New regulation considering limitation periods for property claims
Under the Act of 13th of April, 2018 on amending the Civil Code and some other acts, the legislator introduced new limitation (lapse) periods for property claims.
Most of all, changes were considering Article 118 of the Civil Code. The previous 10-year limitation period of claims other than claims for periodical claims and claims related to running a business activity has been replaced by a 6-year term. 3-year limitation period for the remaining claims indicated in Article 118 k.c. i.e. claims related to business activity and periodical claims, e.g. rent and lease, have not changed.
Another, particularly significant change concerns the end of the limitation period, because from the entry into force of the amendment, the end of the deadline will fall on the last day of the calendar year, unless the limitation period is shorter than two years. Consequently, the actual limitation period for certain claims may be exceeding 6 years.
An amendment, relevant from the consumers’ perspective is the addition of § 21 in Article 117 of the Civil Code, according to which, after the expiry of the limitation period, the claim against the consumer cannot be enforced. The previous provisions allowed for the assertion of expired claims in civil proceedings or before other authorities by the creditor, until the fact of limitation of claim has been raised by the debtor. The amendment makes it impossible to pursue an expired claim from the consumer (this entry does not include entrepreneurs), unless the court, after considering the interests of the parties, does not take into account the limitation of the claim against the consumer if so is required by the rules of fairness (Article 1171 of the Polish Civil Code). It is worth noting that this provision additionally imposes on courts the duty to examine ex officio the issue of limitation of a claim if it is asserted against the consumer.
Among the discussed changes introduced by the amendment, it is worth to distinguish the obligation imposed on the party which is asserting the claim. From the entry into force of the changes, the party is required to mark in the content of the lawsuit the due date of the claim in the cases of adjudication of the claim (Article 187 §1 section 11)
In case of any questions or doubts, we encourage you to contact our Legal Office.