Czech Republic: A government decree has come into force which defines the terms “standard maintenance” and “minor repairs” in connection with the use of (rental) apartments.
As at 1 January 2016, a government decree has come into force on the definition of the terms standard maintenance and minor repairs in connection with the use of apartments. The government issued this decree for the purpose of implementation of Sec. 2257 (2) of the (new) Civil Code, according to which tenants are not obliged to pay or perform any work in the apartment other than standard maintenance and minor repairs in connection with the use of the apartment. This provision is (unilaterally) mandatory in the sense that the parties cannot deviate from it in their contract at the expense of the tenant (cf. Sec. 2235 (1) of the Civil Code).
The decree seeks to improve the legal certainty of tenants and landlords when it comes to performing and paying for maintenance and repair work in rental apartments. This certainty was compromised when “standard maintenance and minor repairs in connection with the use of an apartment” was no longer a defined term after the current Civil Code came into force, so that their interpretation became a matter of discretion on the part of the contractual parties or (in the case of a dispute over the ‘proper’ interpretation) of a court. The current government decree builds upon (abolished) government decree No. 258/1995 Coll., on the implementation of the (old) 1964 Civil Code, with the primary difference of a higher upper threshold for costs per individual minor repair (which now must not exceed CZK 1,000) and a higher upper threshold for the aggregate expenses toward minor repairs (now at CZK 100 per sq.m. of floor size of the apartment), below which the repair falls in the responsibility of the tenant. The decree also reflects the technological progress that has since taken place: its definition of the substance of “minor repairs” now includes the kind of repairs which is customarily required in rental apartments due to new technologies.
Thanks to this new decree, landlords and tenants have legal certainty, as of the beginning of this year, who of them is obliged to carry out and pay for the maintenance and repair of apartments.
Source: Government decree No. 308/2015 Coll., on the definition of the terms standard maintenance and minor repairs in connection with the use of apartments Act No. 89/2012 Coll., the Civil Code