Buying land is a responsible procedure. Recklessness can lead to loss of money, unnecessary litigation, conflicts with adjacent land users, etc. To make sure of this, it is enough to open the court register. There are a huge number of court cases related to land disputes. In addition, information about major land scams now and then gets into the media. Many troubles could be avoided by checking the land before buying.
In this article, the lawyers of Shablin Consulting will tell you what you need to pay attention to when purchasing land.
Verification of documents for the land.
The main document in Ukraine for land until 2013 was the state act on the ownership of land (state act). After – an extract from the State Register of Real Rights to Real Estate.
Back in 1991, every citizen of Ukraine received the right to privatize land. As a result of privatization, the person was issued a state certificate. This document confirms the ownership of the land. It contains basic data about the site (area, boundaries, adjacent land users, cadastral number, purpose, etc.).
If the land plot is sold for the first time after privatization, we recommend asking the owner for a land plot allocation project. It fixes the main points of privatization (coordination with state bodies, etc.). This is especially true if a land plot is purchased that is located near water bodies (rivers, reservoirs, rates, etc.) or adjacent to a forest.
2. Checking the purpose of the land plot.
An extremely important point. How you can use the land depends on him.
Purpose of “land for residential and public buildings” – allows you to build a house (low-rise or multi-storey). If you are planning to build a high-rise building, then a mandatory moment is to check the availability of urban planning restrictions.
If there is a designated purpose “for personal agriculture”, the land for the construction of a full-fledged residential building cannot be used. Maximum – building a garden house.
3. Checking the location of the land.
There have been many scams associated with this issue in the past. Buyers were shown one site and sold another. The cadastral number was indicated in the state certificate, but it was difficult to accurately determine it on the ground. This was used by “black” land realtors.
After the data of the state land registry was made public, this type of fraud disappeared.
Any citizen can check the location of the land plot on the public cadastral map of Ukraine. It displays the location of the site with reference to the map of the area.
Before buying, you must visit the land. This is needed for many purposes. For example, to understand whether the boundaries of its development go beyond its real dimensions, whether the land plot borders on certain objects (gas pipelines, power lines, nature conservation areas). This neighborhood can make it difficult to use.
If the land plot is surrounded by developed territories (houses, industrial zone, etc.), then it is better to check the correspondence of its cadastral boundaries to the real ones. In practice, there are cases when part of your land plot will already be occupied by neighbors, which in the future may entail unnecessary proceedings.
4. Checking the readiness of documents for the sale of a land plot.
Prior to the transaction, the buyer must provide:
- state certificate for land;
- the contract on the basis of which the land was acquired (if any);
- expert assessment of the land plot;
- an extract from the register on the absence of encumbrances (arrests, etc.).
This is a basic package of documents. It allows you to start a deeper inspection of the land.
5. Verification of the identity of the seller of the land.
This one is often overlooked when checking land. At the same time, if the seller is married, then the legislation requires notarial consent for the sale of land from the spouse. If you do not receive it, then in the future the transaction may be challenged in court.
It is necessary to check whether the seller is the bank’s debtor. Find out whether there are enforcement proceedings against him.
If the seller is registered as an entrepreneur, it is necessary to clarify whether he has outstanding tax liabilities. If they exist, then a tax lien can be imposed on the land. This will be a problem for the buyer.
Often the land is sold by intermediaries under a notarized power of attorney from the owner. We recommend insisting on the presence of the real owner during the transaction. This will help to avoid unnecessary difficulties in the future.
If land is purchased from a legal entity or an individual entrepreneur, then it is additionally necessary to check the information about the seller on the inspection portal (find out about all the inspections carried out by state bodies).
6. Verification of the land plot through the court registers.
It is necessary. In our practice, there were cases when the land was not under arrest, but the legality of its acquisition was challenged by the prosecutor’s office or other persons in court.
The existence of court cases is not evidence that the land rights were acquired illegally by the buyer. However, this means that the site is problematic. This should affect its value and other conditions of sale.
Our lawyers have the practice of supporting transactions with “difficult” areas. After analyzing the legal situation, the risk level of the asset is determined. A roadmap for overcoming the crisis and an indicative budget is being developed for the client.
7. What land plots should you pay special attention to.
There are land categories that cannot be sold in Ukraine. These include lands with a designated purpose “for conducting commercial agricultural production”, as well as land allocated as shares.
If everything is clear with the first, the intended use is indicated in the register, then with shares it is more difficult. In order to find out this point, you need to contact the appropriate local government body (at the location of the site). This body issues an appropriate certificate stating that the land is not a share.
Unclean businessmen often offer to transfer part of the money to them before the sale in order to resolve the issue of changing the purpose of such land plots. This is a lie. The law prohibits changing the purpose of such land plots.
For more information, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Viber (+38 093 168 01 03), contact in another way convenient for you, and also visit our office.