Polish apartment ownership compared with South African sectional titles

Van der Merwe, C. G. ; Habdas, Magdalena (2006)

CITATION: Van Der Merwe, CG. 2006. Polish apartment ownership compared with South African sectional. Stellenbosch Law Review = Stellenbosch Regstydskrif 17(1):165-189.

The original publication is available at https://journals.co.za/content/journal/ju_slr


INTRODUCTION: The aim of this article is to compare the institution of apartment ownership in a former socialist country, Poland, with the institution of sectional titles in South Africa. We shall see that the seed of Polish apartment ownership was already ingrained in the Napoleonic Civil Code adopted in Poland in 1808. By contrast South Africa shunned its historic links with Roman-Dutch law and transplanted the common-law strata title legislation of New South Wales in Australia to regulate the ownership of sections in a multi-unit building in the Sectional Titles Act of 1973.We shall start with some general remarks on the Socialist property system that prevailed in Poland after the Second World War. A brief survey of the legislative history of apartment ownership in Poland and South Africa will then be attempted, followed by a critical evaluation of various aspects of the Polish and South African institutions. On the one hand, South African lawyers would find it interesting to see how apartment ownership was reconciled with socialist ideas and how these ideas still linger on in the most recent Polish legislation on apartment ownership. On the other hand Polish lawyers are given a glimpse of how apartment ownership is regulated in a more sophisticated ‘‘second generation’’ statute.

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