Building permit – a concept / The importance of having a building permit and of complying with it / Buildings built without a building permit / How we can help you


Building permit – concept

As a general rule, in Romania, the execution of construction works (e.g. the total or partial demolition of a building, the modernisation of an existing building, the construction of a new building, etc.) can only be carried out on the basis of a building permit issued under the conditions of Law no. 50/1991 (Law on the authorisation of construction works).

According to Law no. 50/1991, the building permit is the final act of authority of the local public administration on the basis of which the execution of construction works is allowed, corresponding to the measures provided for by law concerning the location, design, construction, operation and post-use of buildings.

The building permit is the act that approves the construction of a building on a certain plot of land, based on the acts provided for by law, which establish the regime of the future construction (e.g. the location of the building on the land, setbacks from property boundaries, footprint of the building, maximum height of the building, geometry of the building, destination of the building, etc.).


The importance of having a building permit and complying with it

As mentioned in another section (Ownership), ownership of land can be exercised in accordance with the law, which means that the owner can only build on his land if he is authorised to do so by law.

Lack of building permit and/or failure to comply with the permit issued and/or failure to sign the acceptance report on completion of the construction can cause a number of difficulties:

  • the construction is not considered completed;
  • ownership of the building cannot be entered in the land register;
  • in the case of the construction of a block of flats, it is not possible to carry out the operation of flatting (dismantling);
  • the building cannot be alienated;
  • the competent authorities may impose sanctions, including the dismantling of the construction;
  • interested persons can have the whole or part of the building demolished (for more details, please see the section “Demolition of neighbouring buildings”), etc.


Buildings erected without planning permission

As a general rule, where the owner of a plot of land has built a building with his own materials, without a building permit, he cannot be considered the owner of the building, even in a case brought before the courts (in this regard, the High Court of Cassation and Justice has issued binding rulings in Decision No 13/2019, delivered in an appeal in the interest of the law, published in the Official Gazette, Part I, No 440/03.06.2019 ).

However, given the multitude of cases and causes that may arise in practice, the law provides several legal remedies to ensure legality.

A first legal remedy concerns constructions built before 01.08.2001.

In the case of these constructions, built without building permits, Law no. 7/1996 provides that their ownership can be registered in the land register on the basis of the tax certificate and the cadastral documentation.

Another legal remedy concerns constructions built without a permit after 01.08.2001, for which the statute of limitations for the application of sanctions by the competent authorities has expired.

In the case of these constructions, Law no. 50/1991 stipulates that the right of ownership over them can be registered in the land register on the basis of a certificate of attestation regarding the construction of the construction, which will be issued only on the basis of a technical expertise certifying that the work is in accordance with the law, as well as on the basis of cadastral documentation.

This second legal remedy is based on the new construction’s compliance with the fundamental urban planning requirements (e.g. POT – the percentage of land occupation, CUT – the land use coefficient, H – max – the maximum height, the building’s destination, etc.), otherwise it will not be possible to enter into legality.


How we can help you

Our lawyers, in collaboration with various architects and construction engineers, can advise you on any issue concerning the legality of a construction built without planning permission:

  • establishing the legal regime applicable to the construction;
  • determining whether the new construction is within the urban planning parameters of the area;
  • legal assistance at the time of the building survey;
  • drawing up and filing the documents for the registration of the property right in the land register;
  • legal assistance and representation before the competent authorities, etc.