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What is the correct way to conclude an amendment to a lease agreement?

The extension of a lease agreement by way of an amendment is a relatively common topic that people contact us with. They ask us because they are not sure whether in some cases it is just an extension of the contract, or whether the amendment changes the contract in some significant way.

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We can amend the lease agreement to modify anything that is not in the lease agreement but that we decide to modify after the fact (for example, the rent due date) or something that is in the agreement but we wish to change (for example, to modify the rent, the length of the lease or other items).

Tip: If you have a fixed-term contract and want to extend it, you do not need to sign an amendment to the contract. When the lease expires, you can continue to use the property as before. If this suits both parties, the lease will be automatically extended. The condition is that the property is used in this mode for at least three months. Thereafter, the fixed-term contract will be converted into an open-ended contract. Everything else written in the contract remains in force.

Increase of advances by means of an addendum

One of the typical purposes of a lease amendment is to increase deposits. The landlord of the flat or house has the obvious right to adjust the amount of the deposit at any time during the year, but it is necessary to inform the tenant of the change well in advance and deliver the information in writing. Deposits can then be requested the following month at the new rate. If, however, the tenant’s payment includes all other payments in addition to the rent and so he pays a single amount, then it is by way of an amendment to the contract that the deposits must be increased. In such a case, a mere notification of the change is not sufficient, but the signature of both parties is necessary.

Increase in rent by way of an amendment

Rent increases can be enshrined directly in the contract, in the sense of setting out the mechanism or procedure by which and when the rent is increased. However, if it is a sudden idea of the landlord, then this can be done in several ways. The typical approach in today’s chain of fixed-term leases is to wait until the agreed lease term has expired and then negotiate a new lease with a new rent level. For open-ended contracts, the typical procedure is to use an amendment to the lease.Of course, this can also be done for fixed-term contracts. In both cases, the documents must be in writing and need to be signed by both parties.

Tip: The government has prepared a set of proposals to help protect tenants. Landlords would no longer be able to chain leases endlessly. On the other hand, the ability to evict an apartment should be speeded up again.

From law practice: Landlord attempted to abrogate a previously valid contractual provision in an addendum

Ms. Heda sent us an addendum to her lease because she did not like one particular provision that the landlord added to the lease. She was right, it was suspicious at best. By using the sentence in question, the landlord was trying to revoke the consent to the sublease that he had previously guaranteed to Mrs. Heda and that she was using.

The subletting would thus be a breach of contract and the landlord could flexibly terminate the lease at any time. This is because an unauthorised sublet is considered a gross breach of the lease agreement directly by law and would leave the landlord free to terminate the agreement early.

However, after our intervention, the sublet remained in the contract and Mrs. Heda was able to continue renting the apartment without any worries.

Real Estate Purchase or Sale

We provide a complete package of services for both landlords and tenants. We will draft or review all lease/rental contracts, help with extension or termination of lease, and make sure everything takes place smoothly and without legal complications. You’re also welcome to pay after services are provided.

Tip: The rent is one of the most important parts of the rental agreement. We will therefore focus on it, especially from the landlord’s point of view. Before signing a lease, you should think carefully about how and how much rent you want to pay and whether and how you want to increase it in the future. If you have already concluded a contract but the tenant refuses to pay, we can advise you on how to proceed.

What to watch out for?

According to the Civil Code, a written contract can only be amended in writing. This also applies to the lease of an apartment. An amendment to the lease agreement requires a written form. A handshake or a confirmation in a text message is not sufficient to guarantee an agreement.

Number the addenda carefully so that it is clear in retrospect which version of the contract they actually follow. So always label them as Appendix 1, 2 and so on. And for your peace of mind we add: If you forget the numbering, it does not automatically invalidate the addendum.

Can someone else act for the landlord?

The parties to the addendum are the same as those who entered into the original lease between them. However, it does not matter if someone else acts for them each time. For example, if there is a new managing director in the company, he or she signs the addendum to the lease, not the managing director who has already left. The same is true for the authorised representatives.

A successor to the original party, for example an heir to a leased apartment to whom the rights and obligations under the contract have passed, may also sign the addendum.

Do you have any doubts about an addendum to a lease agreement? We will be happy to advise and help you!

Tip: Looking for an apartment for rent? Do you own a rental house? How to rent an apartment in private ownership? Whether you are a tenant or a landlord looking to rent out your property, find out what all the details of a tenancy agreement should be. This will prevent potential disputes and misunderstandings that often end up in court. We will also touch on the topics of leases of non-residential premises, cottages, land or garages and vehicles.

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Real Estate Purchase or Sale

We provide a complete package of services for both landlords and tenants. We will draft or review all lease/rental contracts, help with extension or termination of lease, and make sure everything takes place smoothly and without legal complications. You’re also welcome to pay after services are provided.

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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.

  • 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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