Property taxes vary depending on gmina (lowest territory division unit in Poland), and they are set by local authorities. However, state regulations limit the rates. As of 2009, the most they can be are as follows:
- 0.37 PLN/sqm of undeveloped land
- 0.62 PLN/sqm of building floor space
- 2% of architectural structure value
It is not obligatory to insure property in Poland, but most banks demand to see proof of insurance to take out a mortgage. Even if you do not need a mortgage, getting insurance is a very good idea. Over the last few decades, Poland experienced about two floods every year, and if your property is close to a river (even a small one) you should seriously consider buying insurance against natural disasters.
For a timber house the average insurance rate is 0.15-0.17% of its value since it's more likely to catch fire. For houses made of other materials (e.g. brick or concrete) you have to pay between 0.06-0.1%.
You may also wish to buy a policy against robbery. To do so, you will have to estimate the value of everything you have in your house. Don't be tempted by lower insurance prices and underestimate the value of your belongings, since in case of robbery you will get less money.
House utility example costs
House maintenance expenses vary significantly depending on many factors, such as your property's dimensions, its insulation technology, type of windows and heating system.
For example, let's assume you find a 200 sqm house for you, your spouse and adult daughter. The exterior walls and roof are well-insulated, there are big insulated windows, and the house uses gas for water and central heating. The house includes a jacuzzi, is connected to the local sewage system, and has a 1.000 sqm garden (which needs watering). The annual cost of maintaining such a home would be around 11.500 PLN. For the same house, garbage disposal is an additional 60 PLN/month and security monitoring is 120 PLN/month.
Depending on the region, apartment size and owner's habits, monthly flat expenses may range from 500 -1000 PLN. This includes gas, electricity, water, garbage disposal and costs of maintaining communal areas. Normally the owners' association (spółdzielnia) in a neighbourhood provides water, garbage disposal and maintains staircases, gardens, playgrounds etc. You pay the association for these utilities. Sometimes the spółdzielnia provides internet subscription as well.
You can normally choose two ways of buying water – you can pay a lump sum every month and use as much water as you want (cost is fixed according to amount of people living in the flat) or you may prefer to pay for exactly what you consume.
The electricity bills usually come every two months. You receive them by mail and pay in the bank or at the post office.