Agencies normally charge a fee of 1 month’s rental on a long lease, this is sometimes pro-rated for short term lets (average 15% of lease total). Prague Real Estate Agencies should always check the title of properties they are leasing, and that the lessor is legally authorised to lease the property. If this is not so, you will not be able to get a green card, you will not have a legally binding contract, and you can and probably will be thrown out of the property without notice when the landlord gets worried (You have been warned!). Title checks are easy. The agency should be able to negotiate favourable terms for the tenant.
You should ensure that the agency will is going to provide you with the following before a fee is paid. 1) A lease contract in a language that you understand.
Any half way decent agency will have standard leases governed by the Czech civil code in English and in Czech, the Czech version prevails in cases of dispute. If you are not comfortable with an English text, ask the agency for a translation into your own language. 2) Proof of ownership of the property.
This will consist of an extract from the property register, if the person letting the property is not listed on the extract i.e. he is not the owner, then he should have power of attorney from the owner entitling him to sign the lease contract. It is illegal to sublet state or local authority owned flats. Demand to see this proof. 3) Owner’s declaration (Čestné prohlášení)For long term stays, you will need a green card from the foreigners police. To get this you need to present them with the lease contract (in Czech), an extract from the property register showing title, and the owners declaration. This owner´s declaration must be signed by the owner in front of a notary. If the person letting you an apartment will not or can not supply this document, something is wrong. 4) Hand over protocol of the apartment with inventory if appropriate.
Can be simple or complex, but the list of contents should cover all major items and record the state of utility metres. This protocol can save your security deposit.
Most Prague Real Estate landlords want payment in advance and a security deposit (bond). The rental payments are usually monthly, and the security deposit is usually equal to one month’s rent. However, the payments and deposits can be quarterly in some cases. The security deposit will probably not be held in an interest bearing account, but we have had very few occasions when it has not been returned in full and on time to the tenant after vacating the property. Most leases will have a break clause, this varies from a 1 month to a 3 month notice period depending on agreement and can have conditions imposed on the issuing of notice, eg. in case of relocation.
Once you have received the service, and have a secure home without the prospect of having to contribute to ex-pats.cz’s horror stories, pay the fee.
This Article was written by Ben Anderson
Partner in Identity Ltd, Prague Real Estate & Property Agents
Visit : www.id-online.cz or email email@example.com