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I am going to move for a short period in Prague (a few months) but I currently cannot know for how long exactly. I wanted to know what are the rules about renting appartment there.

In particular, is there a law that tells you that if you signed a contract for X months, you are forced to pay the rent until the end of the contract?

I know it is not the case in France but it is the case in Canada from my experience.

What about Czech republic?

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  • I bet even in Canada, renters are allowed to offer month-to-month contracts if they so choose. They'll be more expensive ofcourse as they incur risk for both the renter and the rentee. When you ask if there is a law, keep in mind that it is very much 'Common law' in most countries' legal traditions that your are bound to honor a written signed agreement if you can reasonably do so. Sure they may have specifically codified that in Canada, but I doubt you will find any nation in the world where that expection isn't going to be backed up by their civil court system.
    – ouflak
    Dec 6, 2021 at 12:33
  • @ouflak "common law" is a concept that arose in England and exists only in legal systems that derive from English law, including that of Canada, but this does not apply to "most countries." In most countries, including France and the Czech Republic, there are statutory frameworks governing the formation of contracts. In some areas of law, however, usually including landlord-tenant law, contracting parties are constrained in the terms to which they may agree, so the fact that a residential lease contains a certain provision does not necessarily mean that the provision is enforceable.
    – phoog
    Dec 6, 2021 at 14:48
  • @phoog, I did not mean common law in the English concept, I meant more of a generally understood concept amongst that particular group of people or nation. Hency my use of the single quotes. Not sure if there is a better way to express that though. Maybe 'Commonly understood interpretation of regional contract law'? Sounds wordy.
    – ouflak
    Dec 6, 2021 at 16:35
  • @ouflak I would instead describe it as a common feature of contract law (if not a universal one). That is, it's typically an explicit rule that has been stated formally rather than something that relies on "general understanding." But the statutory limitations on residential leases are critical to keep in mind. In New York, for example, a landlord cannot enforce a lease provision prohibiting a roommate. The allowable terms of agreement for the lease period and for ending the lease are frequently governed by statutory provisions.
    – phoog
    Dec 6, 2021 at 16:58
  • I went to Prague for just three weeks, sent by my company. I had to find a hotel myself, and I picked something that was like an apartment; kitchen, nice living room, and the room got cleaned, bed made and linen changed regularly. Not that much more than renting a flat. And no problem with the rental time. That might be convenient for you.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 11, 2021 at 14:03

1 Answer 1

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Yes, a fixed term rental contract can't be freely broken early.

Rentals are governed by the Czech Civil Code and terminations are addressed by § 2285 and following (in Czech).

There are two kinds of rental agreements: fixed-term and indefinite term. The latter can be terminated by either party with three months notice (counting from the beginning of the next month after delivering notice in writing).

Fixed-term contracts can be terminated early only in cases explicitly defined by law:

  • The tenant may terminate the lease early if circumstances that led to entering the rental contract have changed so severely that it would be unconscionable to require the tenant to stay. § 2287 (You can see that this is fairly vague, so it is rarely used, mostly in cases where e.g. you become disabled after an accident and thus can no longer be reasonably expected to live on the fifth floor with no lift, or the house has burned down, …).
  • The landlord may terminate the lease early for reasons listed in § 2288 (1): gross breach of contract by the tenant (3+ months of unpaid rent, unauthorized permanent modifications of the flat, etc.); conviction for a crime against the landlord, a neighbour or someone's property in the house; property becoming unusable for reasons in the public interest (building getting demolished to make way for a highway); or a similarly important reason.

In case of extreme breaches of contract (e.g. extreme unauthorized modifications or permanent damage by the tenant), the contract can be terminated without three months notice, but only after giving the tenant adequate time to resolve the situation.

Indefinite-term contract can be terminated by the landlord for a few more reasons (with 3 months notice), such as the landlord needing the flat for themselves or a close family member.

Apart from these options, the only remaining way to terminate a contract (of either kind) is by mutual agreement of both parties.

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