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Simplified legalization of illegal construction works performed at least 20 years ago without legalization fee

The amendment to the Construction Law adopted by the Sejm (the Polish lower house of parliament) on January 23, 2020 provides for simplified legalization proceedings related to illegal construction works, where the construction was completed at least 20 years before the initiation of legalization proceedings.

The successful completion of the simplified verification procedure will allow the owner of a real estate to obtain a decision on the legalization of a building constructed without the required construction permit or without the required notification, or despite the objection raised by the competent authority against the submitted notification. What is crucial, legalization under the simplified procedure will not impose the obligation to pay the legalization fee.

It will be required for simplified legalization to present of complete legalization documents to the construction supervision authority, i.e.

1) statement on holding the right to use of real estate for construction purposes;

2) geodetic as-built inventory of the building object;

3) technical expertise, prepared by a person with appropriate building qualifications, indicating that the technical condition of the building:

a) does not pose a threat to human life or health, and

b) allows safe use of the building object in accordance with its current or intended use.

Furthermore it must be noted that in the simplified legalization procedure, the construction supervision authority will not examine the compliance of illegal construction works with the local spatial development plan (zoning plan) or the provisions on spatial planning.

The decision on legalization will be the basis for using the building. In the legislator’s opinion, the simplified legalization procedure is to encourage owners of illegally erected old buildings to legalize them, and consequently to comply with the provisions of Chapter 6 of the Building Law regarding the maintenance of buildings, including subjecting them to periodic inspections of technical condition. To date, many owners of old buildings do not decide to legalize fearing the risk of high legalization fees or even demolition orders, if the illegal building object is inconsistent with the local spatial development plan.

Author team leader DKP Legal Marcin Kręglewski
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