handing over the property to the tenant.

The Delivery and Acceptance Protocol

In this protocol, both the landlord and tenant define the technical condition of the property and the level of wear and tear of installations and devices present. This protocol, I can tell, forms the basis of any future settlements when the property is returned.

The delivery and acceptance protocol should be annexed to the lease agreement, defining the condition of the property at the time it’s handed over to the tenant.

Defined or Undefined Period of Time

A rent agreement can be made for a defined or undefined period. An agreement for a defined period should clearly state the duration – specifically, the start and end dates. In a rent agreement for residential purposes, it’s wise to specify that the tenant can’t conduct business activities on the property.

Rents in Poland

Responsibilities and Liabilities

The lease/rent agreement should also specify who’s responsible for conducting regular repairs and maintenance at their own cost. Here’s a tip: be specific about these repairs.

When it comes to major renovations, the lease agreement should indicate that these are the landlord’s responsibility.

It’s common for lease agreements to include a clause forbidding the tenant from making any property improvements or structural changes without the owner’s consent.

Let’s imagine: the tenant made improvements without the landlord’s consent. Now, the landlord has the choice to either keep the improvements by paying an amount equal to their value at the time of return, or demand a return to the original state.

Other Provisions in the Rent Agreement

What about other provisions? Well, they could include a clause prohibiting smoking and pet ownership.

When outlining rights and obligations, the agreement should specify the tenant’s liability for any damages caused in the property.

The landlord may also reserve the right to inspect the property in the lease agreement and specify the method for enforcing access rights.

Finally, it is worth to say, it’s a good idea to include a clause prohibiting the subleasing of the property to third parties without the landlord’s consent.

Apartment Condition – Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities

The first is to provide the apartment in the condition as stated in the contract. It’s quite straightforward: you promise a certain condition, you need to deliver it. The second responsibility is to ensure that all existing facilities and utilities function properly.

I’m talking about water, gas, heating, electricity, elevators, and other equipment that are part of the apartment or building.

On the flip side, if you’re a tenant, there are some key duties too. They are:

  • Paying the rent and any other charges in a timely manner as per the agreement,
  • Keeping the apartment in good technical and hygienic conditions,
  • Respecting the house rules,
  • Using the apartment as per the contract and its designated purpose.

Terminating a Rental Agreement

It’s worth to say, the method of terminating the contract should be defined in the agreement. If it isn’t, then the rules for terminating the lease stated in the Civil Code apply.

Rents in Poland

If you’re dealing with an indefinite-term lease, it can be terminated by either party under the conditions laid out in the contract. If the lease doesn’t mention its duration, or if it’s not clearly defined by circumstances, then the following notice periods apply:

  • One month in advance at the end of a calendar month, if the rent is paid monthly,
  • At least three months in advance at the end of a calendar quarter, if the rent is paid at intervals longer than a month,
  • Three days in advance if the rent is paid at intervals shorrter than a month,
  • One day in advance if the lease is daily.

No matter what type of lease you have, the parties can always mutually agree to end the agreement. In such a case, the notice period is individually agreed by the tenant and landlord.

Reasons for Immediate Termination of Rent

Now, I think it is worth saying, a landlord can terminate the lease without notice under certain circumstances. The scenarios that warrant such immediate termination include:

  • The tenant grossly and persistently violates the house rules,
  • The tenant delays rent payment for at least two full months, even after a payment deadline extension,
  • The tenant misuses the apartment or its equipment contrary to the agreement or purpose, or neglects it to the point of risk of damage or loss, despite a warning from the landlord,
  • The tenant sublets or allows free use of the rented apartment or part of it without the landlord’s written permission.

Security Deposit for Rental Properties

If you’re planning to rent a house or an apartment, you need to know that the landlord has the right to ask for a kaucja, a security deposit, when you sign the lease. The deposit acts as a safety net for the landlord to cover the rental costs.

But, I think it’s worth saying, the deposit can’t exceed 12 times the rent for the place, and in the case of najem okazjonalny (occasional rent), it’s limited to six times the rent. If you leave the property in the same condition as when you moved in, you’ll get your full deposit back.

In the case of najem okazjonalny, the deposit could also cover potential legal costs linked to initiating court proceedings against a tenant.

Occasional and Institutional Rent

Allow me to explain other types of rental agreements – the najem okazjonalny and najem instytucjonalny (institutional rent).

The najem okazjonalny applies when the property owner, a private individual, does not run a business related to renting properties. This agreement can only be made for a specified period, not longer than 10 years.

The najem okazjonalny is a type of residential lease where the tenant voluntarily commits to move out after the contract ends.

Rents in Poland

This agreement doesn’t differ much from a standard residential lease, except that it includes declarations from both the tenant and the property owner about the property the tenant will move to after the rental period ends. Thease declarations are made in the presence of a notary.

The najem okazjonalny, besides the declarations from the tenant and property owner, can have a regular written form. The contract must be reported to the tax office within 14 days from the start of the lease.

Upon request from the tenant, the property owner must provide confirmation of reporting the lease to the proper tax office.

Institutional Rent Agreement

The najem instytucjonalny is also an agreement for a specified period, although the duration isn’t predefined. This kind of lease is made by an individual, legal entity, or organization that’s not a legal entity but operates a business in property rentals.

The najem instytucjonalny agreement includes a tenant’s declaration in the form of a notarial act, where the tenant submits to eviction and agrees to vacate and hand over the property used on the basis of the institutional rental agreement within the period specified in the owner’s request.

The tenant acknowledges that in the event of the need to fulfill the above obligation, the right to social housing or temporary accommodation does not apply.

So, I believe, when you decide to rent a house or an apartment, don’t forget to verify the legal title of the property with the person you are entering into the agreement with. The confirmation of property rights is primarily a notarial deed or a printout from the land and mortgage register.

I know, it sounds like a lot of formalities, but they are necessary to ensure that everything is legal and secure.