Renting a home
A tenant lives in a dwelling that is owned by someone else and usually pays rent for it on a monthly basis. Both the tenant and the landlord may terminate or cancel the tenancy agreement based on justifications laid down in law.
Many municipalities own rental homes. They are usually less expensive than other rental homes. You can search for information on rental homes at websites of cities and other municipalities.
Rental homes owned by cities and other municipalities are allocated on the basis of means testing. Your chances of getting a municipal rental home depend on your housing needs, wealth and income. When you are applying for a rental home, you must detail these matters in your application.
If you are applying for a municipal rental home, you must complete the application in the housing office of your municipality. In many municipalities, you can also complete and send the application on the municipality's website. Please note that you do not necessarily get the home at once because you may be put on a waiting list.
You can usually get a privately owned rental home more quickly than a municipal rental home. You can search for privately rented homes on the internet and in local newspapers. You can also produce your own wanted advert. If you use an agent when searching for a privately rented home, you must pay a commission to the agent.
If you are a student, you can apply for rental homes specifically intended for students. The student housing foundations operating in large cities only rent homes to students.
You should always make the tenancy agreement in writing so that both parties know what has been agreed. An oral tenancy agreement is also valid but if there is a dispute it may be difficult to prove what has been agreed. An oral tenancy agreement is considered to be in effect until further notice.
Before signing the tenancy agreement, you should inspect the flat with the landlord. The condition of the flat at the start of the tenancy agreement and any defects in it should be put on paper.
A tenancy agreement may be in effect until further notice or for a fixed period of time. Neither party can terminate a fixed-term tenancy agreement before it expires. A fixed-term agreement may sometimes be considered to have become valid until further notice. This may happen if a fixed-term tenancy agreement has been concluded for 2-3 months, but you continue to live in the dwelling with the landlord’s consent after that.
The landlord may ask you to pay a deposit. For example, you may have to pay one month's rent as a deposit. The landlord may also require you to name a person who guarantees the payment of the rent . This person must pay the rent if you don't do it.
You can agree with the landlord on a broad range of matters in a tenancy agreement. You can agree on
- the amount of the rent
- rent adjustment
- condition and maintenance of the flat, and
- length of the tenancy.
You can also make changes to the tenancy agreement. The tenancy agreement and the changes to it should be made in writing.
When you rent out a flat, you must agree to pay rent according to the tenancy agreement. Many landlords also require a rent security deposit. The landlord may have your credit history checked before concluding the tenancy agreement.
You have the right to move to the flat on the first day of the tenancy. Otherwise, the landlord must pay you a compensation for the losses that you have suffered as a result of the delay.
You can cancel the tenancy agreement if using the flat causes you a health hazard. For example, because of mould problems. You can also cancel the tenancy agreement if the landlord fails to make the necessary repairs.
You may have the right to a reduction in rent if the flat is partially unusable because of pipe repairs or other similar reasons.
Under the law, the landlord may not discriminate against you because of such factors as ethnic origin, religion, sexual or gender orientation, or nationality.
The landlord may only go to your flat if there are special reasons for doing so. Checking the condition of the flat is considered a special reason. The landlord must notify you of the visit in advance. In an emergency, the property manager or property maintenance workers can go to the flat using a master key even if you are not at home.
When the tenant gives notice, the notice period is one calendar month. The landlord must return the rent security deposit within two weeks of the end of the agreement.
When the landlord gives notice, the notice period is
- three months if the tenancy has lasted for less than a year, and
- six months, if the tenancy has lasted for more than a year.