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Sale and purchase of forest land

Having your own forest or even a house near a forest sounds like a great idea. However, both options are limited by a marked number of rules. Not only can you not treat the forest as you wish, but you also have to look after it, which requires a considerable amount of money and energy. Similarly, you may be surprised by the strict conditions for building a house in or on the edge of a forest.

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Purchase of forest land

If you’re looking to buy your own woodland, there are a few pieces of information you shouldn’t miss.

Where to look for forest land for sale

Forest land for sale can be found, like all other types of land, from estate agents or individuals. Thus, you can search for offers on forest land for sale on classic portals where real estate is offered, such as Sreality or Reality iDnes. But in addition, there are also portals that specialize directly in offers for forest land sales. These include Lesnipozemky.cz or Prodejlesa.cz.

In addition to these options, it is also possible to buy forest land directly from the Czech Forestry Service. The Czech Republic regularly sells assets it does not need, including forest land. In addition to buying them, you can also lease or lease them. You can find all current offers for the sale of forest land in one place.

Tip: This may be the first time you’ve come across the word “pacht”. Read our article to find out what a lease is and how it differs from a lease.

Is it worth buying forest land from the Czech forests or from a private person?

Each method has its pros and cons, depending on what you prefer. The main differences between buying a forest from the state or a private person can be seen in the following points:

Buying a forest from the forests of the Czech Republic

  • Fixed price: when selling a forest from the state, the price is fixed, public and transparent. As a result, you do not have to worry about hidden fees or confusion about the final price.
  • Lack of room for negotiation. So what you see is what you pay.
  • Lower price: Forest land can usually be bought from the state at lower prices than would be offered on the property market.
  • Stability: sales of any state-owned property, including forest land, are less affected by market fluctuations than traditional sales, which are mainly driven by supply and demand.

Purchase of forest from a private party

  • Variable price: prices for privately owned forest land can vary widely depending on factors such as the state of the property market, location, size of the property and the motivation of the seller. In addition, they may not be fully transparent.

Tip: We advise you to contact an attorney when buying a forest land. If you choose our services, we will provide you with a complete contractual and legal service related to the purchase of forest land. We will handle it within 48 hours, flawlessly and professionally.

  • Negotiation flexibility: private sellers usually offer more room for negotiation on price and terms. You may be able to strike a deal that better suits your budget and needs.
  • Higher price: unlike government sales, private sales are market-driven. That’s why prices are usually higher than in a government sale.
  • Bargain Buying Opportunities: However, the influence of market supply is also related to the opportunity to buy forest land from a private person at a really good price. For example, in situations where demand is low and the seller is in a hurry to sell the forest.

Are you planning to buy or sell a forest or a plot of land near a forest?

We will provide you with a complete contractual and legal service related to the purchase or sale. We can do it within 48 hours, flawlessly and professionally.

How the purchase of forests of the Czech Republic directly from the state is carried out

The forests of the Czech Republic are sold through a tender procedure published on the website of the Czech Forests. If you are interested in buying a forest, then you must submit an application for the transfer of property. This must be in writing, include your name and contact details (address, telephone number or e-mail) and include your handwritten signature. The application must specify the subject of the application (i.e. the land you want to buy). It must not be missing its identification data, such as the cadastral area and the parcel number. If necessary, you can also add map documentation.

The application can be sent electronically without a certified signature or by post to the Directorate of the Forestry Directorate in Hradec Králové. Once it is received, it is registered and you will be informed as soon as it has been processed. This is followed by an assessment and a decision on whether the transfer of immovable property can be carried out and under what conditions.

Tip: In case you want to buy a forest plot primarily for the purpose of harvesting timber for private use, you may also find it useful to buy timber at favourable prices directly from the Forestry Service.

What you can legally do with your own forest

As a forest owner, you are restricted by law in many ways and you also acquire a number of obligations when you buy a forest. So let’s answer the most common questions.

Can I cut down trees in my own forest?

Even though the forest is your property, you cannot cut down whatever you want in it. Logging is restricted by law. The main restriction is that the forest must not be thinned below the permissible limit. This means that you must not carry out clear-cutting in stands of tall forest with trees less than 80 years old or low and medium forest less than 20 years old (with exceptions). You must therefore favour incidental logging, which consists of felling dry, diseased, uprooted or otherwise damaged trees.

Further restrictions also apply to the size of felling allowed per hectare, with a width limit of twice the average height of the stand to be felled. However, for all options it is possible to apply for an exemption from the state forestry authority.

These rules are often difficult to navigate, so as a forest owner you have help in the form of forest management plans, which contain a management plan and a description of the forest’s character (area, age, tree species, etc.). In addition, you will also have an expert forester on hand. They will help you mark out the harvest and advise you on anything you are unsure of.

Can I fence my forest?

Everyone has the right to freely enter the forest and collect berries, mushrooms and bark. This is actually a type of easement that applies to all forest land. It follows that you cannot fence in the forest because you would be violating this right. But there are exceptions, especially for forest protection or public health and safety. These include, for example, the fencing of forest nurseries or fencing to protect vegetation from wildlife. It is also possible to fence a forest if it is converted into a game preserve for breeding endangered game.

What are my obligations towards the forest?

First and foremost, your responsibilities relate to maintaining and keeping the forest healthy. This means that you are obliged to reforest the forest, prune the trees and get rid of diseased or otherwise damaged trees. In addition, you must keep the forest accessible to people.

In doing so, you must not harm your neighbours or nature. In addition, you must also protect the forest from pests, wildlife damage, fungal diseases and fires. You must keep records of your forest management, which you must send to the State Forestry Administration once a year.

Tip: Didn’t find the answer to your question here? Email us and you will have an answer from one of our attorneys within 48 hours.

Housing in a secluded area near the forest

Building a house near or right in the woods sounds like paradise to many of us, but what are the rules?

A house in the woods

You can’t build a traditional house in the woods. The only thing you can build in the forest is a forest management facility or a hunting lodge. The size of the building is limited to a maximum of 30 m2 of built-up area, a maximum height of 5 metres and no basement.

House by the forest

It is already possible to build a house near a forest. However, it must be taken into account that it is subject to more rules than a conventional house. If you plan to build a house less than 50 metres from the edge of a forest, you will need approval from the forestry authority to build it. The forestry authority assesses whether the construction of the house will disturb the forest and its management. In the event of approval, it can also issue conditions that must be met.

Sale of forest land

If you are going to sell the forest for any reason, you should follow the following procedure to ensure a smooth process:

  1. Setting the price: first of all, you need to set the price correctly. Keep in mind that you are not only selling the forest land, but also the timber in it, which should be included in the price.
  2. Documents.
  3. Reservation agreement: Once you have found a prospective buyer, it is worth signing a reservation contract with them. This gives you the assurance that the interested party will actually buy the land.
  4. Purchase agreement: The next natural step is the purchase agreement, which handles the actual sale.
  5. Escrow: Escrow ensures you don’t lose your money. Its function is that the money for the sale of the forest goes to the solicitor for safekeeping, and you receive it once the conveyancing is completed.
  6. Land Registry: this is followed by the application for registration of the title in the Land Registry. Once processed, the forest is then officially transferred to the buyer and you are paid the money from the solicitor’s escrow money.

Tip: We will be happy to arrange your money storage for you. In addition, we also offer a complete legal service related to the sale of your forest. We will handle it quickly, flawlessly and professionally.

Are you solving a similar problem?

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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