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Can the landlord terminate the lease for any reason?

Updated: Oct 31, 2022

Apartment leases often contain termination provisions. Sometimes there are provisions that allow the landlord to terminate the contract with immediate effect, e.g. if the tenant does not pay the rent for one month on time. However, such provisions are inconsistent with Art. 11 of the Act on the protection of the rights of tenants, housing resources of the commune and amending the Civil Code.

Pursuant to the aforementioned act, the owner of the flat (landlord), who makes it available to the tenant for a fee, may terminate the tenancy agreement only in situations and in the manner provided for in the Act. The most common reasons for termination will be described below. However, it should be noted that these restrictions do not apply to the rental of non-residential premises or occasional rental of premises (even if it is a residential premises).

In the first place, the landlord has the right to terminate the lease agreement when the tenant:

  • uses the premises in a manner inconsistent with the contract or in accordance with its intended use, or

  • neglects his duties, allowing for damage or

  • he/she destroys appliances intended for shared use by residents, or

  • flagrantly or persistently violates the domestic order, making the use of other premises in the flat a nuisance.

This may mean, for example, running a business (e.g. restaurant) in an apartment or making frequent and very nuisance noise at night. First, the landlord is obliged to send a written reminder to the tenant, and only if the tenant ignores it, the landlord has the right to cancel the contract. The termination itself should be submitted not later than one month in advance, at the end of the calendar month, in writing and contain the reasons for the termination.

Failure to pay rent and other charges is the second most common cause of termination. Termination is allowed only when the tenant is in default with the payment of rent or other fees for using the premises for at least three full payment periods. However, the owner of the premises must first take the necessary actions - inform the tenant in writing about the intention to terminate the lease and set an additional monthly deadline for payment of outstanding and current receivables. The notice of termination must be submitted in writing no later than one month in advance, at the end of the calendar month. It must indicate the reason for the termination.

Also one month ahead, at the end of the calendar month, the owner may terminate the lease agreement if the tenant rents, sublets or gives the premises or part of it for free use without the required consent of the owner. Of course, this does not apply if the landlord's consent is not required under the contract. As in the above cases, the termination must be in writing, including the reasons for terminating the contract.

However, what if the parties agreed in the contract other reasons or different notice periods than those provided for by the law? Such provisions are invalid and therefore the parties are not bound by them. Statutory solutions are applied in their place.

Finally, one more reservation should be made - in accordance with Art. 673 § 3 of the Civil Code, if the duration of the lease is fixed, both the landlord and the tenant may terminate the lease only in the cases specified in the contract. Therefore, it is not enough that the owner of the apartment is not able to terminate the contract for reasons other than those specified in the Act in question - he also has to make sure that the statutory reasons are included in the contract. Otherwise, one-sided termination of the lease may turn out to be impossible or significantly difficult. Before concluding a lease contract, it is worth considering what provisions (and the form of the contract itself) will best protect our interests and, if necessary, consult a lawyer.

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