The Office of Housing and Municipal Development (URMiM) intends to take action against Public Housing Associations (TBS) that fail to abide by their statutory mandate, namely the state-subsidized construction of rental residential units. In a related development the URMiM is also drafting an amendment to the Real Estate Trade Act that is aimed at raising professional standards of agents in the property market.
Established in 1996 as part of state efforts to spur the building of homes for the lower-income social strata, the TBS have received assistance from the National Housing Fund that is administered by the National Economy Bank (BGK). Yet, figures show that only slightly more than one half of existing TBS have secured loans for rental housing construction. The remainder are focused on more profitable homes for sale. The URMiM with which the TBS are registered is formulating new legislation that would increase its oversight powers and make non-statutory activity on the part of the TBS more difficult. The CitizensÂ' Rights Ombudsman has also vigorously lent his support for this campaign.
In a related development the URMiM is also drafting an amendment to the Real Estate Trade Act that is aimed at raising professional standards of agents in the property market. Recent inspections have revealed that failure to obtain required commercial licenses is widespread among real estate agents as well as property administrators and appraisers. As a result, the intended legislation aims to increase fines for such lawlessness tenfold to PLN 50,000. Moreover, existing regulations do not clearly specify the authority or principles of imposing penalties in the above connection. If passed, the amendment would make the URMiM, the Office for the Protection of Consumers and Competition, the Trade Inspectorate, local districts and trade organizations all empowered to verify the qualifications of real estate professionals. In addition, the draft amendment aims to broaden the rights of asset appraisers. Such licensed individuals would be entitled to make property-related appraisals that also pertain to firms, investments and the general real estate market. Analyses could also include the financial impact of local zoning or changes to municipal planning.
(Financial Times Information Ltd.