Typically, rental contracts in Cluj are pretty consistent. They are in place to ensure that the property owner has security and assurances that you will not abuse your ability to stay at their property, and also offer you a safety net in terms of your deposit and to prevent any unexpected rent increases.
However, unless the contract is declared at the financial office, which is indicated by an official stamp on your contract, it technically means that the contract is simply a piece of paper which you have signed as an agreement between you and the owner of the property.
Unfortunately, this is a somewhat common practice, as it reduces the costs of taxes applied to the rental price of the property, but does mean that you lose some security. It’s always better to have a contract which has been declared, however, it is not your responsibility to declare the contract, but that of the property owner.
In the event that you would experience some difficulties with the owner of the apartment, you should consult with a legal representative to discuss your options. However, in most cases, as long as the contract is completed correctly, even if it’s not declared at the financial office, in the case of any complications where the owner of the property has changed the terms, which conflict with the information outlined in the contract, or refuses to return the security deposit, the outcome is usually in the favour of the tenant, as long as you can demonstrate that you have adhered to the terms.
What to Expect in Your Contract:
Providing the property owner is using a standard contract, you’ll expect to find the following criterial applied:
- The address of the property being rented
- The name of the owner with his / her CNP (identification number)
- Your name and an identification number from an identity document or passport
- The amount for the deposit / guarantee
- Your monthly rent and payment method in RON or EUR
- The date on which you rent should be paid and any “late fees”
- Your responsibility to pay any utilities (Gas / Electricity / Water)
- Your responsibility to pay for any repairs to damage inflicted by you
- Their responsibility to maintain the major appliances and equipment (Heating / White Goods / Plumbing / Electricity)
- Your agreed rental period in months or years
- Terms for ending the contract* (See below).
- Terms for returning the deposit / guarantee
- The duration of the contract
- Any additional clauses (e.g. the ability to extend the contract)
Ending a Contract
All contracts typically have determined period. At the end of the contract, it's required to create a document which confirms the cessation of the contract and that all parties agree.
In some circumstances, it might be desired to end a contract before the duration has passed. In Romanian law, a tenant can unilaterally cancel a contract with 60-days notice, even if the contract's duration is longer. This legal provision allows for the tenant to leave the property without breaking the terms of their contract under Romanian law and providing that you have fulfilled your obligations as a tenant, the security deposit must be returned in full. [Learn more about deposits].
Article 1825 of the Civil Code stipulates:
(1) If the lease is for a determined duration, the lessee may unilaterally terminate the contract by notification, subject to a period of notice of at least 60 days. Any clause to the contrary is considered unwritten.Lege5.ro
It is not permitted for the landlord / owner to cancel the contract under the same terms. This provision is exclusively for tenants.
In the event that the landlord wishes to cancel the contract before the agreed duration has expired, they will be required to create an annex to the terms of the contract, to which you both have to agree. This is considered a bilateral cancellation of the contract.
The only time a landlord can cancel a contract unilaterally, is in the event that they are required to meet their own personal housing needs or that of a family. In which case, they will be required to also provide notice of 60 days, if the contract has already been active for more than one month.
(2) If the lease is for a determined duration, and the contract provided that the landlord may unilaterally terminate the contract in order to meet the housing needs of his own or his family, the term of notice provided in art. 1,824 alin. (2) .Lege5.ro
In the event that the contract has no defined period, then both parties can cancel a contract with 60-days notice. This is also the case for contracts which have expired, but no notice to cancel or end the contract has been provided.
Ideally, you will need someone with you to translate the contract, even if an english version is presented. This will ensure that both the Romanian version and the English version are accurate and valid. It also allows you to confirm or raise any questions you may have, prior to signing the contract.
Any translation of a contract requires the Romanian version in order to be valid and legally binding.