Transfers of property to be notified

  • 03. December 2008

Cadastral offices will soon be required to inform sellers that they are about to lose their property.

The Justice Ministry intends to prevent cases in which flats or houses are sold without the owners’ knowledge. According to legal amendments being prepared by the Justice Ministry, the cadastral office will have to report transfers of real estate prior to an entry in the title being made.

As the law stands, a person is first contacted only after they cease to become the legal owner of a flat or house. According to the new rules, the cadastral office will send the decision about a proposed change to the cadastre entry to the existing owner of the real estate free of charge. The owner can then appeal against the decision at a court within eight days. In the event of an appeal, the decision will be suspended. If the owner is found to have been deceived and the flat or other property is being transferred without his/her being aware, he/she can prevent the entry in the title.

The ministry recorded 281 such cases last year. The cadastral office says action has only been taken in fifty cases.

The changes being prepared will also give people a right of choice when transferring a property. Notaries will no longer have an exclusive role; sellers can draft the contracts themselves. Naturally, they will bear a higher risk if they do so. If an insured notary or attorney drafts such a contract, he/she bears a portion of the responsibility for damages in the event of fraud.

If sellers use an attorney or a notary, to whom they pay a fee of several thousand crowns, the transfer can be administered immediately. Otherwise, it is necessary to wait for the cadastral office to issue a notification and confirm the seller’s consent to the transfer in person.

Attorneys and notaries will also be able to verify the identity of the seller at his/her permanent address.

(Source: SME; 02.12.2008)
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