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Polish government targeting British property buyers!!


Mark_the_teache 1 | 7
26 Aug 2019 #1
Warning to all British citizens! I bought a house in Poland (I'm British) with my wife who is Polish. The house was located on a plot of residential land (allocated for residential purposes) inside a forest. On the land was an uncompleted house which we completed after purchasing the land and house. Our notary (responsible for checking the legal side) gave the green light on the purchase. After 2 years we started receiving letters from the housing ministry claiming that because our land was forestry land we needed permission before we bought it.

The harrassement we are facing is quite ironic given the sheer numbers of Polish citizens living comfortably in the UK many of which have bought and are living in UK properties. Despite the relatively tiny number of British living in Poland, it seems we are fair game for the authorities to go after if we purchase property. After being sued by the ministry of housing, we are now having to pay legal fees and undergo stress and time wastage in the Polish courts to prove that the land was allocated for residential purposes (we have town hall evidence that our land is residential land - indeed we live in a neighbourhood full of other houses in the forest and all around us!).

It is true that foreigners need permission to buy forestry or agricultural land however :

1) The land has to be over 5000 sqm (ours is under 800 sqm)
2) The land has to be proper forestry land (used for logging etc) however ours was allocated for residential use and we have local town hall documents showing it was.

2) Assuming we broke some law (no sign so far that we did!), it should have been the notaries responsibility to flag this to us. so the ministry should have taken this up with our notary.

The stress alone is making us think of packing up and leaving the country but trust me if this happens I will kick up one hell of a fuss in the British press. You can't expect millions of your nationals to come and enjoy a peaceful life in the UK and then make it living hell for a handful of British nationals living in Poland. The cheek!
pawian 161 | 9,971
26 Aug 2019 #2
so the ministry should have taken this up with our notary.

No, first they deal with you, then you can sue your notary for framing you into this suspicious purchase. .
OP Mark_the_teache 1 | 7
26 Aug 2019 #3
Thanks Pawian. That assumes we actually did something wrong (i.e. that the notary made a mistake). We can't find any evidence of either. It seems much more likely that the ministry has it's facts all muddled up. What happens if the court rules against the ministry?

Does anyone know the definition of "forestry land" in Poland? I mean the kind of forestry land that foreigners require permission to buy. Is it any land inside a forest or rather any piece of land specifically designated for forest (not-residential) use (ex for gaming, wildlife, logging etc).?
Atch 17 | 2,913
26 Aug 2019 #4
it should have been the notaries responsibility to flag this to us

Unfortunately, in Poland, a notary, even if retained by the buyer, does not act for the buyer in the sense that a solicitor does in the UK. The notary's role is merely to witness the transaction in order to legalize it, and any documentation provided to them by the parties concerned is taken on trust. The notary is not obliged to verify any information regarding the property. That's why the same notary can be used by both the buyer and the vendor. You would have needed a solicitor to carry out the due diligence on the property beforehand.
OP Mark_the_teache 1 | 7
26 Aug 2019 #5
Thanks Atch. We have engaged a solicitor for the case however in the first hearing the prosecution lawyer from the ministry didn't seem to have much of an argument and our solicitor has had to do the due diligence you refer to after the fact unfortunately. Nevertheless, he has not been able to identify possibly fault on our part. It is for this reason that I suspect the ministry is simply going after foreigners because they are an easy target. We will have to see how the case goes and whether the court finds us or the ministry at fault.
somedude
2 Sep 2019 #6
I understand it must be stressful but the title "Polish government targeting British property buyers" is a bit OTT and unfair. Unless you can prove this is the case then the title should be based on the facts.

*Warning to all foreigners buying in property Poland* Do not listen to Poles, pay for a good lawyer ( not a notary, they do not act on your behalf )to check things before you sign *anything*. Do not fall for any pressure from the seller or estate agent, its your money so make the process as safe as possible for yourself. This of course may trigger seller and estate agent to have a break down and start crying, this will soon pass when they see you are a serious individual and wont fall for any BS.
Wincig 2 | 185
2 Sep 2019 #7
The notary is not obliged to verify any information [...] . That's why the same notary can be used by both buyer and vendor

Not quite. In France, buyer and seller can use the same notary, yet the notary is obliged the verify information re the property
Ironside 48 | 9,888
2 Sep 2019 #8
The harrassement we are facing is quite ironic given the sheer numbers of Polish citizens living comfortably in the UK

You sound like a little *****. I doubt you are being harrased, you just came into a contact with post-soviet bureaucracy. Enjoy.
Cargo pants 1 | 132
3 Sep 2019 #9
@OP,Notary job ends when he/she confirms if the property is legally owned and has no legal or financial liabilities.What is done/built on the property and if not mentioned on the deed is not covered.Yes notarys fug up but there liability insurance covers for it.I have bought 11 properties in Poland in 19 years and never had a problem except alcohol permission being denied by the spodzelnia (which I take it as my fault for assuming I will get it).

I will kick up one hell of a fuss in the British press

You can try whatever which will not do crap,and if takes heat you will be punished more in Poland.Change your attitude and deal with it rationally locally.YOU have to loose more then the local authorities as your money is involved.GOOD LUCK.


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