Teresa Kielar is an attorney with the firm of Realnosc in
Krakow, Poland. She has more than 30 years experience in
public economic matters. Her firm specializes in real estate,
including representing foreigners purchasing property in
Poland. She is a member of the Association of Real Estate
Brokers in Middle Poland and has authored articles for the
bulletin of that association and the Krakow Institute of Real
Estate. She is a past president of the Regional Disciplinary
Court for three provinces.
By Teresa Kielar
PURCHASING REAL ESTATE by foreigners on Republic of Poland territory is regulated by an act dated 24 March 1920 (final version of a statute: Journal of law from 1996, No. 54, position 245).
According to the regulations of a.m. statute,
the purchase of ownership
or ground usufruct by a foreigner requires permission. Permission is
issued by the Minister of Home Affairs by way of administrative
In the meaning of statute’s regulations, (art.
1, part paragraph 7) a
a. a natural person not having Polish citizenship
b. a legal person having a seat abroad
c. a legal person
having a seat in the territory of the Republic of
Poland controlled directly or indirectly by the persons mentioned
under a. and b.
In the case of a commercial company, the company
is considered to be
controlled when persons mentioned under a. and b. have directly or
indirectly at least 50% of initial capital.
Within the statute’s control comes also the
purchase or accession by
the foreigner of shares and stock in a commercial company with the
seat on the territory of the Republic of Poland being the owner or
perpetual real estate user.
WHO MUST OBTAIN PERMISSION?
THE ACTIVITIES mentioned above require obtaining
from the Minister of Home Affairs, if:
a. as a result
of purchasing or accession of shares or stock, the
company becomes a company controlled in the meaning of
b. the company
is controlled and the foreigner who is neither
shareholder nor stockholder purchases shares or stock
The foreigner intending to purchase real estate
on territory of the
Republic of Poland can also compete for issue of a promise of
permission by the Minister of Home Affairs.
This promise is valid for the period of 6 months
from the date of its
issue. During the period of the promise’s validity, you cannot be
refused permission for the real estate purchase unless facts important
for the settlement of the matter have been changed.
Every transaction in which the foreigner purchases
ownership or real
estate perpetual usufruct which is undertaken in defiance of statute’s
regulations, without the required permission, is unvalid!
The statute, mentioned at the beginning, foresees
also exceptions from
the obligation of obtaining the permission.
Its regulations are not used for purchasing
the real estate on the way of
succession by the persons entitled to statutory succession.
WHO DOESN'T REQUIRE PERMISSION?
THE FOLLOWING cases also don’t require obtaining permission:
a. purchase of
individual dwelling flat in the meaning of statute’s
regulations dated 24 June 1994 about the ownership of flats
(Journal of law No. 85, position 388)
b. purchase of
real estate by the foreigner living on the territory of
the Republic of Poland for at least 5 years from the date of
obtaining of card of permament stay
c. purchase by
the foreigner being the spouse of a Polish citizen
living on the territory of the Republic of Poland for at least 2 years
from the date of obtaining the card of permament stay, real estate
which in result of purchase will make statutory joint property of
husband and wife
d. the purchase
by the foreigner of real estate, if he on the day of
purchase is entitled to statutory succession after alienator of real
estate and the alienator or real estate is its owner or perpetual
user for at least 5 years
e. the purchase
by a legal person having the seat on the territory
of Poland controlled by a foreign party, for its statutes’ purposes
the unimproved properties the total surface of which on the
territory of all the country does not exceed 0,4 hectares on the
area of cities.
However, above exemptions from use of statute’s
regulations from the
date 24 March 1920 about purchasing of real estate by foreigners are
not used for real estate in the frontier zone and to farmland with the
surface exceeding 1 hectare.