Buying a Property in Romania – Real Estate Law in Romania
If you are looking to buy a holiday or second home or invest in Romania, Transylvania or at the Black Sea and you are a foreign citizen/investor, there are few aspects you should know about the procedure and the costs for the acquisition of Romanian land or Romanian houses.
After 2012, foreign citizens EU citizens (non-Romanian) may purchase a home or apartment in Romania may freely buy and sell any Romanian property, without restrictions. Along with the selling price for the property, buying real estate in Romania has other costs associated with it.
If you have chosen to collaborate with a Romanian real estate agent/ broker you can expect to have an additional commission of approximately 2-4% of the price of the property. The local tax will be 2-4% of the price of the property. The signing of a contract must be witnessed by a public notary who submits it for certification by the Land Registry in charge of real estate records. The fees for the Romanian public notary is about 0.5-1% of the purchase price. You will also have to pay fees to the Land Registry (“Cartea Funciara”) to register the Transfer Deed. The Romanian Land Registry Fee for a purchase of a property will vary from 1-3% according to the length of time that the seller had owned the property and the property’s value.
The Romanian law on property states that Citizens of EU member states, legal persons incorporated in the EU member states and stateless people domiciled in an EU member state can purchase land in Romania only if the land is used for secondary residences or for secondary headquarters after a 5 (five) years term from the accession of Romania to the EU (starting with January 1st, 2012); only for the agricultural land and forest land 7 (seven) years term from the accession of Romania to the EU ( starting with January 1st, 2014).
But for the Citizens, legal persons and stateless people not from an EU member state, the Romanian legal system establishes that they can purchase land in Romania, under the conditions of international treaties between Romania and the states of origin of these persons, under a reciprocity basis.
In our point of view, a prudent investor will hire a Romanian lawyer/ a Romanian Law Office, who will liaise closely with the notary on the verification of the title, obtaining the Land Registry excerpt and the drafting of the agreement for the transfer of ownership of the real estate. This means that the Romanian lawyer will be solely acting for and is responsible to his or her client, whereas the notary will not have the same degree of responsibility to the purchaser.
Under Romanian law, there are three basic rights to land and buildings such as the right of ownership; usage rights as lease, usufruct, superficies; concession right. The principle of contractual liberty represents the key core of the property law in Romania.
Sometimes, an investor/purchaser can opt for closing a pre-sale agreement, by which the seller undertakes to transfer ownership to the buyer at a certain date in exchange for an agreed consideration. The content of the pre-sale contract will stipulate all commercial and legal conditions for the transfer of ownership, as conditions precedent to the final transfer of ownership. The closing of such pre-contract for purchase does not mean the transfer of the property, but the stipulate binding obligations for the parties, in regard to, as for example, damages or penalties set out in them, if the seller refuses to sign the final notarized deed of transfer at the agreed deadline.