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7. Acquisition of Real Property

 


Restrictions on direct acquisition by investors from third countries


Foreigners and foreign entities are generally able to acquire ownership of buildings and limited real rights on real estates in the country. When this is provided in an international treaty ratified and promulgated in compliance with the law, foreign citizens and foreign legal entities may acquire ownership of land, including agricultural and forest land. In general, foreigners may also inherit real estates. However, except when otherwise specified in the relevant international treaty, they are required within three years to transfer the title to land to a Bulgarian citizen/legal entity.

 

 

Restrictions on direct acquisition of European investors

 

Under the Treaty of accession of Bulgaria to the European Union, Bulgaria has preserved:

  • until 31 December 2011 the restriction for acquisition of ownership over land for second home by nationals of member states of the EU or states parties to the EEA Agreement, not residing in Bulgaria, and by legal persons established in accordance with the laws of those countries;
  • until 31 December 2013 the restriction for acquisition of agricultural land, forests and forestry land by the persons specified above.

 

The exemptions do not apply to self-employed farmers.

 

 

Options for indirect acquisition


Foreigners or foreign entities may acquire any real estate, including land, by registering a Bulgarian company. The registered company may have full 100 per cent foreign participation. Foreigners can also acquire share participation in existing Bulgarian company which ahs title to real estate, as well as to acquire real property through the Bulgarian company.

 

 

Procedure for acquisition of real property


Contracts for transfer of title to real property or establishment of other real rights over immovable property must be executed in the form of with a notary deed by a notary public accredited for the area where the real property is located. The notary public performs all the formalities required to register the transfer of title with the Registry Agency on the day of its execution. Notary deed is not required for transactions involving under state or municipal property, where the written form of the document is sufficient.

 

Acquisition of real property

Procedure

  • The parties shall submit a written application to a notary public in whose area of competence the property is located;
  • The parties shall provide the required documents to the notary public.
  • The notary public shall read the draft title deed to the parties and if they approve of its content the title deed shall be signed by them and by the notary public.
  • The notary public shall provide the documents subject to registration to the Registry Agency on the day of their execution.
  • The notary public shall provide copies of the title deed to the parties to the proceedings.

Required documents

  • Draft title deed for purchase and sale of the real property unless the title deed is drawn up by the notary public (in 5 copies);
  • Power of attorney if any of the parties is represented by an attorney;
  • Written statement by the seller that the latter has no outstanding  liabilities for taxes, customs duties and mandatory social security contributions (in 2 copies);
  • Fixed-form declaration of citizenship and civil status;
  • Document/s evidencing the ownership title of the seller;
  • Certificate of tax assessment of the property;
  • Map of the real property (visa);
  • If the subject of the transaction is indivisible interest in a co-owned property, written evidence from the co-owner that the latter has offered the other co-owners to purchase the relevant part under the same conditions and a written statement before the notary public that none of them has accepted that offer;
  • Payment slip regarding the payment of the local sale tax;
  • Fixed-form declaration for taxation of the transferee.