If you do not want to live in a dormitory or you have not yet received a room in it, you can rent housing of a private party. From a financial point of view, this is the least profitable option. However, having made certain efforts, it is possible to rent a good room (apartment) on acceptable conditions. This article tells about the steps you need to take.
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First of all, it should be noted that the apartment is rented on the basis of a lease agreement, which is usually concluded between the owner of the apartment (landlord) and the student (tenant) in writing. Without entering into a lease agreement, you have no legal basis for residing in an apartment, and thus have no legal tenant rights. This means that the owner, for example, can evict you at any time, or fail to return your security deposit without risking responsibility.
When concluding a lease agreement, attention should be firstly paid to the following issues:
- Provisions on mutual obligations of the contracting parties concerning the usage and maintenance of housing and common parts of the building (it should be clearly stated that essential work, such as repair or replacement of a boiler, radiator, etc., should be paid by the property owner).
- The amount of rental fee and deposit. The deposit should be paid by the tenant at the time of settlement and, as a rule, is equal to the size of a monthly rent. When the tenant is evicted, the deposit should be returned back, subject to the fulfilment of all obligations and the absence of any damage to the housing.
- Terms and procedure of payment (make sure that the agreement text indicates the amount that you actually pay, and not less).
- Method of payment and the amount of current expenses (be careful because a contribution to the reserve capital is not your responsibility. In case you pay it, agree with the landlord about deducting this amount from the deposit).
- The lease duration (at the beginning of the year, agree with the landlord whether you will rent the housing for the whole year or only until June).
Other provisions can be introduced to the agreement as well. Read and analyse them carefully.
Rooms and apartments for rent can be searched on the websites of student organisations:
- www.mkvadrat.si (Student Organisation of the University of Ljubljana);
- www.kamrica.net (Student Organisation of the University of Maribor);
- www.mojcimer.si (Student Organisation of the University of Primorska), as well as in different groups on Facebook.
Your Responsibilities as a Tenant
- Key responsibilities: targeted use of housing (in accordance with the agreement) and rent payment.
- At most twice a year, you must allow the owner to visit the apartment to check its condition (if the owner enters the apartment without notifying you, he/she violates the law).
- You must ensure the possibility of repair and improvement of the apartment.
- You are liable for damage caused to the housing and property in it as a result of improper use, and if so, you must compensate for the cost of repairs.
- If another person resides in your room for three months (for at least 60 days), you must obtain a written consent from the owner.
- You have no right to redevelop housing, change equipment or make significant changes to the interior without a written consent from the owner.
- You do not have the right to sublease housing without a consent of the owner.
- If the number of persons living in an apartment varies, you must offer the owner to conclude an annex to the rental agreement.
- You can claim for compensation of damage resulting from the unfair fulfilment of the obligations by the owner (for example, if you have to change the boiler yourself, because the owner does not change it within 14 days after receiving a notification on its failure. Details of this procedure are set out in Section 93 of the Housing Act, first edition).
- You can demand the return of a too high rental amount or its reduction for the period when the apartment could not be fully exploited (for example, if you had a bathroom repaired for several days, which you could not use).
- Upon expiration of the agreement, you are obliged to transfer the apartment to the owner in the condition, in which you received it. Herewith, changes that you introduced to the agreement with the owner are taken into account.
- In order to punish the landlord violating the provisions of the lease agreement or the Housing Act, you can contact the housing inspection service.
- Rights and Obligations of the Housing Owner
- The owner of the property is obliged to conclude a lease agreement with the tenant (student) regardless of whether he/she rents the apartment entirely or only part of it.
- The housing owner may terminate the contractual relationship in accordance with the law and the terms of the rental agreement. Upon termination of the agreement without explaining the reasons, the owner is obliged to notify the tenant of this intention 90 days before the date of withdrawal from the agreement. The landlord can only terminate the contractual relationship without valid reasons if he/she provides the tenant with other acceptable housing, unless otherwise provided by the terms of the agreement. In the event of a dispute between the tenant and the landlord, the latter cannot terminate the agreement by filing a complaint unless he/she warns you in writing that you are in violation of the lease agreement. As a tenant, you also have a deadline for eliminating the cause of the dispute, which makes 15 days.
- The owner is obliged to maintain the apartment in such a condition that you can use it freely and fully.
- According to the law, housing owners have the right to charge rent and make decisions regarding the termination of the contractual relationship.
Distribution of Expenditures Between the Tenant and the Landlord
According to the law, you, as a tenant, are obliged to pay only utility costs (electricity, hot water, the Internet, etc.) We advise that you pay the bills yourself. If they are paid by the landlord, make sure that you check the receipts monthly.
The greatest number of disputes arises in connection with the payment of various housing investment fees, payment of the reserve capital, building insurance, etc. All these costs should be borne by the landlord, but you can agree about paying these expenses, subject to their deduction from the rental amount. Besides, ask the owner to make a calculation of actual current expenses (for example, electricity fee, etc.) before you move in, so that at the beginning of the year, you do not need to pay for the period when you haven’t used the apartment.
Registration of the Tenant at the Place of Residence
As a tenant, you must be registered at the place of temporary residence. You can do it yourself within three days after moving in or issue a power of attorney to the landlord within a specified period of time. This procedure is free. You must provide an identity document and a document confirming your right of residence at the registration address (a rental agreement or a written consent of the apartment owner allowing you to register). You can also use the electronic signature to register on the e-uprava website. If the landlord registers you, he/she must give you a certificate of registration.
Registration of temporary residence is valid for a maximum of one year, then you need to re-register. For the absence of temporary residence registration in the period established by law, a fine of 400 to 1,200 euros is provided.
We hope that these tips will help you protect yourself from unscrupulous partners and conflict situations. We sincerely wish you that the process of renting a housing be associated exclusively with positive emotions!