Short-term rentals cannot be prohibited by the community of owners

Users of short-term rentals and especially those who provide accommodation themselves or through platforms like Airbnb can now breathe a sigh of relief. In a dispute between a unit owners' association and a unit owner, the Supreme Court under the resolution ruled against pre-emptive restrictions on property rights. Restricting or prohibiting the use of units by their owner for said purposes is not within the power of the owners' association assembly, according to the Supreme Court's decision.

This question has been occupying the Czech courts for several years. Disputes similar to the one between the partners of one of Prague's SVJs are no exception.Despite the disagreement of some of their members, the SVJs have pushed through an article in their statutes that conditions the renting of individual flats for a period shorter than 3 months on the consent of the other owners. One of the outvoted owners, of course, did not want to be restricted in the use of his apartment unit. Therefore, he applied to the court for a declaration that the decision of the JVU in question was null and void.

After 15 March 2023, however, the resolution of these disputes will be a little clearer. As the Supreme Court has stated: "If a meeting of the owners' association decides, by means of the statutes, to restrict the right of ownership of the unit owners with regard to the use of the apartment, it is a decision taken on a matter which that body has no competence to decide, and it is regarded as if it had not been taken." In regulating the conditions of the building, the owners' association can only move within the limits of its statutory competence. And this, according to the Supreme Court, is limited to the management, operation, maintenance, repair of the house, its common parts and the land.

It is true that the Supreme Court also mentions in the decision that "If the owner of the unit uses the apartment for a purpose other than that stated in the declaration of the division of the right to the property, in particular by repeatedly disturbing the usual peace and order in the building, the owners' association may, in accordance with the Civil Code, invite the owner in writing to remedy the situation and subsequently, in the event of non-compliance with this invitation, propose the forced sale of the unit." However, a bylaw provision that interferes with an individual's property rights "prophylactically" is not permissible.

Therefore, if a similar issue applies to you, you can now refer to the new Supreme Court decision and disregard such a restriction. In the eyes of the law, it is so-called null and void - non-existent. The Supreme Court's decision includes a recommendation on how to legally deal with the negative impact on the peace and quiet of the house. However, a decent provider of accommodation and short-term rentals can certainly cope with such restrictions without any problems.

Are you resolving a dispute with the HOA regarding the use of your unit for short-term rentals or are you concerned about a similar dispute in the future? Do not hesitate to contact us.



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