Renting a Residential Apartment

On this page, we will discuss the process of renting from both the tenant’s and the landlord’s perspectives.

A residential apartment lease binds its parties and can be either for a fixed term or indefinitely ongoing. When renting out a room or an apartment for residential purposes, the Tenancy Act comes into effect. The binding nature of the lease agreement is assessed based on the content of the signed lease agreement and any other possible evidence.

Let us help you!

Our experts assist and ensure that your interests are taken into account in all situations related to renting a residential apartment.

Landlord - Termination of the Lease Agreement

A landlord may find themselves in a situation where they need to terminate an ongoing lease agreement. There can be various reasons for this. Before taking any actions, it’s important to carefully determine whether there are legal grounds for ending the lease. Terminating a lease agreement without valid reasons can prove costly for the landlord. A landlord can terminate the lease agreement through either giving notice or canceling it. “Cancellation” refers to the immediate termination of the lease without a notice period.

Legally, a lease agreement involves a contract relating to property rights. It's advisable to always have the agreement in writing, even though a lease right agreed upon without a concrete contract is binding. Changes to the tenancy during the rental period should also be documented in a written agreement. It's important to note that if a lease agreement is verbally agreed upon, it's considered to have been established indefinitely. Therefore, a fixed-term lease must always be in writing.

After making the lease agreement, the tenant gains the right to use and occupy the residential apartment from the landlord, according to the terms of the contract. It's a common practice for the tenant to have exclusive rights to the apartment, and the landlord generally cannot use it without a separate agreement between the parties. In specific situations, the landlord might have the right to access the apartment without permission, for instance, to inspect the condition of the apartment or to show it to potential buyers.

According to the law, rent must be paid no later than the second day of the month from the beginning of the rental payment period, unless otherwise agreed in the lease agreement. The rental payment period is typically a month, but the rent is paid for a mutually agreed-upon period between the parties. The lease agreement can also stipulate advance rent payment, but there must be a specific reason for it, and the advance payment cannot cover more than three months in advance. The amount of rent is based on the agreement and is binding on both parties.

There might be a need for the landlord to later increase the rent, and it's common for lease agreements to tie the rent to changes in the consumer price index or the cost of living index. However, the rent amount must not be unreasonable. If the rent is either unreasonably high or too low, the parties can bring the matter to the court's consideration if necessary.

Termination of Lease Agreement

Termination of a lease agreement usually occurs through the tenant’s voluntary termination, which does not require any specific reasons. According to the law, the tenant’s notice period is one month, calculated from the last day of the calendar month in which the notice was given, unless otherwise agreed. The tenant’s notice period cannot be extended through a contract.

When the landlord terminates a lease agreement that has been in effect for at least a year, the legal notice period is a minimum of six months. If the tenancy has been shorter, the notice period is reduced to three months. In order to obtain immediate protection against termination, the tenant must, while the tenancy is ongoing and within three months of receiving the notice, file a lawsuit in court to declare the termination ineffective. The landlord’s termination can be declared ineffective. This is possible if the court considers the termination unreasonable based on the tenant’s circumstances and if there was no valid reason for the termination. Indirect protection against termination can be sought by the tenant even up to three years after the end of the tenancy. In this case, the court will consider whether the termination of the tenancy was contrary to good manners.

Cancellation of Lease Agreement

The grounds for cancelling a residential lease are significantly stricter compared to the grounds for giving notice. The grounds for cancellation are exhaustively listed in Section 61 of the Residential Lease Act. The most common grounds for cancellation are unpaid rents or disruptive behavior by the tenant in the rented premises. For the latter ground, the landlord is obliged to provide the tenant with a warning before initiating the cancellation process. If the tenant’s behavior continues despite the warning, the lease can be cancelled. However, if the grounds for cancellation are related to rent payment default, giving a warning is not a prerequisite for cancellation. Instead, the general condition applies that the tenant’s default should have a significance greater than minor to warrant the cancellation of the lease. For instance, a situation where the tenant has once paid the rent a couple of days late does not justify the cancellation of the lease agreement.

A landlord can cancel the lease by providing the tenant with a cancellation notice. The cancellation notice should mention the grounds for cancellation. Additionally, it's advisable to include in the cancellation notice the date of the lease termination and information about when the tenant should vacate the premises by. The termination date can be the same day the cancellation notice is delivered to the tenant. The move-out date can be no earlier than the day following the termination date. On the move-out day, the tenant should leave half of the premises under the landlord's control. On the day following the move-out day, the entire premises should be handed back to the landlord. The cancellation notice should be delivered to the tenant in a verifiable manner. In practice, this means that the tenant acknowledges the receipt of the cancellation notice with their own signature, either electronically or physically. The cancellation notice cannot be left in the tenant's mailbox with the assumption that the notice will be considered received this way.

If a tenant refuses to voluntarily vacate a residential premises, the lease needs to be terminated through a court decision. An eviction lawsuit is handled in the District Court as a "summarily" resolved dispute. In a summary dispute, a lighter process is applied compared to other lawsuits. Typically, an eviction case is resolved with a one-sided judgment. With a one-sided judgment, the landlord can request enforcement of the eviction, which involves seeking assistance from the enforcement authorities to carry out the eviction. The enforcement authorities generally organize the eviction by notifying the tenant of the move-out date. The tenant is usually given around three weeks to move out. If the tenant hasn't vacated the premises by that date, the enforcement authorities can forcibly remove them from the premises and dispose of any valueless belongings left behind.

The eviction process usually takes several months. As a landlord, it's important to be prepared for the possibility that the premises will be vacant within approximately 3 to 6 months after the eviction process is initiated in the District Court.

Subletting refers to the situation where a tenant subleases the apartment to one or more subtenants. Subletting has become more common with the rise of platforms like Airbnb. Airbnb refers to short-term rentals where either the entire apartment or a part of it is made available to another user. When a tenant subleases their apartment, they always need the landlord's permission. From the landlord's perspective, this increases their responsibilities, such as notifying both the original tenant and the subtenant about terminations or cancellations.

Subletting involves the tenant leasing only a part of the apartment to another party for compensation, usually rent. The original landlord is not a party to this sublease agreement. Unlike subleasing, subletting doesn't usually require the landlord's permission if it doesn't cause significant harm to the landlord. In contrast to subleasing, landlords can't prevent subletting by including a clause in the lease agreement. In a sublease, the original tenant acts as the landlord to the subtenant and is responsible for their actions towards the property owner.

A tenant has the option to temporarily assign the entire residential apartment for another person's use if they need to reside in another location due to work, studies, illness, or other reasons. Temporary assignments can be made for a maximum of two years. The tenant must inform the landlord in writing about the temporary assignment at least one month in advance. The landlord can object to the assignment if there's a valid reason. A valid reason might include foreseeing that the assignee's behavior could lead to the landlord terminating the lease agreement. If a dispute arises, the landlord has the option to bring the objection before a court within 14 days of receiving the notice.

General Information
Debt collection involves the process of seeking payment from a debtor for an unpaid invoice that has passed its due date. Debt collection can be carried out through voluntary collection, also known as letter collection, or through legal collection, which involves filing a lawsuit with the competent district court. To ensure effective and prompt debt collection, it's advisable to contact a professional as soon as the invoice becomes overdue. We can handle the entire debt collection process if needed.

Typically, the first step involves sending a debt collection letter, also known as a payment demand, to the debtor. After receiving the payment demand, the debt cannot become statute-barred. The payment demand includes the overdue amount, accumulated interest, late fees, and debt collection costs. If the debtor fails to pay even after receiving the payment demand, legal measures can be taken to recover the debt. After obtaining a court judgment, the debt becomes enforceable, allowing the bailiff to seize the debtor's income or assets if necessary.

When a professional handles the process, debtors usually settle the debt more quickly. This allows business owners to focus on managing their operations while professionals handle the collection of overdue invoices. Professional assistance is particularly crucial if a debtor disputes the debt or if the non-payment is due to reasons other than insolvency.

Debt Collection - Summary Dispute Cases
For uncontested debt collection cases, a simplified summons application can be filed. Uncontested debt collection cases fall under the category of summary dispute cases. An uncontested debt collection case implies that the debtor hasn't disputed the claim, meaning they haven't contested its basis or amount. The precondition for the simplified summons application is that the creditor believes the matter is uncontested. If a summary summons application is filed for a disputed matter and it becomes contested, the case will proceed like any other regular dispute case.

Electronic Case Handling at the District Court
For more information, you can visit the Electronic Case Handling Service of the District Court on the Judicial Administration website (