Tax & Legal Highlights for Real Estate – July 2021

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1. Internet conveniences in the construction process

Pursuant to the Act on amending certain acts supporting the development of housing of 10 December 2020, from 1 July this year, it is possible to submit applications for a building permit via internet as well as an application with an architectural and construction project. Designers may prepare a project in the form of a pdf file, and investors or proxies may attach a project signed with a qualified electronic signature, trusted profile or personal profile (e-ID) to electronic applications.

Along with the application for a building permit and the digital construction project, other forms have been added, including an application to initiate a simplified legalization procedure, a notice of completion of construction, an application for a change to a building permit and use of the facility.
To use the online submission of applications, one needs to create an account at e-budownictwo.gunb.gov.pl.

2. Amendment to the Act on protection of rights of purchasers of apartments and houses

Upon the initiative by UOKiK on 30 June 2021, an amendment to the Act on protecting the rights of purchasers of apartments and houses, the so-called Developer Act, was published.

The amended act establishes the Developer Guarantee Fund funded by contributions paid by developers. The contribution to the Fund is to be paid by the developer from the payments made by buyers to the housing trust account. The Minister of Construction (currently the Minister of Development, Labour and Technology) will determine the rate of the contributions. According to Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK, the Developer Guarantee Fund will provide protection to persons purchasing new apartments in case the developer goes bankrupt or fails to transfer the ownership of the apartment within the agreed time limits or fails to remove major defects within deadlines.

Other changes include increased bank supervision over spending funds from housing trust accounts and regulation of the so-called reservation agreement. The last payment from the trust account will be made by the bank only after the developer presents a notarial deed transferring the ownership of the apartment to the buyer. Additionally, new regulations limit the amount of the so-called reservation fee to 1% of the price, and they also regulate the manner of conclusion of the reservation agreement and its mandatory requirements.

The amended Act will enter into force on 1 July 2022.

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