Czech Renters’ Rights: Demanding Repairs and Ensuring Livable Conditions

Renters in the Czech Republic have the right to request that their landlords make necessary repairs to their rental properties, and if the landlord doesn’t comply, the renter has the right to seek a reduction in rent or even terminate the lease. This legislation is in place to protect renters from uninhabitable living conditions and ensure that landlords are held responsible for maintaining their properties.

One woman in Prague, Pavla, experienced this firsthand when she rented a tiny attic apartment in a residential building. Shortly after moving in, she noticed water leaking from the ceiling. The building manager, acting on behalf of the landlord, initially refused to offer any rent reduction and promised to repair the issue. However, months went by with no action, and Pavla had to repeatedly contact the manager to get a response.

According to Czech law, renters have the right to live in a rental property that is in good condition and appropriate for its intended use throughout their lease. If the landlord fails to make needed repairs, the renter has the right to request a reduction in rent and, in some cases, the right to terminate the lease without notice.

In Pavla’s case, after months of waiting, she sent a written request to the manager demanding the repairs be made within two months, or she would seek a rent reduction. The landlord replied that they had plans to fix the issue but offered no timeline for when it would be done. Eventually, an outside contractor was brought in to make repairs but required 14 days of uninterrupted access to the apartment, forcing Pavla to rearrange her schedule.

While the law is on the renter’s side in these situations, renters are also responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the rental property. Regular cleaning and upkeep of the apartment are expected, and renters are typically accountable for minor repairs like fixing a broken light switch or plumbing issue.

However, there is a financial limit to how much renters can pay for repairs. If the cost of repairs exceeds 100 CZK per square meter of floor space per calendar year, the landlord is responsible for any additional fees. This limit does not apply to damages caused by the renter or their guests.

Renters in the Czech Republic need to understand their rights and responsibilities regarding rental properties. If a renter experiences issues with their rental property, they should document the situation and contact their landlord in writing. If the problem is not resolved, they can seek legal assistance and pursue a rent reduction or termination of the lease.

Article by Prague Forum

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