In its Judgment File No. 26 Cdo 2199/2018, dated 18 March 2019, the Czech Supreme Court commented on two duties in the field of residential leases deriving from Act no. 89/2012 Coll., Civil Code (hereinafter “CC”).

Under CC Section 2286(2), if a landlord terminates a lease by notice, the landlord must inform the tenant of the tenant’s right to oppose the termination and have the grounds for termination reviewed by a court. Otherwise, such termination is invalid. Under CC Section 2290, a tenant is entitled to ask a court to review the rightfulness of a termination within two months of receiving the notice.

Previously, the Supreme Court concluded that a petition filed under CC Section 2290 is different from a petition demanding that lease termination be declared void under Section 711(3) of the old Act No. 40/1964 Coll., Civil Code, as effective until 31/12/2013 (hereinafter, “CivCod”). This is not a petition asking for a declaration of invalidity. Under CC Section 2290, the plaintiff asks the court to assess the rightfulness of the termination, i.e., “to check, whether the termination was justified.” Thus, the court examines whether the applicable termination grounds occurred. If the court holds that there were no grounds for termination, the termination was illegal. In light of the purpose of CC Section 2290 and the consequences of termination of residential lease for tenants, the rightfulness of termination must be examined on a wider basis.

This means that a court will hold a termination void or putative whether or not grounds for termination were given (see the Supreme Court judgement dated 18 January 2017 File No. 26 Cdo 4249/2016 as published in the Journal of Decisions and Opinions of the Supreme Court under No. 75/2018, or Judgment of the Supreme Court dated 15 November 2018, File No. 26 Cdo 3328/2017). Therefore, courts of the first and second instances were right to examine not only the existence of termination grounds but also the validity of the termination notice as far as the duty of the landlord to inform under Section 2286(2) CC is concerned.

Section 2286(2) CC must be interpreted in relation to Section 2290 CC, which grants tenants the right to demand a judicial review of termination rightfulness by the specified deadline (see, e.g., Judgment of the Supreme Court dated 13 August 2008, File No. 26 Cdo 778/2008). This right expires with the mentioned deadline. The explanatory memorandum concerning the cited Section states that “the principle that such procedure is to be initiated by the tenant is compatible with properly balancing the protection of the parties. If the tenant feels injured, it is up to the tenant to defend himself (vigilantibus iura). The tenant may be considered the weaker party of the contract; however, this is balanced by the requirement that tenants must be informed about the possible judicial review by the landlord in the termination notice.” Thus, the information about a court review given to a tenant by a landlord is one of the essential components of a termination notice. Its absence renders the notice void. The Supreme Court deems such notice to be absolutely void (Section 588 CC) as the purpose of the instruction under Section 2286(2) CC is to protect the tenant, who—from the instruction—learns about the right to seek court review of the termination, as well as about the deadline to file the applicable petition. This means that violation of the cited Section not only violates law but also public order, namely the protection of the tenant as the weaker contractual party [for analogous opinion see Hulmák M. et al., Občanský zákoník VI, Závazkové právo, Zvláštní část (§ 2055 – 3014). Commentary. First issue. Prague: C. H. Beck, 2014, pg. 452 – 454, or Švestka, J., Dvořák, J, Fiala, J. et al. Občanský zákoník. Commentary. Volume V. (§ 1721 – 2520). First edition. Prague: Wolters Kluwer, 2014, pg. 1278 et seq.].

The text of Section 2286(2) CC orders that tenants should also be informed as to their right to raise opposition against the termination. The right of opposition, its effect on the termination notice, or the applicable deadline is, however, not specified in the part of CC dedicated to residential lease (unlike the special rules for nonresidential lease in Section 2314, which—however—cannot be applied to residential lease by analogy). This means that a filing of opposition by a tenant has no legal consequences and the opposition itself is not required to file the petition regarding court review of the rightfulness of the termination.

To summarize, if a termination notice fails to include information for the tenant regarding the tenant’s right to raise opposition against the notice, this does not invalidate the termination. This conclusion does not worsen the standing of the tenant because tenants are sufficiently protected by the right to demand court review of the rightfulness of the termination.

Nastavení soukromí

Soubory cookie používáme, abychom mohli přizpůsobit obsah konkrétním uživatelům a analyzovat návštěvnost našeho webu. Kliknutím na možnost „Povolit vše“ s tím souhlasíte. Předvolby můžete spravovat tlačítkem Nastavení soukromí. Svůj souhlas můžete kdykoli odvolat. Informace o cookies