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/rental agreement in poland in 2023. what not to sign and what to pay attention to?

Rental agreement in Poland in 2023. What not to sign and what to pay attention to?

What problems a foreigner faces as soon as he arrives in Poland, in your opinion? When you move to Poland for a long stay, one of the first issues you will have to deal with is renting accommodation. Obviously, you will not be able to live in hotels all the time as it is very expensive and inconvenient. Therefore, you need to find and rent suitable housing as soon as possible.

This article will be useful for everyone who has just arrived in Poland or is planning to move here. We will tell you more about the rental agreement, how it should look like and what types of agreements are better not to sign to avoid becoming a victim of scammers. Let's go!


General information about the rental housing agreement in Poland

We should start with the fact that in Poland, by virtue of the provisions of the Civil Code, the principle of freedom of contract applies. That is, according to the general principle, you can create and conclude absolutely any contract with any content you can think of. However, there are some classical legal relations that have certain bases, which are already prescribed in the codes. The rent is such a type of legal relationship. Today in Poland there are several types of lease agreements, which we will tell you about below. In rental agreements there are only two parties - the landlord and the tenant.


Main types of rental agreements in Poland

Firstly, we would like to point out that all rental agreements can be divided into two types according to their duration – umowa najmu mieszkania na czas nieoznaczony/nieokreślony and umowa najmu mieszkania na czas oznaczony. The first option is a rental agreement, which does not contain an end date (i.e. you just rent the flat, and if you want to move out, the agreement loses its legal force). In the second option, the end date of the agreement is already specified, which you will agree on in advance with the owner of the premises. Next, let's look at the types of rental agreements themselves. There are only three of them:

Umowa najmu tradycyjnego. This is the most popular type of tenancy agreement in Poland. Under such a lease agreement, the landlord undertakes to provide the tenant with premises for use for a fixed or indefinite period of time, and the tenant undertakes to pay the agreed rent to the landlord. Suitable for both legal entities and individuals. In this type of agreement the landlord has less rights than the tenant, i.e. the owner of the flat will not be able to evict the tenant at will. This type of agreement is particularly favorable for the tenant. You can download an example of this type of agreement here.

Umowa najmu okazjonalnego. Only an individual can become a tenant in such an agreement. The terms to which it must conform are much more stringent than in the case of a normal rental agreement, so landlords often abandon it and enter into a normal rental agreement to make sure that they can find a tenant for the premises. This type of agreement is particularly favorable to the landlord. Click here to see a template for this type of agreement.

Umowa najmu instytucjonalnego. This type of agreement is intended only for the owners of the premises who are entrepreneurs, and the role of the tenant can be any person or legal entity. Institutional rental in its essence is very similar to Umowa najmu okazjonalnego – it is one of the most legally protected agreements in entrepreneurial transactions, requiring the participation of a notary. Thanks to such an agreement, the landlord can be sure that in case of problems with the tenants, he can quickly get rid of them from the occupied property. This type of agreement is particularly favorable for the landlord. A sample of this type of agreement is available here.


How not to become a victim of scammers when renting a flat?

People who are just moving to Poland, especially if they are coming here for the first time, usually do not have any experience. This is taken advantage of by unfriendly people who try to scam «beginners» in every possible way. One such scheme of divorce is related to renting a flat and it looks like this:

You are just planning to move to Poland and have decided to find a flat for yourself in advance. You look for it on a website where they post current rental offers and find a suitable option (usually with an affordable price). Then you start a messaging in WhatsApp with the person who posted the ad. The first suspicion is that Poles practically do not answer in WhatsApp about flat rentals, but in the case of scammers you will be answered immediately. Next, the alleged «owner» of the flat tells you that he is not in Poland at the moment and asks you to send them a deposit so that they are sure of your serious intentions. Scammers may send you additional photos of the flat and even fake documents, but when you arrive in Poland, they will simply stop replying to you and you will lose your money.

You can check who really owns a particular flat by using the «księgi wieczystej» number on this website.

Remember that a normal flat cannot be very cheap. Do not fall for fake adverts, trust only verified sources. You can also use the services of a realtor and be sure to have peace of mind, but then you will have to pay a commission to the realtor for his work.


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