According to a Czech Supreme Court decision (file no. 22 CDO 5968/2017) dated 26 November 2019, when dealing with buildings which extend onto only a small area of another party‘s land and were constructed under the Civil Code or before it took effect, courts must first decide whether to apply the encroachment provisions under section 3059 together with section 1087 of the Civil Code. To the extent possible, the court takes the following position on the legal assessment of these buildings.

As the Supreme Court explained in an earlier decision (file no. 22 CDO 4572 / 2015), if a building and land plot were subject to different ownership, then under section 3055 (a) of the Civil Code, the building did not become part of the land on 1 January 2014.  If the ownership was later unified, then the building became part of the land at the time of unification under section 3058 (1). According to the transitional provisions under sections 3054 to 3058 of the Civil Code, this starting premise should also apply to the land on which at least a substantial part of a building is located. 

There is no reason to depart from the Supreme Court’s position in its earlier decision (file no,.22 Cdo 4461/2015) when considering a case where only a small section of a building unduly occupies another party‘s land (and this does not constitute an encroachment). In other words, the legal situation should be resolved according to existing legal regulations (in particular, section 135 (c) of the Civil Code).

These cases specifically concern situations where a small area of a building unduly extends onto the land of someone other than the building’s owner. In these situations, it would be wrong to apply the new Civil Code’s rules on unauthorised buildings since they hold that the owner of an unauthorised building constructed under the new Code owns the land that the building occupies as a matter of law. This conclusion would produce the unacceptable result that the owner of a building that is mostly located on its own land owns the neighbouring plot on which only a small part of its building extends.

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