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Why is it worth to draw up a hand-over report when we rent an apartment?



Drawing up a hand-over report upon the delivery of a rented property is not a common practice in Poland. It is a pity, because such a report may serve as a security instrument of both the landlord's and the tenant's interests.


What is a hand-over report?

A hand-over report is a document which describes the condition of the property on the date of its delivery to the tenant. All the equipment, furniture, and fittings should be included in it. Polish law does not specify the form of the hand-over report, and there is no commonly used standard of this document. It may be drawn up i.e. the form of a table which contains specific information, such as:


• condition of the premises (of floors, walls, doors, windows, etc.);

• furniture and fitting of the apartment (detailed list of equipment – refrigerator, washing machine, cook, etc. – with the description of its wear and tear);

number and type of keys given to the tenant, and readings of meters (water, electricity, gas);

• other settlements of the parties (for instance, the deadlines of the necessary repairs to be performed by the landlord).


If there is a defect or fault in the premises, it should be described in the hand-over report. If our report is organized in a table, we include such information as: "plaster defect on the wall over the radiator", "stain on the carpeting in the living-room", or "window in the kitchen – left sash doesn't close" in the appropriate column. If there aren't any problems, we may just write "no reservations". The hand-over report should also specify:


• the parties;

• date and place of the draw up;

• reference to the tenancy contract, the report is an annex to;

• address, detailed location of the premises.


Completing a hand-over report makes the delivery of the apartment to the tenant more organized, and has a number of benefits for both the landlord and a tenant.


From the landlord's point of view....

The premises, its furniture, and household equipment are valuable and all possible repairs – expensive. Landlord never knows how the tenant is going to use and treat his possessions. The hand-over report may serve as a specific "evidence" of the condition of the premises at its delivery.


Thanks to the tenant's signature on the hand-over report, the landlord has a confirmation that at the moment of the delivery i.e. the door to the closet weren't broken. This confirmation will help the landlord to avoid disputes concerning tenant's responsibility for the condition of the premises, when the latter moves out. It will be easier to execute payment for the repair of all defects resulting from the tenant's improper management of landlord's property. Moreover, the report is an instrument that reminds the tenant about the condition in which he should return the premises.


Form the tenant's point of view...

The tenant, on the other hand, signs the hand-over report in order to have the landlord's confirmation of the condition of the rented premises. He will avoid accusations: "When you were moving in here, the window in the kitchen wasn't broken", all disputes and claims for additional payments that usually follow such accusations.


Another important issue is the security deposit, that the tenant is obliged to pay, and which secures the interests of the landlord. The hand-over report, signed by both parties, will be the basis for the quick return of this payment. Both the tenant and the landlord should also remember about the meters' readings, so that there is no problem with the calculation of the utilities used during the tenancy period.


The hand-over report brings benefits to both parties. It helps to avoid many disputes and civilizes the tenancy market. That is why the preparation of this document should be a common practice during each delivery and return of rented premises.


Jakub Jastrzębski





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