Amendment on repealing the ban on evictions

We would like to present to you the significant changes concerning evictions that have been introduced recently. These may be of key importance for property managers and landlords in particular.

On 14 April 2022, an amendment to the Law on Assistance to Citizens of Ukraine was published (Act of 8 April 2022 on amending the Law on Assistance to Citizens of Ukraine in connection with the armed conflict on the territory of Ukraine and certain other laws, Journal of Laws of 2022, item 830, hereinafter:  “special purpose act” (in Polish: “specustawa”). It repeals the ban on evictions and restrictions on real property auctions, facilitates assigning a PESEL number, introduces new forms of support and broadens the definition of a citizen of Ukraine. The amendment is therefore of significant importance not only for Ukrainian citizens, but also, inter alia, for creditors whose debtors occupy premises without any legal title.

Until now, the total ban on evictions was in force, as introduced in Article 15zzu of the Act of 2 March 2020 on special solutions related to preventing, counteracting and combating COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them (i.e. J./ L. of 2021, item 2095, as amended). Pursuant to it, during the period when an state of epidemic emergency or a state of epidemic declared due to COVID-19 was in force, no enforcement titles ordering the vacating of residential premises were executed.

Therefore, it was not relevant that the tenant did not pay rent or did not have a legal title to the premises at all – during the coronavirus outbreak no one could be evicted. Admittedly, this provision did not apply to the situation of lending a building or its part to Ukrainian citizens for residential purposes, pursuant to Article 68 of the special purpose act. In this case it was exceptionally possible to evict the tenants.

However, the latest amendment introduces a total repeal of the eviction ban. It was repealed under Article 20 of the special purpose act, which came into force on 15 April 2022. Thus, from now on, the Covid regulations will not protect indebted tenants occupying premises without a legal title. In this context, it is already possible to start enforcing court judgments ordering eviction. It should be noted, however, that due to the large number of evictions in the near future, bailiffs will have a lot of cases, whereas they are limited by time.

Another change implemented by the amendment is the repeal of restrictions on the real property auctions in situation the debtor still lives there. The amendment applies to the Code of Civil Procedure, specifically Article 9521 § 5 of the CCP. Prior to the amendment, Covid regulations had introduced a ban on auctioning off a residential apartment or land property developed with a residential building, if it was used to provide for the debtor’s housing needs. However, the special purpose act abolishes the above restrictions and repeals Article 9521 § 5 of the CCP. This change came into force retroactively, i.e. it is effective from 24 February 2022.

In the near future, it is therefore possible to proceed not only with evictions, but also with the auctioning of debtors’ property, even when it is used for residential purposes.

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