Buying a House in Bulgaria: Documents you need to check,  Tuesday, 28 July 2020

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Before you complete your property purchase in Bulgaria you should make sure that:

  • you have seen the Land Registry extract (кадастрална скица), available from the local Town Hall and checked the following details:
    • the property and land for sale match the details registered and the sellers are the registered owner(s)
    • there are no debts or charges, such as a mortgage, on the property and/or there are no legal proceedings initiated against the property for contravention of land planning law

For properties which are not included in the Land Register (not available for all areas) a Municipality Sketch (регулационна скица) is issued.

  • you have checked that planning permissions (виза за проектиране) are in order and the property is a legal build. This is particularly important and relevant when buying off-plan or direct from a developer. The Town Hall can inform you whether the building has all licences and permissions and provide details of the type of land. If the property is built on rural land or land that is not classified for construction, additional confirmation should be sought from the regional government offices as to whether they have authorised the construction
  • you have checked the latest town plan to see whether or not the plot you wish to buy has any building restrictions, is in a green zone or includes a public pathway or similar. This can be viewed at the town planning department of the local Town Hall
  • you have carried out a property survey. Whilst this is not obligatory, it is wise to get a chartered surveyor (независим оценител) to check the property
  • You know the cadastral value of the property and how much purchase tax will be due. Cadastre is the official public register showing details of ownership of the real property in a district, including boundaries and tax assessments. Be aware that tax is charged on the council’s evaluation of the property as opposed to the amount of the sale.

Make sure you have seen the following documents:

  • a paid-up receipt for the previous owner’s annual property tax . It is also wise to get a certificate from the town hall proving that there are no unpaid taxes from previous years
  • the Cadastral certificate giving the exact boundaries and square metres of your land. The Cadastral record will be linked to the Land Register record by a cadastral reference which will be included in both. You should ensure that the property and land description contained in both records matches the Use Permit (Act 16) which is issued by the Town Hall for new buildings or restructured ones and certifies that the property is habitable. You will need this document to connect to electricity and water companies
  • receipt to prove all utility bills have been paid by the previous owner
  • It is wise to require the seller of the property to provide evidence for absence of any liabilities concerning the property (taxes and other statutory costs and fees) or its use (consumable expenses) Ask the property agent for information regarding any costs the owner has not paid. It is strongly advisable to ensure that you have a copy of an affirmation stating that the previous owner has no debts
  • the title deed – it is important to check that there is an accurate description of the property in the deeds
  • if you are buying an off-plan property, confirm that there is an architectural plan for the property approved by the local municipality. Ensure that the developer/constructor has the necessary insurance to cover any build defects.

On completion, the public deed should reflect an accurate description of the property. It is advisable that you register the property in your name with the Land Registry as soon as possible to ensure full protection of your rights. The notary can even send advance notification to the Land Registry once the public deed is signed.

This article of is subject to an . Based on .

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