With effect from 1 January 2015, the Civil Code strengthens the institute of good faith in the registration of data contained in the Land Registry (Section 3064 in conjunction with Section 980(2)). A person acting in good faith is in good faith if he relied on the data contained in the land register, did not have information that would indicate that the given situation was not in accordance with reality and at the same time acted with the caution that can be expected of an “average person”.
This is a very important development, especially in relation to the protection of purchasers of rights in immovable property, since they can rely without further delay, provided that the above conditions are met, on the fact that the person with whom they enter into contractual relations (whether it is the purchase of a house, the rental of an apartment, the establishment of easements, etc.) is the person entitled to conclude such a contract and that the acquisition of such a right will be protected against third parties.
Proposal for entry into the Land Registry
Measure twice, cut once. That goes for official filings as well. Enrolment in the Land Registry is a formality, but a very important formality that is not to be underestimated. Do you need to register an easement in the Land Registry? Or a lien so you don’t lose the money you borrowed?
Although the above rule may seem quite logical due to the tradition of registering rights to immovable property in the Land Registry, this has not always been the case. In the past, the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the registration in the Land Registry must give way to the actual legal relationship to a certain immovable property. In practice, this meant that even if a certain right was not registered in the land register in favour of a certain person, it was possible to enforce that right against a bona fide purchaser of the property. Thus, it happened more than once that someone purchased, for example, an apartment from a person who was registered as the owner in the land register, but later was forced to hand it over to a person who proved that the apartment actually belonged to him, although he was not registered as the owner in the land register.
It seems that, as a result of the wording of the law, this procedure will be abandoned and, from now on, any person acting with care will be able to rely on the entry in the Land Registry. Nevertheless, it is advisable to have any contract of sale for a property checked.
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