The rental contract can only be rescinded on the grounds specified in the law.
Tenant’s right to rescind a rental contract
A tenant has the right to rescind a rental contract:
1) if the tenant does not take possession of the apartment at the agreed time and this causes substantial inconvenience to the tenant;
2) if the apartment is not in the agreed condition at the beginning of the contract;
3) if use of the apartment poses an obvious danger to health;
4) the tenant has lost possession of the apartment or part of it.
The tenant may rescind the rental contract if the tenant does not take possession of the apartment at the agreed time and this causes significant inconvenience to the tenant. The contract can be terminated before the agreed date if it is obvious that there will be a delay in gaining accesses to the apartment. An example is ongoing renovation work in the apartment.
The tenant has the right to rescind the contract if the apartment is not in the agreed condition at the beginning of the tenancy. The right to rescind the contract also exists when the apartment becomes in a poor condition during the tenancy for a reason beyond the tenant’s control and the property owner does not take immediate action after receiving information about the problem. Problems must be significant enough, so minor flaws and deficiencies do not meet the criteria to rescind.
The tenant also has the right to rescind a contract when the use of the apartment poses an obvious danger to health. The tenant must be able to prove the danger to health in the apartment. It would be advisable to obtain the opinion of a health inspector on the condition of the apartment.
The tenant shall have the right to rescind the rental contract within one month of having lost possession of the apartment or part thereof if this is of major significance to the tenant.
A property owner’s right to rescind a rental contract
A property owner can rescind a rental contract:
1) if the tenant neglects to pay the rent within the time prescribed or agreed on;
2) if the rental right is transferred or the apartment or part of it is otherwise assigned for another person’s use, contrary to the provisions of the Act on Residential Leases;
3) if the apartment is used for any other purpose or in any other manner than that provided when the rental contract was made;
4) if the tenant creates a disturbance through antisocial behaviour or allows others to do so in the apartment;
5) if the tenant fails to take good care of the apartment; or
6) if the tenant violates provisions or regulations for the maintenance of public health and order in the apartment.
If the actions giving rise to the grounds for termination are of minor significance, however, the right to rescind the rental contract shall not exist.
Both parties to the rental contract have a right to rescind the contract if the deposit is not paid in reasonable time. The party, for whose security the deposit would be, has the right to rescind the contract. The above applies most often in situations where a security deposit is paid.
Prior to the notice of rescission, the property owner is obliged to give the tenant a written warning stating the cause of the disturbance and how the disturbance has occurred.
Making a notice of rescission
A rescission of a rental contract must be made in writing with a notice of rescission. The notice shall state the grounds for rescission and the date of rescission if the contract is to be rescinded at a time other than the time stated in the notice of rescission.
The notice of rescission must be given officially. Options include the property owner’s signature on the physical notice of rescission, a registered mail receipt, or the use of a distrainor.