1. Issues regarding the building itself
a. Requirements under public building law regarding energy efficiency.
Act No. 555/2005 Coll. on energy performance of buildings, as amended (the “Act”) transposed EU Directive 2002/91EC on Energy Performance of Buildings which sets out the requirements related to energy efficiency of new building and buildings which will be sold or leased by their owners.
b. Do the regulations applicable under a) only affect new buildings or have all the buildings be provided with energy efficiency facilities?
Energy efficiency standards apply to new buildings (if permitting proceedings are initiated after 1 January 2008), buildings which have undergone major renovation and existing buildings which will be subject to sale or lease (after 1 January 2008). Other than the aforementioned the standards are only voluntary. The Act also stipulates several categories of buildings which are excluded from the standards e.g. churches or monuments.
c. Does the market pay any attention to energy certificates?
Energy awareness is growing; nevertheless it is still rather low. There are however legal sanctions under the Act for those failing to provide a valid energy performance certificate.
It is an administrative tort and the Slovak Energy Inspection shall impose a fine between €166 – €996 to an owner of a residential building or non-residential building if it leases an apartment, room or non-residential premises in it and does not hand over the valid energy performance certificate to a new owner on the sale of the building or certified copy of the energy performance certificate to the tenant on the lease of all or part of the building.
It is an offence and a fine of up to €664 may also be imposed on the owner of the building if it does not hand over a valid energy performance certificate to a new owner on the sale of the building or certified copy of the energy performance certificate to the tenant on a lease of all or part of the building.
d. How popular is certification of buildings (LEED, BREEAM, etc.)?
There are 16,503 certified buildings in the Slovak Republic (as of 19 August 2011). However, the internationally recognised certifications of buildings, such as LEED, BREEAM or DGNB are only slowly gaining popularity. There is no building with a BREEAM or LEED certification in the Slovak Republic, although a number of projects are advertised as aiming to obtain it. There is one Slovak project which has already gained DGNB’s Silver pre-certification.
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.)?
Although the right to charge operating costs is not expressly established by any statute the practice is quite common. However the reimbursement of operating costs is usually stipulated in the lease contract and the costs are paid by the tenant.
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.)?
In the case of residential premises a landlord has, in general, the right to perform construction measures only with the tenant’s consent. However, the tenant may withhold his consent but only if he has serious reasons for doing so. A tenant can not refuse consent if a landlord carries out construction measures upon the requirement of the competent authority of state administration. In this event the tenant shall be liable for damages arising as a result of the violation of this duty, if he continues to refuse consent.
In the case of the non-residential premises a tenant is obliged to enable the landlord to perform necessary repairs. The consent of the tenant is not required where the construction measures are for the purposes of improving energy efficiency.
There are no specific regulations for other types of buildings or situations therefore the requirements will depend on what was agreed in the lease contract.
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.)?
In the case of residential premises, unless the lease contract stipulates otherwise, under the Civil Code only small repairs connected to the use and costs connected with usual maintenance shall be covered by the tenant.
In the case of non-residential premises the tenant is obliged to cover the costs connected with usual maintenance (Act No. 116/1990 Coll. on lease and sublease of commercial premises, as amended).
In cases which are not covered by any of the abovementioned regulations the right to receive reimbursement of costs should be stipulated in the lease contract.
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 such standard exists in the Slovak Republic.
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.
There are several obligations regarding construction of new buildings, e.g. those contained in Act No. 442/2002 Coll on public water supply and sewerage, as amended and Act No. 476/2008 on efficiency in energy. However, none of the obligations need to be imposed in the lease contract.
3. Allocation of costs; incentives to improve sustainability of buildings or its use.
The allocation of costs between a landlord and tenant should be agreed in the lease contract. Once initially agreed, it can be changed only if both parties agree otherwise.