Immigration law

Additional protection for tenants of residential premises under the Anti-Crisis Shield

Thanks to the provisions of The Anti-Crisis Shield adopted in connection with the COVID-19 epidemic, tenants of residential premises obtained additional rights enabling them to unilaterally extend the rental period, as well as protecting against termination of the rental agreement and the amount of rent. Full name of the law introducing the so-called The Anti-Crisis Shield, hereinafter referred to as the „Act” is the Act on specific solutions related to the prevention, prevention and eradication of COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them from March 2, 2020 with subsequent amendments of March 31, 2020 and April 16, 2020 of the year (Journal of Laws 2020, item 374).

Rental period extension:

The act allows the tenant to extend the rental period until June 30, 2020. It is enough for the tenant to submit to the landlord a unilateral declaration of intent to extend the contract. This right is granted to the tenants of premises that concluded the tenancy agreement before April 1, 2020. However, the tenant should submit a declaration of intent to extend the tenancy agreement until June 30, 2020, at the latest on the last day of the tenancy agreement, in accordance with the applicable agreement. Importantly, however, the Act deprives the right to extend the tenancy of a tenant who:

1) in the period from October 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020, and if the rental agreement was in force for a shorter period, then throughout the duration of the rental agreement, it was in default of payment:
a) rent or
b) fees other than rent for using the premises or
c) fees independent of the landlord and charged by the landlord
– for at least one accounting period, if the total value of these outstanding claims exceeded the amount of rent due for one month, or

2) during the term of the tenancy of the premises, he used the premises in a manner contrary to this agreement or contrary to the purpose of the premises or neglected his duties, allowing damage to the premises, or

3) if, during the term of the tenancy, the premises have rented, leased or given free use of the premises or part thereof without the written consent of the landlord, or

4) has a legal title to another dwelling located in the same or a nearby town, if the dwelling meets the conditions provided for a replacement premises, unless the tenant cannot use this premises for reasons beyond his control.

Prohibition of terminating the rental agreement:

Under the Act, tenants were also granted protection against termination by the landlord of the rental agreement or the amount of rent. The prohibition to terminate the contract or the amount of rent by the landlord applies in the period from April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020. The prohibition to terminate the lease agreement does not apply in the case of lease agreements for a dwelling, if the tenant:

1) despite a written warning, he continues to use the premises in a manner contrary to the contract or contrary to its intended use, or neglects his duties, allowing damage to occur, or destroys devices intended for shared use by residents or goes in a gross or persistent manner against home order, making the use of burdensome from other premises, or

2) has rented, raised or handed over the premises for free use or part thereof without the written consent of the owner, or

3) uses premises that require emptying in connection with the need to demolish or renovate the building,

4) has a legal title to another dwelling located in the same or a nearby town, if it meets the conditions provided for a replacement premises, unless the tenant cannot use this premises for reasons beyond his control.

It should be emphasized that the landlord is not entitled to terminate the lease agreement in the period from April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 due to arrears in payment of rent.

Extension of the notice period for rent or rent

The provisions of the Act also entitle the tenant of a mixed premises to unilaterally extend the notice period for the rental agreement of a residential premises or to extend the notice period for the amount of rent until 30 June 2020. This right is granted to the tenant of the residential premises, to whom the landlord terminated the rental agreement or the amount of the rent on March 31, 2020 at the latest, and the notice period expires after that day and before June 30, 2020. Declaration of intent on extension of the notice period for renting a residential premises or on extension of the notice period for rent until 30 June 2020. The tenant should submit to the landlord at the latest on the date of expiry. However, the tenant is not entitled to extend the notice period:

1) if rental agreement has been terminated pursuant to the provisions of art. 11 paragraph 2 of 21 June 2001 on the protection of the rights of tenants, the housing stock of the municipality and the amendment to the Civil Code in connection with a breach of the rental agreement or the need to demolish or renovate the building, or

2) if it holds legal title to another dwelling located in the same or a nearby town and the dwelling meets the conditions provided for a replacement premises, unless the tenant cannot use this dwelling for reasons beyond its control.

Do you want to know more about the legal protection of tenants due to the COVID-19 epidemic? Contact us.

Author team leader DKP Legal Marcin Kręglewski
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