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In addition to the general provisions of the Law on Obligations, the provisions of the Law on Housing and Building Maintenance also apply to a lease agreement for an apartment.

According to the Law on Housing and Building Maintenance, a lease agreement for an apartment must be concluded in written form between the apartment owner as the lessor and the person to whom the apartment is leased as the lessee. Therefore, written form is mandatory, unlike some other lease agreements to which the provisions of the Law on Obligations apply and which can be concluded verbally. The prescribed written form for a lease agreement does not require notarization by a notary.

According to the Law on Housing and Building Maintenance, a lease agreement for an apartment must specifically include: the place and date of the agreement, as well as information about the contracting parties; details about the leased apartment (address, apartment number, structure and size of the apartment, appliances and equipment provided in the apartment, and other essential characteristics of the apartment); the duration of the lease; the amount, method, and deadlines for rent payment; provisions regarding the mutual obligations of the contracting parties regarding the use and maintenance of the apartment, as well as the payment of management and maintenance costs for the building in which the apartment is located; conditions for terminating the agreement; provisions regarding the use of other premises that are not considered part of the apartment but are provided for use together with the apartment (e.g., a garage, etc.).

The lessor’s obligations include delivering the apartment, maintaining the apartment, and protecting the lessee in case of material or legal deficiencies.

The lessor is obligated to deliver the apartment to the lessee in a proper condition and maintain it in that condition during the lease period, undertaking necessary repairs. If the lessee has paid for the maintenance costs of the apartment, the lessor is obliged to reimburse them. On the other hand, the lessee bears the costs of minor repairs resulting from regular use of the apartment, as well as the costs of ordinary use. If necessary repairs significantly hinder the lessee’s use of the apartment for an extended period, the lessee has the right to terminate the agreement or demand a reduction in rent proportional to the limitation of use due to those repairs. The lessor cannot make modifications to the apartment during the lease period if it would hinder its use without the lessee’s consent. If the modifications diminish the use of the apartment to a certain extent, the lessee has the right to a corresponding reduction in rent.

The lessor is responsible to the lessee for all material (physical) deficiencies of the apartment that interfere with its agreed or regular use, regardless of whether they were known to the lessor or not, as well as for deficiencies in characteristics or qualities explicitly or implicitly provided for in the agreement. However, the lessor is not responsible for deficiencies in the apartment that were known to the lessee at the time of concluding the agreement or could not have remained unknown.

If a third party appears claiming rights to the leased apartment or unlawfully takes possession of it from the lessee, the lessee is obliged to inform the lessor about it. If it is determined that the third party has a right to the apartment that excludes the lessee’s right to full use of the apartment, the lease agreement is automatically terminated by law, and the lessor is obliged to compensate the lessee for the damages. However, if it is determined that the third party has a right to the apartment that restricts the lessee’s right to use, the lessee may, at their discretion, terminate the agreement or request a reduction in rent. In both cases, the lessee is entitled to compensation for damages.
The lessee’s obligations include using the apartment according to its intended purpose or as specified in the agreement. In the event of damage due to unauthorized use, the lessee is responsible for it, regardless of whether the lessee, sublessee, or any other person to whom the lessee has allowed the use of the apartment caused the damage. If unauthorized use persists after a warning from the lessor, or if the lessee neglects the maintenance of the apartment to the extent that there is a risk of significant damage to the lessor, the lessor can terminate the agreement without notice.

Regarding the rent, the lessee is obliged to pay it in the amount, manner, and within the payment deadlines specified in the agreement. Failure to pay the rent constitutes grounds for unilateral termination of the agreement by the lessor.

If the lessor expresses an intention to increase the rent amount or change the manner and payment deadlines during the lease, it is up to the lessee to accept or reject such a proposal. If the lessee agrees to the requested change, it is necessary to draft an addendum to the lease agreement that will specify the new rent amount, manner, or payment deadlines. On the other hand, if the lessee does not agree to the proposed changes, the lessor can terminate the agreement, but in that case, the lessor must respect the agreed notice period.

The lessee is responsible for preserving the apartment and returning it to the lessor undamaged at the end of the lease, in the same condition it was in at the time of handover, unless the lessee has made changes to it during the lease period. The lessee is not responsible for normal wear and tear resulting from regular use of the apartment or for damages that arise from the apartment’s natural aging.