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If you own a property in Warsaw, you don't own the ground it stands on!


bimber94 7 | 254    
  21 Sep 2010  #1
Every country has its strange laws which have never been, but should be, repealed. One is that in a certain American town, it is still illegal to drink milk on a Thursday.

Poland is no exception! If you own property in Warsaw, the actual property is legally yours, but the ground it stands on is council property. In theory the local government can demand you shift your house elsewhere on pain of demolition. As far as I know this stems from the PRL period where property ownership was frowned upon (unless you were related to one of the bankers, if you catch my drift). Another strange Polish law today is that in the countryside, farm owners each owns bits of an access road leading to other properties running through them. So if your property is further down the road and you want to improve the state of the track so your new car doesn't fall to bits, all the farmers whose 'land' you have to traverse all have to agree; and that all at the same time! And if any one of them at any time changes his mind, you're stuck. Some farmers also have close family in local council offices, who can pull (or block) strings in his favour.

Polish law has to tackle these seemingly small local issues if it is to make life easier for the smallholder. These laws have no place in modern Polish society and hold Poland back. The time is grossly overdue for the government to nationalise all country roads/tracks.

"The law is an ass" - in Oliver Twist (Charles Dickens).
zetigrek    
21 Sep 2010  #2
If you own property in Warsaw, the actual property is legally yours, but the ground it stands on is council property. In theory the local government can demand you shift your house elsewhere on pain of demolition

it's not only in Warsaw. It's everywhere in Poland. It has good sides for urban investition.

The most funny thing is if you own a flat in a blok. You are the owner of the flat but not the owner of the blok or ground your blok is built on. It means that you have to pay (for your own property) a money to Spółdzielnia Mieszkaniowa apart from the electricity, gas, water etc. Of course you don't pay for "nothing". You pay for someone carring the "garden" outside your blok (which is so run down and dog-shitted that you wonder what the f. cieć is doing all day), for cleaning the staircase (once in a month), and on the fundusz remontowy (well I must admit that those money sometimes are used for something)... but the whole amount of money we have to pay to our spółdzielnia is so ridiculously high that we think of moving out!
Varsovian 92 | 634    
21 Sep 2010  #3
The difference with Warsaw is that the so-called "right of perpetual usufruct" (99-year lease of publicly-owned land) affects the whole city, which was nationalised under the Warsaw Decree of 1944.

Citizens who had friends and could bribe their way round administrative problems managed to reclaim their land in a few years for a minimal lease fee. Others were not so lucky. Restitution cases started after independence in 1990, but the success of former owners (or rather, their descendants) depends on legal skill, surviving documentation, attitude of judges in the past etc etc - and if the council has sold the land on to a third party (often Party members) in the intervening years then the option is to go for compensation - a fraught process.

Things get even more complicated if the former owners/descendants did nothing to assert claims earlier due to emigration.
Rtard - | 7    
21 Sep 2010  #4
So if your property is further down the road and you want to improve the state of the track so your new car doesn't fall to bits, all the farmers whose 'land' you have to traverse all have to agree; and that all at the same time! And if any one of them at any time changes his mind, you're stuck. Some farmers also have close family in local council offices, who can pull (or block) strings in his favour.

I'd say that it is a good thing - it's their property. I'd say it is very democratic

Sure, it doesn't seem so cool if you're the guy who wants to build a road.
But on the other hand, what would you say if one day they decided that they are demolishing your house because they want to build a new road? :-D
szarlotka 8 | 2,209    
21 Sep 2010  #5
Maybe we are in danger of confusing ownership with ultimate ownership. As an owner of a freehold property the ultimate owner of the land (to all intensive purposes the state) can force me to sell it to them under compulsory purchase at a 'fair' value but there has to be a valid reason for invoking that right. Buying half of szarlotka acres to build a new housing estate to rake in wads of cash from developers is not a valid reason. Putting a new motorway through it is a valid reason. I'm no expert on property law, as you cann see from my previous warblings, but the planning process has to make a clear case for the forced purchase I would have thought. Is there a specialist property lawyer in the house?
Rtard - | 7    
21 Sep 2010  #6
Yeah, but the situation looks a bit different when you're the person who has to move out and leave everything behind :-D
Also, don't forget that we've got quite a lot of corrupt officials and outdated laws.

For example - in the past there was just one electricity supplier and it was a state owned company. As a result, we still have quite a lot of laws that are pretty good for electricity suppliers, even though they are now all privately-owned companies. If they want they can build transformer stations on your property :-D cool, huh ?
plk123 8 | 4,160    
  21 Sep 2010  #7
Another strange Polish law today is that in the countryside, farm owners each owns bits of an access road leading to other properties running through them.

that depends.. there are 3 different ways of land division (cadaster) in PL.. they pretty much match the partitioned lands.. (Aus, Prus, Russ)

I'd say that it is a good thing - it's their property. I'd say it is very democratic

not really, it's retarded.. it should be public land.. aka. right-of-way or easement

But on the other hand, what would you say if one day they decided that they are demolishing your house because they want to build a new road? :-D

they still can.. they meaning gov body..

Buying half of szarlotka acres to build a new housing estate to rake in wads of cash from developers is not a valid reason.

in american however, this happens all the time.. it's called imminent domain. it used for good and sometimes not so good.. i've seen it under the guise of redevelopment of a run down area..

In some countries there is also some the concept of road allowance.

in the us it does (right of way) but the land interest may extend into the middle of the road.. in parts of PL, it's exactly the same.. there are dedicated roads that are simply public..
Rtard - | 7    
23 Sep 2010  #8
Somehow I get the impression that you all hate those 'farmers' just because you're not in their shoes. Buy a couple of acres of land and then you can let others build a road through your property and so on

If it your not land then either buy it or STFU...
pgtx 30 | 3,165    
23 Sep 2010  #9
It means that you have to pay (for your own property) a money to Spółdzielnia Mieszkaniowa

similar to HOA fees...


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