Purchase agreement and land register

Caution

These rules apply to all those who purchase property in Austria.

It is possible, in principle, for you to draft the purchase agreement (and registration clauseGerman text) yourself using templates and, together with your co-contractor, to visit a notary (→ ÖNK)German text or district court (→ BMJ)German text to obtain official certification of the signatures.

It is also possible to apply to the court yourself for registration of the ownership titleGerman text of your property, by presenting all of the above documents together with your proof of citizenship.

Advice

The filing fee is EUR 47. If the application is not filed electronically, the fee increases by EUR 19.

Concluding the purchase agreement

The peculiarities of Austrian law that provide for the acquisition and forfeiture of rights of registration (property, right of pledgeGerman text, easementsGerman text etc.) must first be taken into account in order to conclude the purchase agreement:

  • Ownership of a property is not acquired by simply signing the purchase agreement, taking over the property de facto and paying the purchase price. Rather, you must be entered in the land register as the new owner in order to acquire ownership.

  • This poses a further risk for careless buyers! The position of an entry in the land register is determined according to the date on which the corresponding application to the land register was received. It is important to take a close look at the land register before purchase (and in particular before paying the purchase price) as all the rights that are registered in a position prior to registration of the ownership title on the part of the buyer are, in principle, taken over by the buyer and/or act against him/her.

The buyer could suffer damage not only by any further attempts to sell the property by the seller, but also by the initiation of a forced sale, for example.

Detailed information on priority notationGerman text in the land register for the purpose of securing the registered position for an intended sale can be found at oesterreich.gv.at.

It is thus not the date of entry that is relevant to the position of registration rights, but rather the date on which the corresponding application was received by the land register court.

Caution

A forced sale, creation of a right of pledge or registration of the ownership title of another owner, etc., which takes precedence over a property right that is registered at a later date, need not therefore be apparent from the text of the entries in the land register on the date of a possible viewing of the land registertGerman text on the part of the interested party.

Tip

The only reference to open applications that have priority can be found from the ‘seal’ (that is the transaction number of the outstanding application), which – if present – can be found at the top left of the land register extractGerman text.

These principles could result in unpleasant surprises for a careless buyer if he/she pays the purchase price prior to registration of the ownership title without obtaining appropriate legal advice and, possibly in the belief that he/she is the owner anyway, is delayed in entering the ownership title in the land register (registration)German text.

Rechtsgrundlagen

Section 32 of the GerichtsgebührengesetzGerman text

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 1 May 2021

Responsible for the content: Austrian Chamber of Civil-Law Notaries