17.7.2017 Tip of the week: Prevent disputes in leased apartment - list and take photographs of the apartment's defects and deficiencies

The tenant and lessor sign a written lease agreement.

The agreement should specify at least the following: the term of tenancy, the amount of rent to be paid, other applicable charges such as water fees, date and mode of rent payment, security deposit, if applicable, adjusting the rent and the grounds for increasing the rent. It is also important to list any of the apartment's defects and deficiencies.

Most disputes between tenants and lessors arise from returning the security deposit to the tenant: the lessor withholds the security deposit or a portion of it because he considers the tenant to have damaged the apartment or otherwise left it in inappropriate condition.

To prevent disputes, the following should be done:

  • Note any defects in the apartment in writing, together with the lessor, at the beginning of the lease relationship. The same should be done at the end of the lease relationship.
  • Take photographs of surfaces around the apartment when the lease agreement is signed. The photographs should be dated and kept in a safe place. The tenant is not liable for scratches or dents that are considered normal wear and tear from living.

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Updated 25.7.2017 Print