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How to avoid the risks associated with termination of the lease?

Are you about to move out of your rented apartment and want to give notice? Read on to find out what the risks are from a tenant’s point of view. If you know about them, you can easily avoid them.

3 minutes of reading

From law practice: The landlord refused to return the security deposit after the proper termination of the lease

Romana contacted us for help. She was struggling with a classic problem that often occurs when terminating a lease. She had duly terminated the lease, handed over the apartment in good order, and logically expected to have everything sorted out. All that remained was for the landlord to return the security deposit he had withheld.

However, the complications were yet to begin. One morning, Romana discovered a registered letter in her new mailbox, demanding compensation for the damage to her apartment from her former landlord. He also warned her that he would not give her any security deposit. The damage, he said, exceeded it.

We advised Mrs. Romana how to defend herself. She found the handover report, which she and the landlord’s mother had fortunately signed when she handed over the apartment to her. The report clearly showed that the apartment was indeed in perfect order, apart from a few window panes and the cooker, due to a minor accident with the hookah. The landlord then relented on the basis of a letter from our law firm and accepted only half of the security deposit as compensation.

When and how can you give notice of termination of the lease?

A tenant can givenotice of termination of a lease agreed for an indefinite period at any time, even without giving reasons, within three months’ notice, unless the contractually agreed notice period is different.

A tenant may givenotice of termination of a fixed-term lease if the circumstances on which the parties based the lease agreement change to such an extent that the tenant cannot reasonably be required to continue the lease. Thus, for example, if a lease of a flat is agreed for a fixed term of five years and the tenant is obliged to move to another town two years after the commencement of the lease because of a change of employment, the tenant cannot be required to continue the lease and a notice of termination of the lease of the flat will therefore be in order.

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How do I terminate my lease early?

If you as a tenant want to leave the apartment early, it is possible to conclude an agreement to end the lease. However, the landlord must agree to this. In this case, the three-month notice period does not have to be observed.

A settlement agreement can also be part of the termination of the tenancy, which includes disputes, doubts or obligations that need to be clarified in the contractual relationship between the landlord and tenant (for example, rent arrears, damage to equipment, etc.). Such a clause is highly recommended.

Don’t forget the handover report

Whether the tenancy is terminated by agreement or by termination of the tenancy, the handover report is an important part of the handover. According to the law, handover is the moment when the landlord receives the keys to the flat and can use it without any problems. A record needs to be made of this, which takes into account the state of the energy meters in addition to any defects.

Are you a landlord about to give notice to your tenant? Then this article is more for you.

Do you need advice on terminating your tenancy agreement? Have you got into a difficult situation because of the landlord’s actions? We will be happy to help you.

Tip: Is your lease with your tenant coming to an end? How long after the end of the lease does the tenant have to vacate the apartment? When can you enter the apartment yourself and what can be done if the tenant refuses to vacate?

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

Education
  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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