Real estate /

Sale of real estate with unauthorized construction – What is worth remembering?

Note: Real Estate buyer will have to pay a legalization fee

The sale of real estate with unauthorized construction is an issue that can raise many questions. Is it legal? Yes, it is possible, but it brings with it some important issues to consider in order to avoid later legal and financial problems.

According to the latest case law (the verdict of the Voivship Administrative Court in Gdansk on January 10, 2024, ref. II SA/Gd 699/23), if in the course of legalization proceedings for unauthorized construction there is a change in the owner of the real estate, the new owner enters the procedural and legal situation of the former owner.

The new owner of a property with a self-constructed building is required to pay a legalization fee.

What does this mean in practice?

The new owner will be required to pay a legalization fee, which is a necessary condition for legalizing unauthorized construction. Therefore, before buying a Real Estate, the buyer should carefully check its legal status to ensure that there is no unauthorized construction on it.

It is worth consulting a legal expert who can help analyze the documents and avoid unpleasant surprises and additional costs.

What is unauthorized construction?

According to Article 48 of the Construction Law, unauthorized construction is:

  • Construction facility or part thereof under construction.
  • Facility built without the required construction permit.
  • Facility built without notification of intent to
  • Facility built despite objection to construction notification.

It is worth remembering that unauthorized construction is a violation of the construction law and can have a number of consequences for the property owner.

How does unauthorized construction affect real estate sales?

Legal defect

Unauthorized construction constitutes a legal defect in real estate. This means that the purchaser of a property on which unauthorized construction is located can pursue a claim against the seller.

In practice, this can include, among other things, a demand for a price reduction, rescission of the contract, and even compensation for damages.

Restrictions on use

A buyer of a property with unauthorized construction may face numerous problems with its use. For example, the lack of final acceptance of the building may prevent legal habitation. In addition, there may be difficulties connecting utilities, such as electricity, water or gas

Difficult to dispose of

Selling a property with unauthorized construction is often more difficult and can involve problems finding a buyer. Potential buyers fear legal and technical problems, which can discourage them from buying.

In addition, unauthorized construction can lead to a reduction in the value of the property, forcing the seller to offer it at a lower price.

The sale of a property with a self-constructed building may present additional challenges and result in a lower property value.

How to legalize unauthorized construction step by step?

Poland’s law allows procedures to legalize unauthorized construction. The exact conditions depend on the type of building and the scale of unauthorized construction, however, as a rule, these procedures include:

  • Submission of an application for legalization: The application shall be submitted to the competent construction supervision authority.
  • Obtaining a decision: The construction authority reviews the application and issues a decision to legalize or demolish the unauthorized construction.
  • Payment of the legalization fee: In the event of a positive decision on legalization, the owner of the property on which unauthorized construction is located is required to pay a legalization fee.

What do you need to keep in mind? Recommendations for the seller and buyer of real estate

What to do before selling?

The seller should take care to legalize unauthorized construction to avoid legal problems and facilitate the process of selling the property. Legalization ensures that the new owner will not have to face unforeseen complications, which increases the attractiveness of the property on the market.

How to draft a contract?

In the sales contract, the parties should clearly specify the legal status of the property. It is important to inform the buyer about the existence of unauthorized construction and his obligations to legalize it. Such clarity protects both parties from later legal disputes.

What to watch out for when buying?

The buyer should carefully check the legal status of the property before entering into the contract. This means that information should be obtained about all building structures located on the property and their status.

It is crucial to obtain the relevant documents from the seller, such as a construction permit or notification of intent to build. Diligence in this regard can save you from unpleasant surprises.

Where to find more information about unauthorized construction?

Detailed information on the legalization of unauthorized construction can be found on the website of the General Office of Construction Supervision. If you have any legal doubts, it is advisable to seek the assistance of an attorney specializing in construction law.

Remember that unauthorized construction can significantly reduce the value of a property and make it difficult to sell. Therefore, before deciding to buy or sell such a property, carefully analyze all legal and financial aspects.

If you have any doubts, write to us at [email protected].

Author team leader DKP Legal
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