Lithuania: A New Law on Construction entered into force on 1 January 2017; these are the key changes you need to know:
Both the red tape and time needed to process planning and building permits have been significantly reduced. Instead of 16 state authorities ruling on a construction project’s compliance with legal and environmental requirements, since 1 January a maximum of 10 authorities are involved in the process. The time for the receipt of the building permit has been decreased by approximately 50%. Thus, the documents required to commence construction should now be issued within 20 business days for special purpose construction projects and within 10 for all other construction projects.
In addition, contractors will no longer be required to amend the permit when replacing a previous contractor during construction.
The procedure for official final approval of construction work has also been simplified. The obligation of the competent authorities to physically inspect and approve the majority of construction projects, valid until the end of 2016, has now been abolished. The new rule applies not only to special purpose construction projects contained in a separately issued list, but to additional types of buildings as well. This will hasten the completion of construction works.
To better protect purchasers of real estate against an inability to enforce their right to the remedy of construction defects in cases of insolvency of the real estate developer, the amended law requires mandatory guarantees from several parties engaged in the development and construction projects. These guarantees must be issued for at least 5% of the total construction value against possible defects discovered during the first 3 years.
New rules set severe restrictions on the use of a building prior to the issuance of a formal completion document.
Mandatory Construction Works Insurance replaces the compulsory insurance of the contractor’s civil liability, while the expert of the construction planning project will now be required to insure his civil liability.
Fines for construction-related administrative law infringements rise significantly: e.g., a legal person now faces a maximum fine of 30 000 EUR for illegal construction, compared with the previous 14 000 EUR.
On a more positive note, the main virtual platform for construction (http://infostatyba.lt/) will be much better synchronised with the state real estate registry, with a system of automated notice in place to add legal facts to the registry when significant documents make their way to the virtual platform.
Source: Law on Construction of 30 June 2016 No. XII-2573