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16 Jan. 2024

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Renting an apartment in Poland: what is caution and how to return it

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Renting an apartment in Poland: what is caution and how to return it

When looking for a place to live, you should consider an additional cost factor that is added to the rent specified by the owner. Find out more about the covenant, how to properly record it, and how to demand its return if the landlord refuses

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For many Ukrainians who have found refuge in Poland, the issue of renting a home remains relevant. However, when searching, it is important to pay attention to the peculiarities of the local real estate market, in particular, an additional cost item - caution, which is added to the rent specified by the owner. This was reported by zakordon.24tv.ua.


Here's what you need to know about the rent, how it is calculated, and how to get it back.


Caution when renting an apartment in Poland: what is it?


It is important to understand that caution is a deposit, which is usually equal to the amount of monthly rent. The security deposit should be paid at the time of signing the contract, and this money can be returned when you move out of the apartment, provided that all the terms of the agreement are fulfilled and there are no significant damages in the apartment.


This is a kind of security measure of the Polish landlord to protect his property and compensate for possible losses. Caution is regulated by the Act on the Protection of Tenants' Rights (Ustawa o ochronie praw lokatorów).


An important aspect is that the law establishes maximum amounts of caution, but does not define its minimum amount. This means that, formally, it is possible to conclude a lease agreement in Poland without a deposit. However, in practice, this is rarely the case, as many landlords are sympathetic to the interests of their tenants and are willing to demand a security deposit for their own protection.


The maximum amounts of the security deposit are defined in the law as follows:


• for a long-term lease, the security deposit may not exceed 12 times the monthly rent;

• for a short-term agreement - no more than 6 times the monthly payment.


In practice, landlords often set the amount of the security deposit equivalent to one month's rent, but it may increase in case of additional risks, such as the presence of small children or pets.


How do I return the security deposit when leaving the apartment?


According to the law, the security deposit must be returned within 30 days of moving out of the rented property. It is important to keep in mind that the period does not begin with the expiration of the lease agreement, but from the moment the landlord receives information about the tenant's departure. Thus, it is important to notify the owner in writing, for example, via SMS, letter or messenger.


If the landlord refuses to return the money, there are various options for action. However, before taking any action, it is important to make sure that you do not have any debts to the landlord.


The requirement to return the rent is legal, and refusal to do so is illegal. In many cases, the problem can be resolved through negotiations. Foreigners who know their rights can encourage the owner to return the security deposit quickly.




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How do I return the security deposit if the owner refuses to do so?


Writing a letter to the landlord is one way to solve the problem. In cases where the landlord delays or fails to respond, a letter of return of security deposit can establish documentary evidence that the landlord has been notified of the request to return the security deposit.


If verbal agreements do not help, it is worth considering the legal route. To do this, you need to provide evidence, such as a contract, receipts for payment of the security deposit, and documents on attempts to resolve the issue before the court.


It is important to confirm the absence of any debts by submitting certificates of timely payments, receipts, etc.


Additionally, filing a complaint with the tax authorities (complaint to the Uzhond Skarbovyi) can strengthen your arguments for the return of the collateral. This can be especially effective if the landlord evades paying taxes on rental income.


Warning the owner of your intention to contact the tax authorities may also influence his decision to return the money.


How to protect yourself from problems with the return of the security deposit from the owner?


In order to avoid possible problems with the return of the security deposit, it is important to take into account certain nuances at the stage of concluding a rental agreement.


Please note! The clause on quitclaim must be clearly defined in the agreement. There are cases when the apartment owner promised a security deposit verbally and removed it from the tenant, but this is not legally binding unless it is reflected in a written agreement. Therefore, it is important that everything related to the security deposit is clearly stated in the agreement, including whether a payment is due and the amount.


It is also recommended that you receive a receipt for the payment of the security deposit and keep it, which indicates the amount and purpose of the payment.


It is important to be careful when handling the rented accommodation and furniture. If you do not leave any damage, there will be no reason to use the security deposit to compensate you. However, if you incur reasonable expenses to repair any possible damage, these expenses must be documented, for example, with invoices from an appraiser or receipts from stores.


All expenses must be justified. If you can restore the item by repairing it, there is no need to buy a new one at the tenant's expense.


You should understand your rights and carefully read the terms of the lease agreement, as it is the main document and the best argument in court.

We remind you! Many Ukrainians currently living abroad are considering buying their own home. It is now important to research the availability of apartments in different EU countries and determine how many years of work you need to do to be able to buy your own property in Europe. Find out how many years it takes to save up for an apartment in the EU.



Photo: Shutterstock

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