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Construction works performed without or in breach of building permits

April 9, 2019

On 8 April 2019, the High Court of Cassation and Justice rendered a decision for interpretation of the law (in Romanian: recurs in interesul legii) regarding construction works performed in the absence of or in breach of the building permits.

The Constructions Law no. 50/1991 establishes the rule according to which a new building cannot be registered with the land book in the absence of a building permit and of the reception minutes upon completion of works. The case-law on the matter was however not unitary; several courts had considered that the ownership right over a building is born directly from the law, based on the ownership title over the land, in a gradual manner as each element is integrated in the new construction. Under this interpretation, absence of building permits or reception minutes could trigger administrative sanctions but could not jeopardize the recognition of a valid title over the new building.

The recent decision of the High Court of Cassation and Justice states that the title over a new building cannot be recognized in the absence of the building permit and reception minutes.

The decision shall become mandatory once published with the Official Gazette of Romania. Publication is expected in the following months, as it requires the issuance of the full reasoning supporting the decision issued by the High Court of Cassation and Justice.

Please note that different rules apply with respect to fiscal registration of a new construction; absence of the building permit and reception minutes does not exonerate the land owners from fiscal obligations regarding construction works.