Real estate disputes

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Real estate disputes

Real estate transactions and related development processes often generate disputes. We handle court cases involving real estate, including disputes concerning:
  • Preliminary agreements for sale of real estate. These proceedings may involve claims seeking the final conveyance promised in the preliminary agreement or for payments under preliminary agreements which did not lead to conclusion of a final agreement (e.g. for refund of advances or earnest money, or for contractual penalties or damages).
  • Specific performance. Sometimes one of the parties refuses to go through with a transaction, whether on the primary market (disputes with developers) or the secondary market, as well as in transactions with the State Treasury or local government. Then it may be necessary to obtain specific performance, which in Poland means obtaining a judicial ruling which takes the place of the act by the buyer or seller on conveyance of the property.
  • Elimination of joint ownership of real estate. Relations between co-owners of real estate may deteriorate to the point that the only rational way to administer the property is to eliminate joint ownership, vesting ownership in one or more of the joint owners with compensation to the joint owners whose share is bought out.
  • Construction. We represent clients in judicial proceedings arising out of the real estate development process, including investors, general contractors, consortium members, subcontractors, insurers, architects and lenders.
  • Leases. The increasing importance of commercial real estate developed for lease (primarily of office space) is a source of litigation over payment of rent, calculation and adjustment of rent, delivery of premises, lease termination, and physical and legal defects in the premises.
  • Prescription. Regulations specific to Poland enabling persons to obtain title to real estate on the basis of prescription (due to the passage of time) are the basis for judicial proceedings to clarify the legal status of real estate. We represent clients seeking to establish title through prescription as well as clients defending against loss of property through prescription, typically asserted by the State Treasury or local government. We are experienced in conducting proceedings to confirm acquisition through prescription of ownership, perpetual usufruct, and easements for access or transmission of utilities.
  • Easements. The unclear legal status of real estate is often the source of problems requiring clarification of relations between neighbouring properties and the manner of use of land or infrastructure by third parties. We are involved in litigation in this respect seeking establishment of personal easements and easements for access or transmission of utilities.
  • Perpetual usufruct fees. The changing value of property held in perpetual usufruct generates litigation with local government authorities seeking increases in annual fees for perpetual usufruct of land. We represent perpetual usufructuaries in disputes over establishment of fees.
  • Delivery of possession, reimbursement for improvements, and fees for non-contractual use of real estate. We conduct disputes connected with the obligation to return possession of real estate to the rightful owners, the obligation to reimburse the previous user for improvements made to the property or limitations on the obligation to pay for improvements, and the obligation for the user to pay the owner compensation for non-contractual use of the property.
  • Claims for unlawfully nationalised property. We are experienced in conducting administrative and judicial disputes seeking restoration or compensation for property unlawfully taken over by the State Treasury.
  • Administrative proceedings and disputes connected with the development process. We advise clients on obtaining planning permission, building permits, and decisions from the landmarks conservator, and concerning decisions prohibiting use of structures or requiring construction work, as well as obtaining permits for acquisition of real estate by foreigners.



The full range of services offered by the practice is found here.



Jan Cieć

Tel.: + 48 22 437 82 00, 22 537 82 00



Tel.: +48 12 290 86 20