The “Small Reprivatisation Statute” introduces an important change for pre-war owners or their heirs entitled to restitution of property in Warsaw on the basis of the Bierut Decree. Originally the Bierut Decree provided a period of only 6 months’ since the date of the municipality’s takeover of the property to make an application to grant temporary ownership of it. The amendment of Article 214 of the Law on Real Property Management stipulates that the owners, whose rights to compensation originally expired pursuant to the Bierut Decree, or their heirs may have the land returned if they had applied for perpetual usufruct (that is the right of the 99-year lease) of the property prior to 31 December 1988. Thus, applications filed after the original 6 months’ term, but before 31 December 1988, shall be taken into account and the property in question can be returned.

The legislation introducing that change still requires the signature of President Duda to enter into force – therefore, the amendment is not yet binding.

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