Entry of the ownership title in the land register (registration)
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These rules apply to all those who purchase property in Austria.
Applications to the land register must be made electronically, in principle.
In straightforward cases, applications to the land register may also be entered on the court record, i.e. submitted orally to the court. Straightforward cases are those where the applicant already has the necessary documents in the legally required form and where the entry in the court record would entail a reasonable amount of work only (e.g. change of address or change of name).
As the application for registration of the ownership title often contains errors as a result of the formal strictness of land register legislation and there is thus a risk that the application will have to be corrected and/or the application for registration refused, it is reasonable and advisable to obtain expert advice from a lawyer or notary when drafting the agreement and carrying out registration.
It is generally not possible for a purchase agreement to be entered in the land register immediately after it has been signed.
- In most cases, the property must be cleared of encumbrances beforehand, that is to say registered Prights of pledge and mortgages must be cancelled. These encumbrances may also be taken over if the amounts receivable secured by pledge are included in the purchase price. In this case, the buyer should be given the loan agreements underlying the right of pledge and consult with the creditors. The identity of the creditors can be found in the land register or the record of documents held by the land register court.
- On the other hand, the real estate transfer tax must first be paid and possible official authorisations obtained (e.g. the real estate transfer authorisation that must be obtained, inter alia, if a property is being acquired by a foreign national, the object of the purchase agreement is an agricultural or forestry plot of land, or the object of purchase is located in a restricted municipality).
Further information on the land register may also be found at oesterreich.gv.at.
The district court with jurisdiction over the place where the property is located.
In order to acquire ownership of a property, you must request registration of the ownership title before the relevant land register court.
This requires submission of an application to the land register containing the following information in particular:
- precise details of the property;
- first name and surname;
- date of birth and place of residence of the applicant.
The application to the land register – together with the necessary documents – must generally be submitted to the relevant district court electronically. In straightforward cases only, applications to the land register may also be entered on the court record.
Please bear in mind that it may take some time for the court to process the application to the land register.
- Purchase agreement with signatures from all contracting parties, certified by the court or by a notary.
- In the case of commonhold properties (provided that the intention is to establish commonhold ownership of the property), additionally:
- certification of the building authority or an expert opinion on the stock of self-contained commonhold properties;
- utilisable value appraisal compiled by a civil engineer or by sworn and certified court experts or final decision on the calculation of the utilisable value by the conciliation body or the court (in Vienna: MA 50)
- Any positions for the intended sale or pledge.
- Declaration of self-assessed calculation or tax clearance certificate from the tax office.
- Any declarations of cancellation or consent from financing banks, parties entitled to a pre-emption right, or the like.
- Any authorisation issued by the property transfer authority (IMPORTANT: there are nine property transfer acts; thus, each federal state has different rules governing ownership by foreign nationals, agricultural or forestry plots of land, or restricted municipalities).
- Proof of citizenship, proof of EU / EEA citizenship.
- Any pledge certificates relating to the credit/loan used to finance the purchase.
Costs and fees
- Filing fee for the application to the land register: EUR 47 (to be settled through payment to the court account by debit or credit card or by electronic payment). If the application is not submitted electronically (Elektronischer Rechtsverkehr): EUR 66.
- Additionally, for registration of the ownership title for the purpose of acquiring ownership and leasehold: 1.1 % of the value of the title. This registration fee is stipulated retrospectively by the court, provided that this has not already been done as part of the self-assessed calculation by a notary or lawyer and can be settled by means of a payment slip. If the fee is paid by direct debit and collection, this is reduced by EUR 23.
- Additionally, 1.2 % of the pledged amount if the intention is to enter a right of pledge right of pledge in the land register at the same time as the ownership title (the purchase price is financed with a loan, for example). This registration fee is also stipulated retrospectively by the court and can be settled by means of a payment slip.
The value of the right to register the ownership title and the leasehold is determined by the price that would normally be received in the normal course of business (= market value). For purchase agreements, this is generally the purchase price. However, the following are given preferential status:
- legal transactions in extended family circles, such as, for example, transfer of a property to a spouse, registered partner, common-law spouse (provided that the common-law spouses have or had a common domicile), siblings, nieces and nephews, etc.;
- certain corporate transactions intended to alter corporate structures, for example transfer of a property as the result of a merger.
In these cases, the registration fee is equal to three times the assessed value, but at most 30 % of the market value.
The value of the right to register the ownership title for acquiring a right of pledge is determined using the nominal value of the amount receivable (maximum amount), including a guarantee to cover ancillary costs.
- Application templates – Land register (→ AK)German text
- Register of lawyers (→ RAK)German text
- Notary search (→ ÖNK)German text
- Property and taxes (→ BMF)German text
- Court search (→ BMJ)German text
- Conciliation body for residential matters (→ MA 50)German text
- Section 26a of the Gerichtsgebührengesetz
- Allgemeines bürgerliches Gesetzbuch
- Allgemeines Grundbuchsgesetz (GBG)
- Federal Ministry of Justice
- Austrian Chamber of Civil-Law Notaries