Purchase of agricultural land in Poland. Who can buy a property in Poland?

Purchase of agricultural land in Poland seems to be very attractive for many foreigners. However, the new law turned the market situation.

Conclusion of a preliminary sale agreement for agricultural land by  foreigners does not give them the right to enter into the final purchase  agreement  after a specified time without obtaining permission from the  appropriate authority, being Minister of Interior, according to  the amendment of the law after 30 April 2016.

 Our client,  a citizen of the European Union, concluded in 2006 a preliminary agreement in the form of a notarial deed for the purchase of agricultural land in Poland.  Our client has set the date to conclude the promised agreement for  May 2016.

As per the Act on acquisition of real estate by foreigners and 12 years after Poland’s accession to the EU the purchase of agricultural land in Poland did not required authorization  by the competent minister. For that reason our client indicated the above mentioned date to conclude the final agreement on.

Unfortunately,  according to the Law of Shaping the Agricultural System of April 11th 2003 (Journal of Laws of 2003. Poz. 592), which was amended on April 30th 2016 by the Act on suspention of the sale of the Agricultural Property of the Treasury and the amendment of certain other date of  April 14th 2016 ( Journal of Law of 2016, Poz 585), article 2a paragraph 1 and 2 “only an individual farmer can be the purchaser of agricultural property, unless the law provides otherwise”.

Articles 6 and 7 of the above mentioned act described the definition of the individual farmer. It says: the individual farmer is any natural person who is the owner, perpetual usufructuary, sole owner or leaseholder of agricultural properties. The total agricultural area of the property does not exceed 300 hectares.  The individual farmer posses agricultural skills and has been living for at least 5 years in the area of the property.  Also, he has been personally managing the whole farm in this period. At this point, we need to underline what the term “living” means. It means ability of  foreigners to present the confirmation of their permanent residence. Your local Municipal Office may issue the residence permit. It is not enough to achive the confirmation of temporary residence permit  – the requirment is to obtain permament residence permit.

In order to obtain the residence permit, it is sufficient to submit one’s application. It must be accompanied by  legal title to the property and the confirmation of  official registration of the stay in Poland. In addition, you need to submit your official ID. It is not required that the foreigners are the owners of the property to get the residence permit. In case, the potential buyers  did not fulfill their obligation to achive the residence permit for last period of time.  It won’t be possible for them to prove by any other evidence that they have been living in this property. So, it won’t be possible  to fulfill the requirment to be considered as an individual farmer. Consequently, they won’t be able to purchase the property in Poland.

Due to the new regulations many foreigners  may not be able to conclude their final purchase agreement. They need to find a diffrent way to solve this problem. You may need to engage service of an law firm.