Legislation regarding the purchase of real estate in Romania by foreigners
, Welt Imobiliare

25/04/2015

real estate in Romania

Sursa imagine: www.peepsltd.co.uk

The Romanian Legal System features precise regulations regarding ownership rights over real estate on the territory of Romania. Generally speaking, foreign citizens are able to acquire real estate property in Romania, but only under certain conditions. The restrictions generally concern economic criteria that Romania has to fullfill as an active member of the European Union.

Any foreign citizen, stateless person or legal entity, regardless of country of origin, is free to purchase real estate such as apartments, commercial or industrial buildings, under the same conditions with those applicable to Romanian citizens.

However, the land the property is standing on, cannot be purchased. In case of this type of real estate property, a right of „superficies” has to be established. This enables the foreign citizen interested in buying Romanian real estate properties to acquire the right to use the land, as opposed to the land itself.

In regard to purchase of the right of ownership over land, there are two main circumstances under which a foreign citizen may gain ownership. As such, in the first case, individuals who are not domiciled in Romania, but are E.U. citizens or citizens of a member state of the Economic European Area, stateless persons not domiciled in Romania, but having a stable domicile in another EU member state, as well as legal entities that are not domiciled in Romania, but are established according to the legal provisions of an E.U. member state, all three categories are able to acquire the right of ownership over lands, under the condition that the lands are used to build secondary residences or secondary headquarters. 

The second circumstance regards farmers, either citizens of an E.U. member state or stateless persons domiciled in an E.U. member state, who wish to purchase land in Romania. The aforementioned category may acquire ownership right over agricultural land, forests and forestry land under the same conditions as those applicable to Romanian citizens and Romanian legal persons, provided that they can officially prove that they work as farmers and they will not change the nature of their activity during their transit period.

Another important law regarding agricultural land is the law regarding the sale and purchase of agricultural land situated in unincorporated areas, enforced since April 2014. This law allows foreigners to purchase land in Romania, under the status of natural person. Additionally, the law features certain requirements for buyers, and establishes a series of steps that must be taken in order to complete the sale-purchase process. The main requirement imposed by the law consists of the right of first refusal (ROFR), held by specific categories of people, in order: co-owners of the lands on sale, landholders, neighboring landlords, the Romanian state, through the State Domains Agency. The owners are required to submit a request through which they solicit the notification of the ROFR holders, as well as the advertisment of the sales offer of the land. The request needs to be submitted along with the sales offer, which has to include the price, the complete name of the seller, the complete address of the seller, the placement of the land, the area, the category of use, as well as the land registry documents. Once the application is submitted, finding the buyer that fits the legal requirement is the responsibility of the local and central bodies created for this purpose.

As for the ownership right over Real Estate for Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons, as well as foreign legal entities – non-members of the European Union or the European Economic Area, it is regulated by international treaties, on a reciprocity basis.

In what regards business organizations looking to buy property in Romania, the law for ownership over Real estate for Romanian Legal Persons states that companies as well as legal entities are entitled to the ownership right over any type of land. Shareholders or partners of a company, regardless of nationality, are also indirectly enabled to acquire lands and buildings.

While knowing the legal framework regarding real estate acquisition certainly doesn’t hurt, it is important to note that legal assistance is not only recommended, but also required in order to complete a purchase. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are searching for a property. We would be glad to offer our assistance and direct you towards the appropriate entities for legal assistance.

 

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