Slovak Republic: Expropriation reforms

Author: | Published: 22 Aug 2016
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Radka Sláviková Geržová Martin Ilavský

A new law governing real estate expropriation came into force in Slovakia on July 1 2016. The new rules repealed the applicable part of the Building Act of 1976.

The new law retains and elaborates on provisions from the repealed act that had proven to be effective. Expropriation is permitted to the extent necessary, in the public interest, for the purposes defined by specific acts, and for reasonable compensation.

Key provisions

The act defines in more detail how expropriation affects the continued use of properties that need not be expropriated to achieve the intended purpose, but nevertheless have been affected by expropriation. If expropriation of part of the property would cause the owner of the property that has not been expropriated disproportionate difficulties in their peaceful enjoyment thereof, the expropriation may be extended to include this property.

Expropriation is an instrument by which a state or city may restrict the rights of a property owner in the interest of implementing public projects, such as the construction of roads, infrastructure or other construction carried out in the public interest. It is used as a last resort, when the goal of the expropriation cannot be achieved by agreement or in another manner. Expropriation may be used to prevent the obstruction of a public project or an attempt at enrichment to the detriment of public funds.

Expropriation is strictly subject to the condition of trying to reach an agreement by the party seeking to obtain the property with the owner of that property, or another legitimate attempt at obtaining rights to the property needed to implement the public project.

In the past, these attempts to reach agreement were often understood to be a mere formality. The new act defines what the offer to enter into an agreement must contain, as well as the manner in which the attempt must be demonstrated in expropriation proceedings.

Reasonable compensation is determined in expropriation proceedings by an expert appraisal. The costs associated with the expropriation may be claimed in addition to direct compensation.

The act also governs the satisfaction of the claims of third parties holding real rights in the expropriated property, which is paid from the compensation. The district authority must notify persons whose real rights in the expropriated property are recorded in the land register to register their claims.

Radka Sláviková Geržová and Martin Ilavský