1. Issues regarding the building itself
a. Requirements under public building law regarding energy efficiency.
Further to the general rules contained in the Law on planning and construction which came into force at the end of 2009 (in Serbian: Zakon o planiranju i izgradnji (“Official Gazette of RS”, no. 72/2009, 81/2009, 64/2010, 24/2011)), two new bylaws have recently been enacted:
- Bylaw on energy efficiency of buildings, Official Gazette of RS, no.61/2011, (in Serbian: Pravnilnik o energetskoj efikasnosti zgrada), which will come into force on 30 September 2011 (the “Bylaw on Energy Efficiency”); and
- Bylaw on the conditions, the content and method for issuing certificates on energy performance of buildings, Official Gazette of RS, no.61/2011, (in Serbian: Pravilnik o uslovima, sadrzini i nacinu izdavanja sertifikata o energetskim svojstvima zgrada), which will also come into force on 30 September 2011 (the “Bylaw on Issuing Certificates on Energy Performance”).
b. Do the regulations applicable under a) only affect new buildings or have all the buildings be provided with energy efficiency facilities?
The Bylaw on Energy Efficiency applies both to the new buildings and reconstruction, upgrading, renovation, remodeling, reparation and energy recovery of existing buildings.
However, when it comes to ensuring the efficient use of energy in buildings, different factors are taken into account. These factors include: the lifetime of the building; climate location; position and orientation of the building; its purpose; the conditions of comfort; materials and elements of the building structure and envelope; technical systems and embedded devices; energy sources and cogeneration; and the ability to use renewable energy sources. Therefore old and the new buildings are not expected to be treated in the same way.
Furthermore, the Bylaw on Energy Efficiency excludes certain types of buildings from the scope of its application. Excluded buildings include: buildings that do not require a building permit; buildings that are being built with temporary building permits; buildings that are built based on the building permit for preparatory works, such as workshops, manufacturing halls, industrial buildings that are not heated or air conditioned; and buildings that are occasionally used during the winter and summer season (less than 25% of the time duration of the winter or summer season).
c. Does the market pay any attention to energy certificates?
The energy certificates have just been officially introduced to this market by enactment of the Bylaw on Issuing Certificates on Energy Performance. Although the market is already familiar with the energy certificate, it is expected that its presence will significantly increase when the Bylaw on Issuing Certificates on Energy Performance comes into force. This is due to the fact that the Bylaw prescribes that all new buildings and buildings that are being reconstructed, upgraded, renovated, remodeled, repaired and energy recovered need to have an energy certificate (the so called ‘energy passport’). Again, certain temporary types of buildings are excluded.
d. How popular is certification of buildings (LEED, BREEAM, etc.)?
Given that there is a lack of applicable regulatory framework at the moment we could only confirm that the market is to a certain extent aware of the certification of buildings.
According to several sources, it seems that there are currently no buildings in Serbia which possess one of the certificates such as LEED, BREEAM, etc.
2. Issues regarding the use of the building
a. Can the landlord push on the operating costs (mainly for electricity, water, heating) to the tenant following consumption or does that need to be established by the lease? Is there a distinction drawn between different types of buildings (e.g. residential, office, commercial, etc.)?
If nothing particular is agreed upon, the operating costs (electricity, water, heating) are borne by the tenant. It is possible to agree that the operating costs are charged by the landlord in advance, i.e. before consumption, in which case the tenant would need to make the advance payment.
No distinction in this respect is made between different types of buildings.
b. Does a landlord have the right to perform construction measures to improve the energy efficiency of a building (also against the intention of the tenant). Is there a distinction drawn between different types of buildings (e.g. residential, office, commercial etc.)?
There is still no applicable legal framework in this respect. In general, if carrying out the changes on the building hampers the usage of the building by the tenant, the landlord cannot make such changes without the consent of the tenant. Should carrying out of the changes reduce the volume of the usage of the building, the rent has to be reduced to the same proportion.
c. Does a landlord have the right to receive a reimbursement of the costs for the measures under b)? Is there a distinction drawn between different types of buildings (e.g. residential, office, commercial, etc.)?
There is still no applicable legal framework in this respect. In general, the landlord is obliged to maintain the building in a proper state, to carry out all necessary repairs in that respect and to bear all costs arising from this. The costs of minor repairs that are caused by the ordinary usage of the building (as well as the costs of the usage itself) are borne by the tenant.
d. If the respective rights mentioned in b) and c) do not exist by statute, but need to be established by the lease contract: Does a standard for such regulations exist (and what is its content)? Please give examples of typical regulations.
No applicable legal framework exists.
e. Which other obligations regarding sustainability (building materials, energy efficiency, waste management etc.) exist? If they need to be imposed by the lease agreement: does a standard for such regulations exist (and what is its content)? Please give examples of typical regulations.
No applicable legal framework exists.
3. Allocation of costs; incentives to improve sustainability of buildings or its use.
As to the allocation of costs, if nothing particular is agreed upon, the costs associated to the usage of the building and the costs of minor repairs that are caused by the ordinary usage of the building are borne by the tenant. The landlord on the other hand is obliged to maintain the building in proper state and to bear the costs of all repairs necessary for maintaining the building in the proper state.
With regards to the incentives for improvement of sustainability of building or its use, there is still no applicable legal framework.