Due to the large number of violation reports received by the Housing Monitor, particularly those related to the absence of written leases, we initially encouraged Hotline callers to obtain copies of sample leases available in public libraries and urged them to sign them with their landlords.
However, following a closer examination of the texts contained in the aforementioned samples, we noticed that the way in which the texts were drafted gives explicit preference to the landlords, detailing the obligations of the tenants vis-à-vis the landlords, while simultaneously neglecting to reflect the tenants’ rights.
In response to this issue, and in order to encourage tenants to organize written leases and establish their housing rights, the Right to Housing’s Legal Task Force has taken the initiative to publish its own lease agreement template, which features detailed clauses clarifying the duties and rights of each of the parties and balancing them to avoid exploitation by any party, based on the general provisions of rents stipulated in the Code of Obligations and Contracts.
Attached to the lease, you will also find a sample form that both the landlord and the tenant can use when signing the lease. This sample aims at indicating the status of the property and determining its assets upon handover. Additionally, you will find a form for a receipt of payment, which must be received each and every time the tenant pays any of their rental allowances.
Nevertheless, The Housing Monitor finds it necessary to stress that the current rent law does not guarantee the basic components of the right to housing, which points to the urgent need for a new rent law situated within a general policy for decent and affordable housing.
Hard (paper) copy of the lease will be available in libraries soon.
First - Lease period:
The term of the lease is 3 years, renewable by virtue of the Code of obligations and contracts. During this period the landlord does not have the right to amend the terms of the contract without the consent of the tenant, nor is he/she entitled to request eviction without a legal reason.
Second - Renewal of rent:
Before the expiry of the lease term, the landlord must send a written notice to the tenant informing him/her of his/her intention to either amend the rental allowances or recover the rental unit at least two months before the expiry of the contract term, otherwise the contract is automatically renewed for three new years and under the same conditions.
Third - Rental allowances:
The tenant commits to pay the rental allowances based on the place and mechanism agreed upon by both parties, and on the dates indicated in the lease. In the event of a delay in doing so, the tenant shall be deemed to be in default of his/her obligations. In the event that the tenant remains unable to pay despite the lapse of 15 days from being informed via a letter of warning demanding payment, the landlord has the right to request the termination of the lease contract and to initiate the necessary legal procedures.
Fourth - Other allowances:
Taxes and fees: The landlord is responsible for paying all taxes incurred on the property for the duration of the rental period, whether to the treasury or the municipality.
Shared expenses: The tenant shall bear the costs of the common building expenses, such as elevator maintenance, stairs and lighting, guarding, cleaning and others.
Basic Services: The tenant shall bear the costs of water subscription, electricity and generator bills for the duration of the lease contract.
The two parties may agree otherwise, provided that the responsibility of each party is clearly defined in the Special Provisions section of this contract.
Fifth - On the handover and maintenance of the leased unit:
The landlord commits to hand over the unit in a habitable condition. In the event of any defects in the leased unit, provided that they do not prevent its use or render it uninhabitable, the landlord shall inform the tenant of them before the conclusion of the contract, otherwise the tenant has the right to demand a reduction in the allowance, or the termination of the rent at the landlord's responsibility.
During the term of the lease contract, the landlord commits to carry out all the repairs and restoration works necessary to preserve the property in the state in which it has been handed over. The landlord adheres to the so-called "major restorations," which are those necessary to strengthen the foundations, repair the cracks of walls, floors, stairs, electrical and sanitary installations, and also bear the expense of cleaning the wells, sanitary pits and gutters and maintaining the main drinking water reservoir. He/she also undertakes laying and painting works, plastering the walls of the rooms, renewing the paint, replacing wallpaper and repairing surfaces.
On the other hand, the tenant is obligated to carry out all minor repairs, such as repairing windows, unless the reason for breaking them is cold weather, unusual emergency or force majeure, i.e. reasons that cannot be attributed to the tenant’s fault.
Sixth - Urgent repairs:
A. In principle, the landlord is not entitled to perform any work that prevents the tenant from using the property for the duration of the contract, or limits his/her ability to do so.
B. In the event of urgent repairs that cannot be postponed until the expiry of the contract, the landlord shall supervise the urgent repairs and alert the tenant sufficiently in advance of the procedure. If he/she does not make such an alert, he/she shall be held responsible, unless compelling impediments do not arise as a result of his/her negligence.
C. Note that if such urgent repairs prevent the tenant from using the property, either in whole or in part, for a period exceeding seven days, he/she may request, depending on the circumstances, either the termination of the rent or the reduction of the rent allowance. However if the tenant remains in the rental unit during the repairs, then his/her right to request annulment is forfeited.
Seventh - Assignment of the lease or second lease:
A. The tenant has the right to lease all or part of the leased property, and to assign the lease to others, unless the contract clearly stipulates, in the Special Conditions section, that he/she is not allowed to rent or assign.
B. The original tenant shall guarantee the person who leases the property or who he/she assigns it to and remains bound to the landlord by all obligations arising from the contract. This obligation ceases if the relationship between the landlord and the second tenant becomes clear.
C. The tenant does not have the right to rent or assign the property for uses other than housing.
Eighth - Inspection of the rental unit:
A. The landlord does not have the right to request entry to the rented property under the pretext of inspecting its conditions in the absence of the tenant, or in the late hours of the night.
B. If the landlord wishes to inspect the conditions of the rented property, he/she must inform the tenant about the visit well in advance of conducting it and obtain his/her explicit consent to do so.
Ninth - Materials transported inside the property:
Neither of the contracting parties has the right to place any weights or materials in the property, that are harmful to the building, and he/she is never entitled to place within it, or near it, any prohibited or combustible materials which can damage the property, otherwise he/she will be considered responsible towards the other contracting party for any damage that occurs.
Tenth - Leaving the property:
A. When the tenant leaves the property, the tenant is obligated to:
Deliver it back free from any occupancy
Return it to the landlord with its keys and all his/her tools and supplies in full, as he/she received it.
B. If the property is deficient or something within it was damaged, the tenant shall pay the cost of what has been lost or destroyed to the landlord before he proceeds to exit the property. This does not include natural damage caused by normal use.
C. If the tenant makes improvements to the property which may increase the value of the property, such as installing electrical or water supplies or plumbing fixtures and the like, the tenant may demand from the landlord either the value of the expenses/improvements made by the end of the lease. However, if the improvements are constituted as decorations, ornaments and luxuries that do not increase the value of the leased property, then the tenant will donate them to the landlord, and he/she is not entitled to claim any of its value.
Eleventh - Disputes arising from the contract:
The competent rental judge shall consider the basis of any dispute arising out of this contract, whether in terms of its application, termination or proof of such matters.