Polish Order – Houses up to 70 m2 without a building permit
According to the proposals included in the “Polish Order” the procedure of construction of houses for residential needs is to be significantly simplified. What are the simplifications introduced by the new act and who will be able to benefit from them?
One of the elements of the Polish Order package of acts adopted by the Seym on 17 September 2021 is the program called “My house 70 m2" which is to enable construction of houses with a footprint of up to 70 m2 without formalities.
If the provisions come into effect, it will be possible to construct single-family houses without:
- obtaining a building permit,
- appointing a site manager, and
- being obliged to keep a site logbook, under the procedure of the so-called registration with a construction project.
Major assumptions and regulations with regard to the project are presented below.
My house 70 m2 – major assumptions
The project is addressed to investors:
- who aim at satisfying their own residential needs, i.e. mainly families.
- who decide to build:
- a house with a footprint not exceeding 70 m2 and
- which will be detached with not more than two storeys. This is to result in safety of such investment projects, since the limitation of the area will make investors to construct houses of small sizes with simple structures.
In order to apply for house construction as part of the My house 70 m2 program, investors will also have to meet the following conditions:
- During the stages of design and construction the technical and construction requirements set out in the provisions of the Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure of 12 April 2002 on the technical conditions to be met by buildings and their location have to be complied with, namely it is required, among other things, that: there is an appropriate distance kept from the borders of the investment plot to guarantee that the area of impact of the constructed building is limited to the plot on which it will be constructed.
- The plot on which the house is to be constructed has to be subject to the local zoning plan with an intended residential purpose. If there is no such plan, one has to obtain a zoning decision for this type of projects, and the deadline for its issuance is to be substantially shortened according to the act to 21 days. If the municipal office fails to meet this deadline, then according to the new regulations it may be subject to financial consequences of such failure.
- The investor will also have to enclose a statement, made under penalty of perjury, confirming that the planned building process is carried out in order to satisfy his/her own residential needs and a statement that he/she accepts responsibility for managing the construction site in the event a construction manager is not appointed, as well as that the documentation attached to the notification is complete.
The act states that houses with a footprint of up to 70 m2 will be built under the procedure of the so-called registration with a construction project. This means, among other things, that after receipt of a construction notification the architectural and construction administrative authority is obliged to publish information with regard to the investment project in the Public Information Bulletin on the website for a period not shorter than 30 days and not longer than 60 days.
Additionally, in the case of construction of houses with a footprint of up to 70 m2 in order to satisfy own residential needs it will be required that the construction supervision authorities and the designer exercising author’s supervision over compliance of execution of the construction works with the design be informed about the planned date of commencement of the construction works.
The procedure for notification of construction of houses up to 70 m2 has been simplified due to exclusion of the possibility for the architectural and construction administrative authority to object to the notification of such a construction process made by the investor. Therefore, it will be possible to commence the construction process right after delivery of such a notification with the required enclosures to the architectural and construction administrative authority.
Having received such a notification, the architectural and construction administrative authority will not verify it – a statement of the designer on execution of the design in accordance with applicable legal regulations and the principles of technical knowledge will be sufficient in such cases. Whether or not the documents are complete will be the responsibility of the investor who will enclose the relevant statement to the notification.
Site manager as an option
At the same time, it has to be emphasized that the lack of the need to appoint a site manager is an alternative and a “privilege” for the investor and the introduced regulation does not prohibit the investor from such an appointment. Thus, each person willing to appoint a site manager and make him/her responsible for conducing the construction process will have such an option. This is because the bill creates a solution in this regard which may be used by the investor at his/her own discretion rather than introduces any kind of a prohibition. If there is no site manager, it is the owner as the investor who will be fully responsible for the construction process.
The obligation related to the requirement to have the area designated by a surveyor and after the house has been constructed – have an as-built survey carried out by a surveyor will rest with the investor.
A quite an important though a bit concealed element of the act is a provision which states that in the case of the procedure for issuance of a zoning decision with regard to a building the maximum analysed area will be 200 m from the area subject to the application. This means that when there are no buildings 200 m from the area of the investment project, then the investor will not obtain the zoning decision and will not be able to legally implement the investment project.
What deserves to be praised, on the other hand, is the idea of introducing a possibility of filing the application for issuance of a zoning decision in two forms:
- in hard copy,
Digitalisation of the whole procedure will certainly contribute to its acceleration.
The bill is currently in the Senate. Its ultimate shape will be known shortly.
Michał Hutny – Trainee attorney-at-law
Grzegorz Witczak – Director of the Commercial Law and Property Department, Advocate, TGC Corporate Lawyers
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