Buying a Property in Romania – Real Estate Law in Romania
Suppose you are looking to buy a holiday or second home, invest in Romania, Transylvania, or the Black Sea, and are a foreign citizen/investor. In that case, you should know a few aspects about the procedure and the costs of acquiring Romanian land or houses.
After 2012, foreign citizens and EU citizens (non-Romanian) may purchase a home or apartment in Romania and 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.
If you have chosen to collaborate with a Romanian real estate agent/ broker, you can expect an additional commission of approximately 2-4% of the property’s price. The local tax will be 2-4% of the cost 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 are about 0.5-1% of the purchase price. You will also have to pay the Land Registry (“Cartea Funciara”) fees to register the Transfer Deed. The Romanian Land Registry Fee for a property purchase will vary from 1-3% according to the time the seller owned the property and the property’s value.
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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 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 forms of origin of these persons, under a reciprocity basis.
From 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 drafting of the agreement for the transfer of ownership of the real estate. This means that the Romanian lawyer will solely act for and is responsible to their client. In contrast, the notary will not have the same responsibility to the purchaser.
Under Romanian law, there are three basic rights to land and buildings:e rights of ownership, usage rights as lease, usufruct, superficies, and concession rights. The principle of contractual liberty represents the key core of property law in Romania.
Sometimes, an investor/purchaser can opt for closing a pre-sale agreement. The seller transfers 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. Closing such a pre-contract for purchase does not mean the property transfer. Still, they stipulate binding obligations for the parties regarding damages or penalties set out in them if the seller refuses to sign the final notarized deed of transfer at the agreed deadline.