Do not put things in the common hallway, you are interfering with the property rights of others

If you use the common hallway of the house as a storage place for things you do not want to keep in your apartment, you are limiting the right of the other residents of the house. This follows from the judgment of the Municipal Court in Prague, which confirmed the obligation of the defendant owner of the apartment unit to refrain from placing any items in the common corridor.

If your apartment is cramped and you are thinking of putting away sports equipment, a basket, a chair, a box with decorations, or non-functioning appliances in the hallway or other common areas that are not intended for storing things, you better be careful. If the HOA or one of your neighbours is unhappy, the situation may escalate to litigation, in which the court will order you to remove all the items and you will have to pay the opposing party's legal costs. We know this because we have successfully represented plaintiffs in just such a dispute.

The applicant had long been dissatisfied with his neighbour's placement of used clothing, shoes, bags, a shoe rack, sports equipment and other items intended primarily for sporting activities in the common corridor. As the mutual agreement failed, the applicant had no choice but to seek his right to the empty corridor in court. The claimant was successively successful in his action before the District Court and the Municipal Court in Prague. "Common areas are not used for the storage of the unit owners' belongings which serve their personal needs, their sporting activities, etc., and which should therefore be placed in the apartment unit or in a place designated for that purpose, such as a cellar, a carriage room and a bike room," both courts agreed. That requirement stems not only from the Civil Code but, in particular, from the internal regulations of the HOA or the house rules, which in our particular case also referred to the need to provide a protected escape route in the event of fire, etc. The common areas are intended primarily for access to the unit, for all the residents, and no owner can appropriate the right to use a certain part for himself or to appropriate more rights than he is entitled to. The fact that it is common practice to put things away in your home does not change that.

The defendant in our case also defended on the ground that the plaintiff did not have standing to sue because he did not have the consent of a majority of the other unit owners in the building. However, we succeeded on this point as well. The court held that if the dispute does not concern all the common areas in the building, but the plaintiff seeks protection against interference with his ownership and co-ownership rights only in relation to a particular common area used primarily by the disputants, he may do so without the consent of the majority of the other unit owners in the building. This is then a specific neighbour dispute, the resolution of which does not fall within the competence of the HOA or the administrator.

The judgment in our case has already become final. However, the defendant's belongings have not yet been removed from the common corridor. We are therefore likely to face execution, which can be quite amusing in this case. Stay tuned and you will surely hear soon whether the story has been brought to a conclusion.

Do you have items in the common hallway? Hide them. Got a neighbor who's turning the hallway into a storage room and it doesn't look like a deal? Contact us.


'No one has done as much for me as you,' Eva said.

Livingstone, Tour Operator

Thank you again for your valuable advice. I breathe better when I know who to turn to.

Jitka Popelková, Managing Director

Anders Thorsen Advokatanpartsselskab

It has been an absolute pleasure to work with you.

Anders Thorsen, Partner, Advocate

Contact form