How to rent the right flat and avoid residency renewal troubles?

Recently, many of our clients have been having trouble obtaining proper rental contracts for visa residency purposes. One of the main conditions of the Czech ministry of interior for visa or residency application, is getting the required proof of accommodation confirmation as well as a proper rental contract from a legal owner, according to the land registry office. 

In each of the following rental arrangements, not having a proper rental contract can seriously impact your ability to obtain a proof of accommodation confirmation:

  1. The ‘middle man’

Renting out an apartment for a fair and reasonable price, as well as subletting it to other people, is a common practice and source of income for many people in Prague. If you are renting an apartment (or flat) from a subletter, make sure that the person subletting can provide a power of attorney from the legal owner, or a legal document that they have the legal right to re-rent it to third parties. 

Also, it is very important to check the specific dates for which they can sublet the flat. For example, if the ‘middle man’ has a rental contract with the legal owner and it expires in 3 months, but you need a proof of accommodation for 24 months, then this situation could present a significant problem for your residency renewal. 

PraguExpats suggests:

If you still want to rent a flat from a ‘middle man’ then make sure….

  1. …that the contract is for an unlimited period of time.
  2. …the contract between the subletter and the legal owner states that subleasing of the flat is permitted for third parties.
  3. …they have the authorised power of attorney from the landlord for an unlimited period of time or…
  4. …that they can arrange for the proof of accommodation directly from the legal owner when needed for your visa/residency renewal. 

Most residence permits for Non-EU citizens are renewed for 24 months, and if you choose the right flat from the right person, then you will avoid residency renewal problems. 

2. Corporate flats 

Owners of such flats are corporations (Bytové družstvo).  In this situation, the proof of accommodation form should, and can, be signed by the president of the corporation. Most flats are rented by individuals from the corporation for an unlimited period of time, and these individuals are considered as the defacto owners of the flat. 

If you intend to rent a corporate owned flat, then make sure…

 1. …to get the get proof of accommodation form signed by the corporate president for your future residency permit file.

2. …the individual who is subletting you the flat can legally provide a rental contract between them and the corporation.

3. …to verify that there will be no problems in providing you with a proof of  accommodation in 2 years time, if you need to renew your residency.

3. City of Prague owned flats

The owner of such flats is the City of Prague. You should never rent this type of flat as it is simply too problematic.

4. Company flats 

The owners of these flats are companies (s.r.o./Ltd) 

The legal rent contract or proof of accommodation should be signed by the CEO of the company. If somebody is representing the CEO, then they need to provide an authorized power of attorney from the CEO.

  1. Moving in with a flatmate

Please examine all 4 of the arrangements above to see which one fits best when moving in with a flatmate.  Make absolutely sure that your name is added to your flatmate’s current rental contract, before you move in.

As mentioned above, most residency permits for Non-EU nationalities are renewed for 2 years.  As such, you will need to arrange for a proper proof of accommodation form and a rent contract for those 2 years, for your future residency renewal.

We highly recommend to discuss all of these requirements with your landlord before you rent an apartment or flat. This will help you to avoid misunderstandings and future troubles with your residency renewal.

Finally, how to verify the flat ownership?

Mapy.cz has a great app and it works in English. Simply look for the address of the apartment, just like a Google address search, and click on the information from the land registry office. You will be redirected to a page with a list of the legal owners for that address.  Please check the photo below. 


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