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The Warsaw Voice » Real Estate » September 17, 2008
The Real Estate Voice
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Investors Still Face Ordeal
September 17, 2008   
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Demand for commercial and residential real estate has been going up in leaps and bounds ever since Poland joined the European Union. Planning and developing construction projects, however, remains an ordeal with investors battling the same problems they faced years ago.

Consecutive governments have failed to introduce any significant legislative changes in response to investor demands. The Sejm has been debating draft amendments to urban planning and development laws since the beginning of last year however no major changes came into force.

An amendment to the Building Law Act that came into effect Aug. 23 is a notable exception. The amendment is intended to make life easier for investors who faced problems in selecting construction contractors, especially for large projects. The validity of building permits has been extended from two to three years, and four years in the case of public utility projects.

The amendment also extends the maximum period of suspending construction without causing the permit to lapse to three years. The new regulations also apply to pending building permits whose applications were submitted before the new rules came into effect.

There are further Building Law Act amendments which come into effect Jan. 1, 2009, defining the situations in which certified energy efficiency specifications are required for buildings. These certificates specify the total amount of energy a building requires together with a breakdown of its energy needs. They will be mandatory for new buildings as well as existing buildings. No usage permits will be granted for new buildings that do not have energy certificates.

The Sejm has also been debating a draft amendment to the Real Estate management Act, which would streamline the process of subdividing property. The most important change will make it unlawful to suspend the progress of subdivisions, presently allowable when compiling local property development plans. The amendment would also shorten the maximum period of issuing administrative decisions on subdivisions to 30 days.

Despite the many promises, nothing much has been done to help investors easily plan or effectively implement construction projects, apart from the minor changes described above. And if anything, some of these changes actually complicate investment even more.

Agata Jurek - Zbrojska
Aleksandra Moczulska
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