Many Ukrainians who came to Poland because of the war are currently actively looking for a place to rent or are already renting a place. We offer some recommendations regarding renting housing and tell whether tenants can be evicted early.
Do not agree to rent without a contract
The contract is the main document that must be signed before you move into this apartment. This is the only document that fully guarantees compliance with your rights as a tenant. It also tells you what responsibility you have for the property and what rules you should follow when renting. You will also know how long the period you are given after the notice to end the tenancy is, so you don’t have to worry if the landlord tells you to leave straight away. Of course, you should understand what contract you are signing and not agree to it blindly. If the landlord concluded the contract only in Polish, you can ask him for a translation, or personally contact a translator or a lawyer who will check the provisions contained in it.
Check the property when you check-in
Currently, the situation in the housing market is quite difficult, so many people very often decide to put down a deposit or reserve their chosen property before they even see it. However, this is risky for several reasons. Such actions provide ample opportunities for fraudsters, who more than once lured out a deposit for an apartment, and then disappeared. In order not to be left without an apartment and money, it is better not to pay in advance. Another situation is that the quality of the apartments in the photos often differs from how they look in reality. That is why it is so important to check their status before signing the contract. This will allow you to avoid the situation of living in inhumane conditions. It is worth remembering that you are not required to deposit before signing the contract, in fact, for your good and safety, you should do it only after signing the documents.
The landlord cannot raise the rent immediately
What many people don’t understand is that the mere fact that someone is a landlord does not give anyone the right to raise the rent at any moment. These issues are regulated by the Law on the Protection of Tenants’ Rights. According to its provisions, the termination of the old rent for the introduction of a new one must take place three months in advance. There is also a difference between rent valorization and a rent increase. When we talk about valorization, the landlord has the right to increase the rent by the inflation rate of the previous year. If the rent increase does not depend on inflation, then the landlord must justify his decision, for example, by increasing the payment.
How to find an apartment for rent?
In connection with the influx of millions of people to Poland, many experiences great difficulties in finding housing. The situation is not eased by inflation, due to which apartment prices have skyrocketed in recent months. However, it’s worth keeping an eye on rental offers as new listings appear daily. Also, as before, many people offer free help and housing.
Can I be evicted from a rented house in Poland?
The short answer to this question is yes. But it is not always quite simple. And an important role in the regulation of this issue is played by the signed lease agreement, which usually specifies all the requirements and obligations of the parties. Therefore, signing this agreement should not be taken lightly. It should be noted right away that a careful study of the lease agreement can save you from many problems in the future. Moreover, there are two basic types of lease agreements in Poland:
- traditional (Tradycyjna umowa najmu);
- a temporary lease agreement (Umowa name okazjonalnego), which is often called an “occasional” agreement.
And one of the key differences between these agreements lies precisely in the clause related to eviction. A traditional contract can be signed for a fixed or indefinite period. A fixed-term lease is usually signed for 1-2 years. The lease agreement for an indefinite period does not specify the term of the lease, but, in most cases, it provides a clause according to which the tenant must notify the landlord in advance (usually 3 months in advance) about the expiration of the term. In turn, Umowa name okazjonalnego uklajetsya for a certain period (up to 10 years) and has additional guarantees for the owner.
Eviction procedure under a traditional lease agreement
A traditional lease agreement provides greater security for tenants. After signing this document, the landlord must have a good reason for refusing housing to residents, namely, rent arrears (more than two months), damage to the premises or property, or use of the rented premises for a purpose other than its intended purpose, including its transfer for use by third parties (subleased). Moreover, even in the presence of any of the specified violations of the contract, the owner does not have the right to immediately evict the tenants. First, he must give a written warning, and only then, if the residents do not respond to the appeal, the landlord can insist on early termination of the agreement.
When it is not possible to resolve the conflict by the agreement of the parties, the owner can apply to the court. And, if the court recognized the landlord’s right, the tenant has one month to move out. It is worth noting that if the tenant is a person with disabilities, a pregnant woman, or an unemployed person, the court can make a decision on forced eviction only when the person has received social housing from the government. And the tenant can continue to live in the rented apartment for the entire period, while they are looking for another option for living.
Eviction procedure under a temporary (occasional) lease agreement
The main difference between Umowa’s name okazjonalnego and the usual lease agreement is that the tenant must indicate in the document a certain address in Poland, where he can leave in the event of early termination of the agreement. To do this, a third party (the owner of the apartment at the specified address) must confirm this possibility and readiness to accept the person in case of unforeseen circumstances with a notary.
It is necessary to clarify that currently, according to the law, citizens of Ukraine do not have the right to request the provision of another residential address as a backup option. Ukrainians who came to Poland because of the war are only asked to sign a declaration regarding the voluntary vacating of the residential premises based on the lease agreement.
Nevertheless, according to the general rules, an occasional rental agreement can be prematurely terminated by the lessor without the right to appeal this decision in court, provided that the lessee violates at least one clause of the condition. And according to this contract, the tenant must vacate the rented accommodation within 14 days (unless otherwise specified in the contract). As a rule, an additional guarantee for the tenant when signing such an agreement is the execution of a security deposit (deposit) – it is returned to the tenant on the condition that all obligations are fulfilled after the expiration of the agreement.