Registering Purchase Contracts

Buying property in the Czech Republic is a bit different than buying property elsewhere on the continent or in Great Britain. Usually, if both parties sign the purchase agreement, then the property is for all intensive purposes transferred to the new owner (not withstanding the close of escrow and the receiving of funds).

 

In the Czech Republic, property is legally transferred only once the new owner is legally registered under the register?s office, or the Cadastral Register.

 

What exactly is the Cadastral Register

The Cadastral Register or land register is where one?s property is registered. Unlike other places, having a signed purchase contract is not a legally binding document until it becomes registered in the Cadastral Register. However, a buyer cannot simply submit an application to any branch of the Cadastral Register.

 

It has to be submitted to the correct office; otherwise, the application process can be delayed for some time. As it stands, the approval process is quite long by some Western standards: it can take anywhere from almost three months to six months time (Prague is usually on the upper end of this scale).

 

What happens during this waiting process? If someone has chosen a house and signed a purchase agreement, three to six months can seem like an awfully long time to wait to become the legal owners of a property.

 

Unfortunately, that´s the protocol in the Czech Republic (both the seller and buyer are inconvenienced). Shortcutting this process can, however, be real detrimental.

 

To alleviate some of the uncertainty and inconvenience with the legal transfer of ownership, some parties opt to place the deposit with a notary, which can be returned if the application is rejected (i.e. buyer is not eligible to purchase Czech property, property not registered to the owner).

 

If the purchase money is not held with a notary (second option), then the buyer may never see that money again. Unless the buyer feels absolutely confident that the seller would return any monies paid if the application is rejected, then the buyer should insist upon using a notary for the transaction.

 

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