Rent control means the amount of rent the property owner can charge is regulated. Flats are divided into four categories (where 1 is the best quality) according to their condition and amenities. The most expensive are the flats of the first category which are typically the best you can rent. Of course there are exceptions and a refitted flat in perfect condition may not have a modern heating system which will make it a category 2 flat. However, it will still be the better place to live than a similar category 2 flat that is in bad condition but has a modern heating system.
The cost of rent
Irrespective of the category, the rent an owner can charge according to rent restrictions is a quarter to half the price he can get on the free rental market. Many landlords are earning not enough money to pay for maintenance, repairs and renovations. If the property is let through a management company, the owner has to pay both the agency and yearly tax on the rent.
There are the reasons why many flats remain in such bad condition. Sometimes there is no money to invest in proper maintenance, even though this is required by law.
In the Czech Republic, you are extremely unlikely to rent an apartment from the property owner. The chances you will be renting from the previous tenant, an acquaintance or management companies representing the owner are much higher.
If the rental contract of a price regulated flat is cancelled, this flat then can be put on the free market and the owner could demand higher prices. Therefore, usually flats are rented by individuals for a very long time in order to avoid losing their qualification for a rent controlled flat and, thus, a good price.
A rental agreement containing every detail of the lease is generally the best way to avoid trouble.