OPINION

Legislation on poor foundation

It was only to be expected that the government’s attempt to earn some money by settling the question of illegally enclosed balconies (so-called «semi-open» areas) in apartment buildings would raise considerable legal issues. The idea arose from the fact that since these violations of the building code already existed, it would be useful to turn them into a source of income for the beleaguered state coffers. The proposal would allow homeowners to pay a fee to ensure that areas of their homes that were originally planned as balconies but have since been turned into closed rooms would not be subject to further penalties. However, as it turns out, even should the owners pay a fee, they will not be able to transfer ownership legally. The theory comes apart in practice. The government should have worked out all the legal implications before announcing the measure. Not doing so has only caused confusion and uncertainty. It will be very interesting to hear how the Supreme Court rules on the issue.