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Transfer of land – basic requirements
Do you have a building plot or a house on which you already have a house and would you like to give it to someone? You can, but if you want to transfer it for free, you will always need a written deed of gift. Such a deed of gift must contain all the legal requirements so that the transfer of ownership can be approved by the Land Registry.
Let’s start by briefly clarifying the terminology we may encounter when transferring ownership of land:
- Land is defined by the Cadastral Act as a part of the earth’s surface that is separated from neighbouring parts by the boundary of a territorial unit or the boundary of a cadastral area, or by some other boundary defined in more detail in the Act.
- Land which is geometrically and positionally determined, shown on the cadastral map and marked with a parcel number is then referred to as a parcel.
- Furthermore, we can then encounter the term building plot, which is a plot of land registered in the land type built-up area and courtyard.
- Land that is not a building plot is then referred to as a land parcel.
According to the current legislation, a building is also part of the land, an exception applies to temporary buildings. Therefore, if there is a building on the land that is part of the land, the ownership cannot be transferred only to this building separately and the land retained or vice versa, the ownership is always transferred to both at the same time.
The form and content of the contract is important
The transfer of ownership of real estate always requires a written form of contract containing all its essential elements. These include, first and foremost, the proper identification of the contracting parties (donor and donee) by their name, birth number, permanent address and, where applicable, their document number. If one of the parties to the gift contract is a legal person, it shall be identified by its name, registered office and identification number. Another important element of the contract is the precise identification of the land being transferred. The land parcel number, including the name of the cadastral area in which it is located, should be stated in the contract. If it is a building plot, this should also be stated, otherwise it is deemed to be a land plot. As mentioned above, the building is part of the land and therefore does not need to be otherwise explicitly identified in the contract. Nevertheless, it will still be appropriate to specify such a building in the gift deed.
Since the deed of gift obliges the donor to transfer ownership of the land free of charge, no consideration in kind can be stipulated in the deed of gift. The donation contract must then be signed in manuscript by all parties and their signatures must be officially certified so that the Land Registry has no doubts as to their authenticity in the context of the registration procedure.
Donation of real estate
We will provide you with a complete legal service related to real estate donation, including a proposal for entry into the Land Registry. We will also advise you on how to deal with taxes in the most advantageous way. We will handle everything quickly and flawlessly, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. You can pay after the service has been provided.
Donating a property brings with it a number of issues. How to do everything correctly legally? When to add an easement to the contract, and what happens if the donation has not gone according to plan? In our related article, we looked at other aspects of gifting land, such as paying tax, inheritance proceedings and more.
Necessary deposit procedure
In addition to the donation contract, a correctly completed and filed application for the registration of the ownership right at the Land Registry plays an equally important role in the transfer of the ownership right to the land . The ownership of real estate that is registered in the Land Registry is only acquired when it is entered in this public register. In the course of the registration procedure, the Land Registry then examines both the document on the basis of which the registration is made, i.e. the donation contract, and the application for registration itself. The application for the initiation of the procedure for the authorisation of the entry into the Land Registry may be submitted only on the prescribed form to the competent land registry office. The competent office for the registration is the one in whose district the land is located. The application for registration shall be accompanied by a copy of the donation contract with officially certified signatures.
The donation of land can also be revoked
The Civil Code allows the donor to revoke his donation, either for hardship or ingratitude. Therefore, if you donate land and subsequently find yourself in need or the donor behaves ungratefully towards you, you can demand that the donor return the land. However, since it is real property, to regain ownership of the land in question, it will not be enough to simply revoke the gift, but you will also need to make the necessary changes to the land registry. And this can be a problem, as the donee often disagrees with the reasons for revoking the gift. If, on the other hand, they are willing to provide the donor with assistance in this respect, they will need to sign a so-called consent declaration together, on the basis of which the land registry office will re-enter the title to the land for the donor. Otherwise, however, it will be necessary to go to court to determine who is and who is not the owner of the land in question. Therefore, the gift of land, as well as any other real estate, should be carefully considered, as revoking a gift may not be easy.
If you intend to donate land to someone and you are not sure that the deed of gift contains everything you need and the Land Registry would then register the transfer of ownership as you wish, you can use our services. We will prepare or revise the donation agreement for you. We will also be happy to help you if you find yourself in a situation where you wish to revoke the donation.
What should I do if I want to give my wife a property but we have community of property (SJM)? Can the transfer of the property be divided between my husband and children? What if my parents want to gift the apartment so that it belongs to me alone? In a related article, we answer some of the most common questions we at The Affordable Lawyer address when gifting real estate in a marriage. We also describe mistakes that many of our clients have made.