Real Estate law in Czech Republic Basic Overview
Yuhan Ma 25.07.2017
This publication is also available in Chinese: 捷克共和国房地产法基本概况
Real Estate Law
The area of real estate is mainly governed by the Act No. 89/2012 Sb., the Civil Code (“Civil Code”) and the Act No. 256/2013 Sb., on the Land Registry (“Act on Land Registry”).
Legal Restrictions on Ownership
Many foreign investors were forced by Czech legal exchange restrictions to set up corporations for holding real estate in past, however conditions changed and since 2011 both EU and non-EU foreigners may acquire real estate in the Czech Republic directly without any limitations.
In the Czech Republic there is one common official Land Registry for the whole territory and all the land is organized according to land plots on the Cadastral map of the Czech Republic. The access to the Land Registry is public and everybody may search basic data on land plots and their owners at http://nahlizenidokn.cuzk.cz/ free of charge (unfortunately the web portal is only in Czech language and the information/outputs has not legal force of an authentic public document even it is corresponding to the official content of the Land Registry). So it is possible easily to check the land plots status, their owners, recorded rights and burdens and also see the position and shape of the land plots on the Cadastral map. You can also get an official extract from the Land Registry at any Notary Public (https://www.nkcr.cz/seznam-notaru) or at any “CZECH Point” (http://www.czechpoint.cz/wwwstats/f?p=100:16).
State guarantee of title (ownership)
The Real Estate law provides a guarantee of a title to every person concerned. There is a state guarantee since Section 980 of the Civil Code stipulates that if a right is registered in a public register nobody can object ignorance of such registered data and further it is presumed that the right was registered in accordance with real legal status.
The last person listed in the Land Registry is considered to be the owner without any regard to possible unregistered changes. The same principle applies for other rights and burdens in rem which can be registered in the Land Registry (e.g. rights for things of other, right of superficies, servitude, servitude of profit, pledge and right of first refusal).
Transfer of the Title (ownership)
Transfer of real estate requires written agreement with legalized signatures. The title is officially transferred when the change of ownership is entered into the Land Registry with effect as of the date when the application to execute the change was filed with an responsible authority maintaining the Land Registry called the Cadastral Office (http://www.cuzk.cz/en).
You may contact our people specialized in Real Estate in the Czech Republic for more details.