CourtFifth Section Committee (European Court of Human Rights)
CounselNEMEC S.
Date19 May 2022
Application Number81454/12
Respondent StateRepublica Checa
Applied Rules6;13;14;14+P1-1;35;P1-1



Application no. 81454/12
against the Czech Republic

The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting on 19 May 2022 as a Committee composed of:

Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström, President,
Lətif Hüseynov,
Kateřina Šimáčková, judges,
and Martina Keller, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having regard to:

the application (no. 81454/12) against the Czech Republic lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) on 13 December 2012 by a limited liability company established under Czech law, REAL, spol. s r.o. (“the applicant”), which has its registered office in Prague and which was represented by Mr S. Němec, a lawyer practising in Prague;

the decision to give notice of the application to the Czech Government (“the Government”), represented by their Agent, Mr V.A. Schorm, of the Ministry of Justice;

the parties’ observations;

Having deliberated, decides as follows:


1. The application concerns mainly a limitation of the contractual freedom of the applicant, a landlord, who was imposed a tenant unable to pay the rent and the charges (Article 1 of Protocol No. 1).

2. In October 2001 the original tenants of a flat owned by the applicant, which had been allocated to them for an indefinite term, agreed with M.S. to exchange their respective flats. The applicant company did not agree, arguing that, in order to remain competitive with other landlords, it needed to enter into a new, fixed-term tenancy agreement enabling it to change tenant if M.S. was unable to pay the rent.

3. By a judgment of 16 July 2002, the Prague 8 District Court consented to the flat exchange in the applicant’s place. It did not find any serious reasons which would justify the applicant’s refusal to accept the flat exchange, considering that the need to maintain competitiveness could not outweigh the protection of the tenancy. As a result, the exchange was allowed to take place and the original tenancy agreement was to change only in respect of the identity of the tenant and not in respect of other decisive features, such as the duration of the tenancy or the amount of rent payable.

4. On 13...

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