Understanding Rental Agreements

Many landlords create rental agreements and include provisions beyond the law. However, according to lawyers, these provisions are invalid. Therefore, tenants can sign such agreements but are not bound by them. This includes clauses such as shorter than three-month notice periods, prohibitions on visitors, and bans on keeping pets. It is also impossible to enforce clauses preventing tenants from registering a permanent residence in the rented property or subleasing it. Even a ban on nailing nails into the wall is not valid.

The most common “no pets” requirement, especially for dogs and cats, is understandable but can cause issues. One property owner near Prague recalled a tenant who kept cats in his house and caused significant damage, which took two years of rent to repair. However, some landlords allow pets with a higher deposit and regular visits to check on the property.

Landlords can only demand tenants remove minor changes, such as nails and screws, before returning the property. The same applies to non-residential spaces. Landlords can seek compensation if a tenant’s modifications reduce the property’s value. The document for assessing these claims is the handover protocol.

In general, landlords prefer tenants to pay for utilities to avoid disputes over payments. However, they risk removing the electricity meters if the tenant fails to pay, which is costly to reinstall. Some landlords keep the utility accounts in their name to protect themselves should a tenant refuse to move out.

Disconnecting utilities to force a tenant to leave is illegal, and landlords can face charges of unauthorized intervention in the tenant’s rights. Similarly, changing locks or taking other self-help measures to recover possession of a rental property is also a criminal offense.