Poland: Legal solutions for the real estate industry
Anti-crisis package for Covid-19
LEASES IN SHOPPING CENTRES
- Temporary expiry of rights and obligations: During the period of the ban on operating in commercial facilities with a sales area of more than 2,000 m2, mutual rights and obligations of the parties to a lease, tenancy or other similar agreement shall expire.
- Requirements for the temporary expiry of rights and obligations / prolongation of the lease: A person entitled to use the commercial areas (a tenant or otherwise) should make an unconditional and binding offer to the provider of the areas (a landlord or otherwise) to extend the contract under the existing terms and conditions for the time period equal to the ban extended by six months; the offer should be made within three months from the date of lifting the ban. In the event that such an offer has not been made within the time limit referred to above, then, as of the expiry of that time limit, the landlord is not bound by the temporary expiry of rights and obligations (see above)
- Exclusions from the above regulation regarding expiry of mutual rights and obligations: The expiry of mutual rights and obligations does not apply to tenants whose business is not prohibited or restricted by law (e.g. grocery stores or pharmacies).
LEASES – DURATION / NOTICE OF TERMINATION
- Statutory extension of leases: At the request of the tenant, the lease will be automatically extended until 30 June 2020. This rule relates to all leases concluded before the new regulations entered into force which would expire before 30 June 2020; the nature of the tenant’s activities or the location of the leased property (e.g. in the shopping centre or outside it) is irrelevant.
- Statutory extension of leases – exemptions: Tenants who have not performed or improperly performed their obligations under the lease during the time before the new regulations entered into force (e.g. if they are in arrears on payment of rent), will not be entitled to request an extension of the lease term.
- Termination of lease/rent increase – prohibition: Landlords will not be able to terminate the lease or increase the rent until 30 June 2020.
- Termination of lease – exceptions: The landlord’s right to terminate the lease or increase the rent will not apply in the event of a termination of lease with reference to:
(i) breach of contract or breach of legal regulations concerning the use of the premises by the tenant
(ii) the necessity to demolish or renovate the building in which the premises are located.
- Termination of lease/rent increase – statements made before the entry into force of the new regulations: Statements regarding termination of a lease or rent increases that were made before the entry into force of the new regulations and which are to have effect before 30 June 2020 are effective; however, the termination will be postponed until 30 June 2020 at the tenant’s request.
TRADING BAN ON SUNDAYS AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- Exceptions to the trading ban on Sundays: During a state of emergency or epidemic and within 30 days following their revocation, trading bans will not apply on Sundays in relation to the performance of trade activities consisting of unloading, receiving and displaying essential goods and entrusting an employee or employed person with the performance of such activities; an exemption from the ban under the new regulations will not apply on Sundays on which public holidays fall.
- Time limits for tacit settlement: The time limits for tacit settlement or in other case where the authority does not express an objection, entitling the party to take action (e.g. notifications in the case of construction work for which no building permit is required) will not start to run, and time limits which have started to run will be suspended, for the duration of the epidemic/state of emergency announced due to COVID-19.
- Certificate of no grounds for raising an objection: The authorities may issue a certificate of no grounds for raising an objection ex officio.
COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS
- Time limits under substantive laws: For the duration of a state of epidemic threat or epidemic due to COVID-19, the time limits provided for by civil and administrative law will not start to run and time limits which have started to run will be suspended for this period. This applies to the following time limits:
- time limits on which granting of legal protection before a court or authority depends;
- time limits for the party to perform activities shaping its rights and obligations;statute of limitations;
- time limits which, if not observed, will result in the expiration or change of rights in rem as well as of claims and receivables, as well as falling into delay;
- final time limits;
- time limits to be made by entities or organizational units that are subject to the obligation to be entered in the relevant register, activities resulting in the obligation to report to this register, as well as time limits for the performance by these entities of their obligations under the provisions of their political system.
- Time limits in court and administrative proceedings: For the duration of the epidemic/state of emergency announced as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the procedural time limits in court proceedings, including administrative court proceedings, will not start to run and any time limits which have started to run will be suspended for that period.
TAXES AND FEES
- Perpetual usufruct – deadlines for payment of the annual fee: The deadlines for paying the annual fee for perpetual usufruct will be moved from 31 March 2020 to 30 June 2020.
- Perpetual usufruct – deadlines for payment of the fee for the transformation of perpetual usufruct into ownership: The deadlines for payment of the transformation fee due for 2020 in connection with the transformation of perpetual usufruct rights into ownership will also be postponed until 30 June 2020.
- Real estate tax – exemption: By resolution of the local councils, exemptions from property tax could be passed for part of 2020, including for land, buildings and structures related to running a business, to designated groups of entrepreneurs whose financial liquidity has deteriorated due to them suffering negative economic consequences as a result of COVID-19.
- Real estate tax – extension of payment terms: The local council may, by way of a resolution, extend payment deadlines for designated groups of entrepreneurs whose financial liquidity has deteriorated due to them suffering negative economic consequences as a result of COVID-19, in relation to installments on real estate payable in April, May and June 2020, but not later than until 30 September 2020.