Buildings wrongfully taken over by the communist state between 1945 and 1989 / Retrocession laws / Procedures for the restitution of buildings / Proceedings concerning retroceded buildings / How we can help you
Buildings wrongfully taken over by the communist state between 1945 and 1989
Between 1945 and 1989, the Romanian communist state took over a series of movable and immovable property (e.g. agricultural land, forest land, courtyard land – buildings, housing, factories, enterprises, means of production, etc.) from the patrimony of various individuals and/or legal entities.
The takeover was abusive in the sense that people were deprived of their constitutionally protected right to property through various means (e.g. expropriation for public utility without compensation, de facto expropriation, nationalization, requisition, takeover without any documents, de facto takeover, confiscation, donation to the state, etc.).
The property right has been touched in its substance people being deprived of their property right with disregard of all applicable laws.
For more details on ownership please go to Ownership.
After the fall of the communist regime, the Romanian state adopted a series of normative acts which outlined the administrative and/or jurisdictional procedures by which the owners could recover their property, either in kind (exactly the property taken in an abusive manner) or by equivalent (by compensation with another property of the same economic value as the one taken or by payment of compensation at the circulation value of the property).
The main laws on retrocession are:
- Law no. 18/1991 on the land fund;
- Law No 1/2000 on the reconstitution of the right of ownership of agricultural and forestry land;
- Law No 112/1995 on the regulation of the legal situation of certain buildings used as dwellings, which have become State property ;
- Law no. 10/2001 on the legal regime of certain properties wrongfully taken over between 6 March 1945 and 22 December 1989;
- Law No 165/2013 on measures to complete the process of restitution, in kind or by equivalent, of property taken in an abusive manner during the communist regime in Romania;
- Law No 290/2003 on the granting of compensation or indemnification to Romanian citizens for their property seized, detained or remaining in Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina and Herta Land as a result of the state of war and the application of the Treaty for Peace between Romania and the Allied and Associated Powers;
- Law No 164/2014 on some measures to speed up and complete the process of settlement of claims under Law No 9/1998.
Property restitution procedures
In general, procedures for the restitution of property are administrative procedures handled by the authorities/institutions with competence in the field and follow the same pattern:
- submitting a request/notification for the return of the property;
- submission of all the supporting documents required by law (documents showing the ownership of the property at the time of the takeover, the date of the takeover, the act on the basis of which the takeover was carried out, documents identifying the current situation of the property, civil status documents, etc.);
- verify the supporting documents and adopt a solution regarding the return of the property.
In some cases, administrative procedures may be complemented by judicial proceedings before the courts.
For more details on compensation please visit the ANRP Compensation section.
Lawsuits concerning retroceded buildings
Due to the way in which the laws have been enacted in Romania, as well as the way in which they have been interpreted and applied by the authorities and institutions with competence in the matter, in certain situations lawsuits may arise between different natural and/or legal persons concerning the same property.
The processes are diverse and may include:
- proceedings for a declaration of absolute nullity of a property title;
- claim actions by comparing titles;
- shares in granulation;
- actions to rectify land registers.
For more information on claiming real estate please visit the Claim Action section.
For more information on the grating please go to the section Property boundaries (boundary).
How we can help you
Our team of lawyers can provide you with legal advice before the authorities and public institutions involved in repossession laws, as well as legal assistance and representation before the courts with a view to recovering wrongfully taken property, either in kind or by equivalent.
In general, our services include:
- identify the legal framework that entitles you to the return of the property;
- verification of all supporting documents submitted in the administrative file in order to establish the history of ownership of the property;
- completing the administrative file with all the documents necessary for its settlement;
- drafting of notifications and memoranda on the urgency of the case;
- making and defending any claim for repossession of the property and/or for compensation to which you are entitled by law;
- assistance with the actual collection of compensation.
Further information on the restitution of nationalised properties