Chapters of the article
What is the Land Registry?
To answer this question, we refer to the Cadastral Act No. 256/2013 Coll. The cadastre is a public list that contains information about properties, their descriptions, geometric and positional determinations, as well as records of property rights.
This data is most often used for the protection of property rights, property valuation, environmental protection, as well as for tax and fee purposes. People most often search the Land Registry for extracts, but thanks to the archives, they can also consult other documents related to properties. In the land registry you can also find:
- titles of acquisition – contracts of inheritance, sale, or donation agreements
- geometrical plans,
- mortgage agreements,
- building permits,
- declarations of owners,
- documents relating to easements,
- and, of course, cadastral maps.
Advice from an DostupnyAdvokat.cz: “Do not forget that the cadastre registers land, buildings, apartments and structures as required by law. However, not all properties are included. For example, if you need information about underground structures or buildings under construction, your search in the Land Registry will not be successful.”
The state administration of the cadastre in the Czech Republic is provided by cadastre offices, surveying and cadastre inspectorates, and the Czech Office for Surveying and Cadastre.
The current cadastre is fully digital, allowing you to easily retrieve information about the property you are looking for.
What you need for searching the cadaster
Accessing the real estate cadastre can be easily done online, as mentioned earlier, but the traditional method still works, where you can visit the respective cadastre office and find the information in person. You can find a complete list of cadastral offices and cadastral departments on the website of the Czech Office for Surveying and Cadastre (ČÚZK).
Essential input data needed for the searching in the cadastre are:
- usually, the cadastral area or the name of the municipality,
- building number or directly the cadastral parcel number of the land,
- or the administrative file number.
However, it often happens that this information is unavailable to you. In such situations it is possible to use the map on the website of the Czech Office for Surveying and Cadastre or a clearer map on ikatastr.cz.
Tip: mapy.cz also allows you to easily search for a parcel. Just enter your desired location, right-click on it, and one of the links that will pop up is the information about the parcel in the land registry. There are also a number of other sites and applications for consulting the cadastre, such as ikatastr, which offers a more user-friendly environment than the classic cadaster of the Czech Land Register. It exists as a website and an application. An overview of cadastral offices is offered by ekatastr.cz. The Marushka application server is often used to publish and use GIS data in an online environment.
Different perspectives on real estate maps are offered by various price maps that focus on actual prices (not advertised prices) of properties. These are paid services that keep track of sold properties and obtain information from completed sales recorded by cadastral offices. However, the level of each service can vary significantly.
A frequently asked question is whether it is possible to search the land register by the name of the owner. That is not possible, but once you find the land, you can determine the owner.
Application for entry into the Land Registry
Measure twice, cut once. This also applies to official submissions. The entry 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 to secure borrowed money?
How to search the Land Registry?
On the website of the Czech Land Registry you will find a shortened version of the title deed, which you can view for free, and a full extract, which incurs a fee at CZK 50 per page.
Let’s break down what you can find in the full title deed. In the introductory section you will find out the basic details of the property. The most important information is the cadastral territory and the title deed number. In section A) you will then find information about the ownership of the property, the name, address, and personal identification number of the owner of the property, as well as information about the co-ownership share if the property has multiple owners or information that the property is part of the joining property of spousesr.
When reading the extract from the Land Registry, focus your attention on section B, which contains specific data about the property, such as parcel number,, building number, unit number including area measurement, type of land, and type of land use.
Undoubtedly the most important part of the Land Registry extract to check is Section C, where restrictions on the ownership right, which often affect the price of the property, are recorded. The most frequently recorded restrictions are:
- easements relating to the property,
- encumbrances by mortgage rights – usually the mortgage right of a bank, if the property was financed through a mortgage loan, but also foreclosure lien if the property owner has a debt to a third party.
The record of the propertyg continues with section D, where so-called “other entries,” such as notes or seals, are listed (indicating that the cadastral office is conducting registration proceedings that have not yet been completed – ownership may soon change or a lien may be added, etc.).
The last section E then shows the title to the property, i.e. how the property was acquired. This section lists the contracts under which the owners registered on the title deed acquired the property. These may be purchase agreements, gift agreements, inheritance decisions, court decisions, orders of acquiescence in the case of auctions, etc.
What you can find from searching the Land Registry
Looking at the Land Registrys is usually based on knowledge of the property (house, land or housing unit). For example, when searching for a housing unit, you first enter the name of the municipality and its district, and then you need to know the description number and the number of the housing unit itself. If you would like to search by, for example, the name or personal identification number of a person, then you will not succeed.
The most important information that can be obtained from consulting the Land Registry is the information about the owner of the property itself, i.e. name, surname and permanent residence, then the specification of the property, parcel number, descriptive number or unit number and their area.
This way you will know whether you are actually buying the property from the rightful owner. Another important piece of information is the restrictions of ownership that apply to the property. Such encumbrances can include easements or liens that restrict the sale or purchase of the property.
Thanks to the relatively new intermediate step of searching the Land Registry, you initially receive only general information about the property without disclosing the owner. For a residential unit, you can therefore find out, for example, the purpose of its use, the share in the common parts, and the methods of protection.
You can access information about the actual property owner in the subsequent step. You either need to have an account for remote access to the land registry, or you just need to enter the code from the image (CAPTCHA). You then get to the last and most important detail, the name of the owner.
After the last step is displayed, you can access all the information you need to know. First of all, you will find out whether you are actually buying the property from the rightful owner. Another important piece of information that you need to check is also the restrictions of ownership that apply to the property. Examples of such restrictions are easements or liens that restrict the sale or purchase of the property.
Tip: Looking into the cadastre via the internet is fast and free, you only need to know the location of the land.
It’s a very good idea to preview the cadaster every time you are about to buy a property. It is an essential step that you should not skip. You can learn a lot from the land registry, but far from everything. That’s why we’ve also given you some other tips to look out for.
Proposal for entry into the Land Registry
Measure twice, cut once. This also applies to official submissions. Entry in the Land Register is a formality, but a very important one, which is not to be underestimated. Do you need to register an easement in the Land Registry? Or a lien so you secure the money you borrowed?
What you won’t find in the Land Registry
However, there is some information that you will not find by looking in the Land Registry. This may be, for example, that one of the owners has had the right to dispose of the property withdrawn. To verify this, we suggest that you request a document from the Land Registry proving the owner’s title of acquisition, i.e. the purchase or donation contract under which he acquired the property in question. The restrictions mentioned above may appear in such documents.
Similarly, you cannot determine from the ownership certificate whether the owner is obligated to offer a pre-emptive right to other co-owners when selling a share in the property. This information is directly derived from the law.
Tip: If you enter the name of the municipality in the search on Mapy.cz, the entire cadastral territory of the municipality will be displayed.
Another problematic fact may be the case when the property being sold is registered in the Land Registry in the name of only one of the spouses, even though the spouses do not have restricted community property and the property was acquired during the marriage, belonging to their common community propertyfo. In such a case, the other spouse, who is not registered as the owner in the Land Registry but is in fact the owner, must explicitly consent to the sale. The consent of the spouse will always be required by the bank if you finance the purchase of the property with a mortgage loan.
What about the foreclosure proceedings?
You will also not be able to find out from the Land Registry extract any pending or threatened execution proceedings that are ready to be filed with the bailiff and may appear on the title deed before you acquire ownership rights of the property. Unfortunately, you will only find this out by asking the owner, who is obliged to disclose any legal defects of which he or she is already aware, including the aforementioned executions not yet listed in the land register.
It is a very good idea to preview the Land Registry every time you are going to buy a property. It is an essential step that you should not skip. You can learn a lot from the Land Registry, but not everything. That’s why we’ve also given you some other tips to look out for.