The new Residential Rent Law aims at ensuring a fair balance between the interests of tenants and landlords.
The new law replaces the previous law adopted in 1993 and sets new rights, obligations and responsibilities of tenants (natural persons) and landlords (legal/natural persons) and stipulates the basic requirements of a residential lease agreement. In order to increase legal certainty, the law also stipulates the grounds for termination of a lease agreement.
The law lists the information to be included in a residential lease agreement, including, for example, the rent for residential premises, the procedure and terms for payment, conditions and procedure for changes to the rent, information on persons accommodated in residential premises together with the tenant. In addition, from now on a rental agreement must have a definite term and be in writing.
The obligations of the landlord include to hand over residential premises to the tenant for use and to provide the tenant with the opportunity to use them without hindrance for the entire term specified in the agreement.
To protect the interests of tenants, the landlord can increase the rent only if the lease agreement contains conditions and arrangements to do so.
Tenants are also able to terminate the contract by giving prior notice to the landlord at least one month in advance if the term of the agreement does not exceed 10 years. The tenant and the landlord may agree on a longer notice period if the term of their residential lease agreement exceeds 10 years. In turn, the landlord may terminate the agreement only in accordance with procedures laid down in the law.
The new law also provides for administrative liability of a landlord that creates or does not resolve disturbances preventing a tenant from proper use of rented premises, as well as where the tenant cannot use heating, electricity, cold and hot water, sewers and municipal waste management services.
Source: Dzīvojamo telpu īres likums (Residential Rent Law)