Owner of the building but not of the land on which it stands / Cases encountered in practice / Conversion of the right of use into a right of ownership / How can we help you?
Owner of the building but not of the land on which it stands, which is in use
The owner of a building is also the owner of the land on which it stands, in the vast majority of cases.
However, there are also situations in which the owner of a building (e.g. a house, an apartment) may not be the owner of the land (e.g. the land under the building, the courtyard of the building), but has a right of use over it and/or a share of it (e.g. a share of 100 square metres of the whole land in undivided ownership).
Cases encountered in practice
Such situations are very common in the case of buildings (e.g. houses, flats) acquired after 1974.
In 1974, under the communist regime, the acquisition of ownership of land by deeds between living persons (e.g. by sale contracts, donation contracts, etc.) and by deeds on death (e.g. by will) was abolished.
What should be noted is that the legislation prohibiting the alienation of land referred only to the land and not to the existing buildings on it, which could still be alienated with the approval of the communist regime authorities.
Between 1974 and 1989, many owners disposed of their properties through various types of legal acts (e.g. sale contracts, exchange contracts, donation contracts, wills, inheritance certificates, etc.).
In all these cases the procedure was as follows:
- at the time of conclusion of the deed of alienation, the acquirer (e.g. the buyer) received only the ownership of the building;
- the ownership of all the land related to the building (both the land under the building and the rest of the land related to the building – e.g. the courtyard) is automatically transferred by law to the Communist state;
- the local authorities issued a decision in favour of the acquirer of the building assigning him the use of the land related to the building for the duration of its existence (only a certain area of the whole land area was assigned in use).
Although these situations arose prior to the 1990s, they continue to exist today due to the fact that the properties acquired have been successively disposed of over time (e.g. through successive sales, sales followed by inheritances, etc.).
Given these circumstances, there are currently a number of people who own a particular building and use the land on which it stands.
Although the 1974 legislation was repealed with the fall of the communist regime, after the 1990s other laws were enacted allowing certain persons to buy certain types of buildings (e.g. buildings they owned as tenants, residential buildings, service buildings, etc.) and to acquire the right of ownership of the land.
Conversion of the right of use into a right of ownership
As a general rule, a person who is the owner of a building but not of the land on which it stands, but only has a right of use, can transform his right of use of the land into a genuine right of ownership.
This procedure can be followed at any time and consists of submitting several documents to the competent authorities and obtaining a document attesting to the granting of the right of ownership instead of the right of use.
For more details on obtaining land ownership please visit the Prefect’s Order section.
How we can help you
- Our lawyers can offer you a wide range of services in relation to the above situation, such as: check your legal situation to establish the legal status of the land you own;
- identification of the relevant regulatory act in the case of your right of use;
- identification of all the documents on the basis of which the right of use was granted;
- assisting you in obtaining the conversion of the right of use of the land into a right of ownership of the land.
Additional information on the right of use of the land