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Claim For Outlays Only Against Owner to Whom Thing Was Released

According to Article 226 of the Polish Civil Code an autonomous possessor in good faith may demand from the owner the refund of outlays. This provision from time to time is a basis for lawsuits against subsequent real estate owners who even has never seen the possessor who made the outlays.

The above issue was ruled by the Supreme Court which dealt with such cases few times. In the judgment of February 2nd, 2001 (files no. IV CKN 253/00), the Supreme Court stated: “A claim for overlays refund is a claim of the obligation nature. It means that as an obligation claim may be directed only against the owner who received the thing with overlays”.

In the light of the above judgment, claims for outlays refund to a person who bought the real estate from the owner who collected it with overlays, are groundless. As an example can be given a situation in which the lessee makes in the rented apartment outlays subject to return on the basis of Article 226 of the Civil Code. The real estate is returned to the owner and then the owner sells it. The lessee after some time decides to claim a refund of outlays and sue to the court the new owner. Such lawsuit should be dismissed – claims for outlays refund are only against the person who was the owner in the moment of the apartment return (in this example – against the lessor).

Tomasz Korolko


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