Termination of a lease agreement in Poland: who can terminate the agreement and when
When you are letting an apartment, you need to be aware of all the possible risks to protect yourself and your property from dishonest tenants. To do that you need to sign a lease agreement. It guarantees that both parties’ rights and responsibilities are adhered to.
Any agreement has its duration. However, in some cases it can be terminated by either party. In which cases can you terminate an agreement beforehand and how do you do this correctly so that you stay in line with legislation?
The difference between a periodic and fixed-term tenancy agreement
A rent agreement can be created for a fixed term or for an indefinite period. Both agreements differ in the duration.
- A fixed-term agreement is drawn up for a certain period, which is always communicated by the landlord and written in the contract. It can be drawn up for 2, 4, 6 months, but more often 1 year, but no more than 10 years.
- A periodic agreement is drawn up for an indefinite period that is not agreed on by the parties and cannot be determined from the terms of the contract.
The termination of a fixed-term agreement takes place when the contract period ends and it is not renewed. That said, either party is obliged to inform the other party about its intent of terminating the contract after the
The termination of a periodic rent agreement can happen when both parties agree to such. In this case it is not necessary to state the reason for termination, provided the due termination notice period has ended.
If the rent has been paid, legislation provides the following periods:
- One-time rent agreement: notice period – 1 day;
- Weekly rent payments: notice period – 3 days;
- Monthly rent payments: notice period – 1 month;
- Rent payment frequency of more than 1 month: notice period – 3 months.
However, a rent agreement can be terminated before its period ends. This is possible when both parties have discussed the terms of termination beforehand or there is good reason.
Basis for agreement termination
The termination of a contract can have contractual, as well as legal reasons. In the first case, the landlord and tenant must agree on the termination terms beforehand. The law doesn’t provide strict rules for contract termination, so both parties reserve their right to include their own terms of termination.
Legal grounds that provide for early contract termination of a temporary lease agreement, are regulated by the Polish Civil Code, as well as the Act on protection of lessee rights and property. According to Article 664 of the Civil Code, the lessee has the right to terminate the contract early, when the tenant:
- Uses the property not as per the contract or is not fulfilling his obligations;
- Breaches the rules of stay in the property or does damage to property, which is used by all tenants;
- Is behind on rent or other bills;
- Conducts a sublease without notifying the property owner.
In any case, termination of an agreement initiated by the lessee or tenant must have a written notification of the intent to terminate the agreement, providing reasoning. The notification should be sent a month in advance. It is recommended to send the notification in a way that you can confirm its receival. For example, delivering the note personally and obtaining a signature of receipt, or via registered post, also with a signature of receipt.
If the tenant owes rent, the lessee must also send a written notification, providing an additional month for the tenant to pay to date. This notification must be sent prior to the final note of termination, otherwise it will have no legal power.
That said, the temporary rent agreement can be terminated by the tenant, if the premises:
- Have defects and breakages, not fit for human residence and are not listed in the transfer and acceptance protocol, attached to the contract;
- Have defects and breakages, which took place during the stay and were not attended to by the property owner after being informed by the tenant;
- Have defects and breakages that cannot be restored and affect the quality of living.
However, the tenant cannot demand to decrease the rent amount or immediate termination of the agreement, if he was aware of the existing defects of the property beforehand. This is why it is essential to pay attention to these details when accepting a rental property and draw up a transfer and acceptance protocol, where you must list:
- The technical state of the apartment;
- Description and workability of the equipment;
- Functionality of the meters.
In the document you must also include the date and place of drawing up the protocol, as well as signatures of both parties.
Attaching a photo of the apartment on the day of transfer to the agreement isn’t a bad idea. If the tenant’s rights have been breached, the agreement can be terminated without stating the reasons.
Terminating a lease contract with the agreement of both parties
Not all of the above reasons are enough to stop cooperating. At any time a temporary lease agreement can be terminated by both parties agreeing to such. In this case, the lease agreement is terminated as soon as the termination agreement is signed or on a specified date in the document. There is no obligatory notification period.
Unilateral termination of a lease contract
In certain cases, the lessee or the tenant have the right to refuse the agreement unilaterally. This happens when:
- The agreement is periodic;
- A fixed-term agreement has a paragraph providing for a unilateral termination.
If the agreement is periodic, either party has the right to terminate it at any time, but is obliged to give the other party a 3 months notice prior to the supposed date of termination. The lessee and tenant can agree on a different termination date. The law does not provide a single format and content of the notice, but it is advised to draw it up in written form, with the possibility of obtaining proof of receipt.
The notice includes:
- details of the contract from which one of the parties intends to unilaterally withdraw;
- the supposed date on which the agreement will be considered terminated;
- remarks of the notifier (reason for refusal, procedure for returning the property, etc.).
How to terminate a lease agreement
In order for the termination to have legal power, it must be drawn up correctly. The termination must be in writing, have 2 copies and must contain the following information:
- Place and date of the agreement termination;
- Credentials of both parties (lessee and tenant);
- Legal grounds for terminating the agreement;
- Date of the lease agreement termination;
- Address of the rented property;
- Reason for termination by the initiator;
- Signature of the party that intends to terminate the lease contract.
In case of refusal or no reply to the notice, one of the parties has the right to demand the termination legally.
If you want to terminate the lease or need any other advice on real estate transactions in Poland, please contact our real estate bureau Chekashoff Estate! Call +48 733 104 374 or leave a request on the site, and our broker will call you back within 15 minutes!