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Real property buy-out from perpetual usufruct


by ​Joanna Sikora-Bzdzikot

13 February 2024

Perpetual usufructuaries who meet certain criteria may now request their city/town mayor to sell them the real property, but they me do so only until 31 August 2024. If they meet the statutory criteria, the authorities have to comply with the request. 
The deadline for the formalities seems far away but may prove insufficient in fact. 

What documents need to be attached?

The law does not list the documents to be attached to the request. The practice varies. The authorities usually require documents which confirm that a real property has been let on perpetual usufruct and the legal succession if the perpetual usufructuary has changed. 
The problem is that only properties that were let on perpetual usufruct before 31 December 1997 may be bought out. Many organisations that have undergone multiple transformations, shareholder changes etc. often have no such old documents. 
The survey designation of a real property disclosed in the documents that established the perpetual usufruct may completely mismatch the current number of that property. This may result from the 1996 overhaul of land records which replaced the old plot numbers with a new numbering system. Moreover, properties have been often divided and merged over the years. 

What does this mean in practice?

Some authorities (especially in big cities) declare that it is up to them to establish if a real property on perpetual usufruct is the same property as disclosed in the documents that establish the perpetual usufruct. The authorities have the tools for this job and may procure the required data (including historical data) from the land and building records kept by the mayor. 
However, some local authorities openly admit that they have no tools to investigate old real property numbers and old property divisions/mergers, so they will be asking the applicants to demonstrate the changes. As long as the applicants have such documents, there is no problem. Most often, however, this may be a major challenge. Surveyors may help here. They may compile a consolidated list of changes to survey data. Still, it is a time-consuming process that requires digging up old documents and records. 
It is worth checking now the conditions and documents required by your local authorities and contemplating the request. Our experts would be glad to help. You are welcome to contact us.


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Joanna Sikora-Bzdzikot

Attorney at law (Poland)

Senior Associate

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