The provision of Article 93 of the Slovene Building Act (Gradbeni zakon, GZ) states that notaries are bound by law to verify that a building built on an immovable property has a building permit. But do they?
This (inappropriate) provision stirred up notaries’ work quite a bit and was widely covered in the media. Already at the time of adoption of the GZ, the Chamber of Notaries of Slovenia warned that the notaries public cannot enforce such a provision without the access to specific databases where this data could be obtained.
Notaries would, therefore, be forced to decline the verification of the signature, if the parties to the purchase agreement fail to deliver the building permit for the building to be purchased. In practice, this would most likely cause complete chaos and numerous problems.
As a result of the confusion caused by the aforementioned provision, a revision of the law has been proposed and is currently being coordinated between departments within the National Assembly. This revision proposes further coordination, as notaries are not equipped to know in which cases building permits are required for the immovable properties; this is within the remit of the inspectors.
Following an initiative from the National Assembly, the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning has issued an opinion stating that Article 93 of the GZ should be interpreted as to bind notaries public, banks and other entities which this article addresses, to verify only the existence of the legal fact that a building was built without proper permits or is being used in a prohibited way. They are able to verify this by checking in the land registry whether these prohibitions are noted therein.