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Czech bill would prevent evictions due to nonpayment of rent during COVID-19 pandemic

3.4.2020 9:05
Czech Regional Development Minister Klára Dostálová (PHOTO: Facebook page of Klára Dostálová)
Czech Regional Development Minister Klára Dostálová (PHOTO: Facebook page of Klára Dostálová)

The Czech Government has approved the wording of a bill according to which tenants cannot be evicted if, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they became unable to pay their rent, and they would be given until the end of May 2021 to pay any back rent owed. Czech Regional Development Minister Klára Dostálová (for ANO) announced the bill at a press conference yesterday.

The lower house should review it during an accelerated procedure as part of the state of legislative emergency. The ministry has published the bill in the Government's Electronic Library of Legislative Process.

According to the minister, it will be possible to postpone rent payments if a tenant is unable to pay rent because his or her income falls due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She said it is necessary that people retain their housing at this time.

The minister emphasized that the rent will still be owed and is not being forgiven. If it is adopted, the legislation would also postpone any loan payments to the State Fund for Housing Development.

"So young people who have requested loans as part of the young adult housing program would be able to retain their housing, the housing cooperatives and condominium associations would be able to request postponement of loan payments until 30 November 2020," the minister said. Repayment of the principal as well as the loan administration fees would also be postponed, according to her.

The final proposed measure in the bill consists of extending the deadline by which the owners of buildings with apartment units have to submit their accounts according to the law on utilities. According to the minister, that billing is supposed to be ready by the close of this month.

"Naturally, that is currently very problematic, because in many apartment units the readings of electricity, gas and water meters cannot be performed remotely, so the billing would be postponed by four months until 31 August 2020," she said. Settling accounts related to the billing for such services would be extended until the end of April 2021.

ČTK, fk, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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COVID-19, Government of the Czech Republic, Housing, human rights



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