Only for the next 12 months, businesses will have an opportunity to request the transfer of ownership
rights to land that they currently hold as a perpetual usufructuary. This request will be legally binding
on the owner. Given the constraints associated with perpetual usufruct, particularly the annual fee
obligation and the limited duration of this right, it is worthwhile considering seizing this opportunity
and securing a stronger and lasting right to land.
The right to request a transfer will be available regardless of the land’s purpose
The perpetual usufructuary’s right to request the transfer will extend to land of any purpose. This does
not mean, however, that there will be no restrictions on when this right can be exercised. Ownership
transfer cannot be demanded in particular for real properties:
− granted for perpetual usufruct after December 31, 1997;
− with respect to which the perpetual usufructuary has not fulfilled the obligation of developing
them as specified in the agreement or decision regarding the grant of the perpetual usufruct;
− located within the areas of ports and maritime harbours;
− which remain undeveloped.
Furthermore, there will not be an option to demand ownership transfer at the time of proceedings to
terminate the perpetual usufruct right. Such proceedings may be initiated if the perpetual usufructuary
uses the land in a manner contradicting the terms of the agreement or decision regarding the grant of
the land for perpetual usufruct, especially when the property is not developed as required.
…. and will involve a payment of a preferential price
In the case of land owned by the State Treasury, the new regulations provide a clear framework for
determining the acquisition price. According to these regulations, for a one-time payment, the price
will be twenty times the annual fee rate, whereas for payment in instalments, it will be twenty-five
times the annual fee rate.
The criteria for determining the acquisition price of the land owned by local governments are to be
specified in resolutions passed by their relevant bodies. However, the price set in this manner can in
no case be lower than twenty times the annual fee due from the holder of the right of perpetual
usufruct or higher than the value of the land as of the sale agreement date. Local authorities will have
four months to adopt these resolutions. Should they fail to do so, the principles for determining prices
for State Treasury properties will also apply with respect to the land properties of that specific local
Importantly, the acquisition price will typically be based on the value of the property as of the sale
date. Consequently, the annual fee rate used for ownership acquisition purposes will often differ from
what the perpetual usufructuary had been paying annually before the acquisition.
Watch out for public aid limits
The transfer of ownership from public entities to perpetual usufructuaries will not be exempt from
public aid limitations. Acquiring property below market value is generally considered a form of public
aid. Therefore, if a discount resulting from the method of determining the price for the ownership of
the land acquired by the perpetual usufructuary would lead to exceeding the de minimis thresholds
for public aid, an additional sum equal to the excess over these thresholds will need to be paid on top
of the purchase price.