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5 common myths about the rental market


5 common myths about the rental market

Lia Siht, the Head of Legal and Compliance at Rendin, gives an overview of the biggest misconceptions about the rental market among landlords and tenants. They mainly concern the rights or obligations of both parties during the rental period.

Myth: The landlord does not have to allow the tenant to register the residence

Every person has the right to register the residence where they actually live, even if they are leasing it. ‘For some reason, landlords are afraid that if the tenant registers their residence, they will have an official right to their property. However, this is not the case; the registration is a temporary entry that reflects the address of the current residence,’ explains Lia Siht. ‘If the tenant has not changed the registration after moving out, the owner can do it themselves when the rental agreement is terminated,’ confirms the expert.

This is an essential topic for almost all the tenants because registration of residence is necessary, for example, to get on the list of the family doctor in the region, to apply for different benefits, to provide information in the employment contract, and, for foreigners, to extend the existing residence permit.

  • The official state portal provides an overview of rights and instructions for submitting an application of registering residence.

Myth: The landlord can put any clauses that they want in the agreement

The landlords mistakenly think they can include any clauses they want in the rental agreement. For example, unilaterally terminating the contract with a one-month notice period is a common practice but invalid in the eyes of the law.

The agreement cannot be prejudicial to either party – it must reflect the landlord's and tenant's general arrangements, rights, and obligations. Furthermore, the agreement's content must follow the Law of Obligations Act, for example, when it comes to the terms and conditions for terminating the lease contract. If it is not compliant, it becomes null and void and cannot be used to solve serious misunderstandings.

The same applies to contractual penalties – they must be included in the agreement in accordance with the law. Contractual penalties can be used when there is a severe contract violation, for example, the lessee smoking in the apartment despite the ban or doing unauthorised construction work. The limit of the contractual penalty is also set by law: the penalty cannot exceed 10% of the sum of one month's rent, accessory expenses, and building and improvement costs, and the sum of all fines in one month cannot exceed 20% of that sum.

Myth: Problems in the rental home are the responsibility of the landlord

Rented premises are still the property of the owner, who is responsible for the general maintenance of the premises, including maintenance of technical systems and maintenance resulting from natural wear and tear of equipment. The landlord must consider that items/objects inevitably depreciate, such as interior decoration, appliances, and furniture. Therefore, as years go by, the landlord must renovate the premises and replace old technical devices and pieces of furniture.

Therefore, the landlord cannot require the tenant to repair or replace a washing machine when it has simply reached the end of its life expectancy. However, they can ask the tenant to independently change light bulbs or replace a wall mirror they have accidentally broken.

Myth: Families with children cannot be evicted from a rental home

Eviction from a rental home is the worst way to end a rental relationship. It is a rather serious situation and unpleasant for all parties involved. However, if it turns out to be necessary, one must act thoughtfully and follow the law very precisely.

Often, landlords do not want to offer rental space to families with children because they think the formal eviction process would be very difficult or even impossible. However, the procedure is the same for single tenants and tenants with children. The main thing is to ensure that all the eviction steps are executed according to the law.

If a person with children has a place to live, even temporarily, after eviction, social assistance will not be provided. However, if the tenant does not have a new place to live, social service is involved for the safety of the children and for them to find a stable place to live.

Myth: Families with pets or children always cause problems

''Our experience at Rendin shows that owners with children and/or pets do not cause more problems than single or cohabiting lessees. A recent survey of lessors carried out by Rendin shows that a problematic situation with a lessee means rent and/or utility payment arrears in almost 45% of cases,'' says Lia Siht.

Instead, the property owner should ensure that the size of the living space they offer and the size of the family moving there is proportionate. The quality of life is better if each family member has enough room. This also means slower depreciation.

Key learning points

  1. Tenants have the right to make a residence registration in the apartment they rent.

  2. The landlord can only impose conditions in the rental agreement which are in line with the Law of Obligations.

  3. The landlord is responsible for the functioning of the rented property.

  4. It is possible to evict the tenants – adults and minors – if necessary.

  5. Tenants with pets and/or children do not automatically mean problems.