Buying real estate in Romania?

We've created a guide to help you avoid pitfalls, save time, and make the best long-term investment possible.

Understand the title deed when buying a property in Romania

Last updated on 

All sources have been thoroughly verified for credibility. Furthermore, a local real estate expert has reviewed and approved the final article.

risks pitfalls buying real estate Romania

Everything you need to know is included in our Romania Property Pack

Investing in property in Romania offers unique opportunities. Choices include historic castles, rural estates, and city apartments, making it an appealing market for investors.

However, international buyers may find it difficult to understand the Romanian real estate market, especially when they need to confirm if the "Certificat de Titlu," which is the official title deed in Romania, is genuine and legal.

We have actually covered this specific document (among others, like the sales contract) in our property pack for Romania.

In this article, we will give some insight to ensure a smooth and legally compliant property transaction in Romania.

However, please do not forget that this blog post is for informational purposes only and that we are not legal experts. It's always advisable to consult with one. They can indeed thoroughly examine your specific situation and provide you with the most appropriate and tailored advice.

What is the Certificat de Titlu in Romania?

The "Certificat de Titlu" or "Certificat de Proprietate" in Romania is a crucial document in real estate transactions, signifying the legal ownership of a property.

It's more than just a piece of paper; it's a legal acknowledgment of your rights as a property owner.

Now, here's how it stands out from other property documents. Unlike a simple sale contract or a notary deed, the Certificat de Titlu is an official statement of ownership. It’s like the final stamp of approval on your property rights.

When you have this certificate, it means the state recognizes you as the legal owner of the property. This recognition is crucial, especially when it comes to asserting your rights in any legal disputes or transactions.

So, what does it actually do for you? Holding this certificate gives you the full right to use, enjoy, and dispose of your property. This means you can live in it, rent it out, sell it, or pass it on to your heirs. It's your green light to make decisions regarding the property.

However, it’s important to know what it doesn't do. The Certificat de Titlu doesn't automatically guarantee that the property is free from all encumbrances, like debts or legal claims.

That's something you'd need to investigate separately. It also doesn't exempt you from following laws and regulations related to property ownership, like zoning laws or tax obligations.

When it comes to resale and inheritance, the Certificat de Titlu plays a crucial role. For resale, it's your proof that you have the right to sell the property.

Without it, the sale process can hit a legal roadblock. For inheritance, it simplifies the process of transferring ownership. It's a clear record that you were the owner, making it easier for your heirs to claim their inheritance.

For foreign investors, the Certificat de Titlu is equally important. It offers a level of security in their investment, knowing that their ownership is recognized by Romanian law.

However, they should be aware of any additional regulations that might apply to foreign property owners.

Get the full checklist for your due diligence in Romania

Don't repeat the same mistakes others have made before you. Make sure everything is in order before signing your sales contract.

buying property foreigner Romania

How to verify a title deed in Romania?

The process

Verifying the authenticity of a "Certificat de Titlu" in Romania is a vital step in real estate transactions, and there are specific ways to do this effectively.

To start, the local Land Registry Office, or "Oficiul de Cadastru și Publicitate Imobiliară" (OCPI), is the go-to government body for this verification.

You should visit the OCPI office in the area where the property is located and request a real estate registry extract. This document will provide details about the property and confirm if the title deed is officially registered.

Involving professionals like notaries and lawyers is highly beneficial. Notaries are crucial in real estate transactions in Romania and can help verify a title deed by accessing various databases and cross-checking information with official records.

Lawyers add an extra layer of security, conducting thorough due diligence, which includes verifying the title deed, checking for legal encumbrances, and ensuring all legal requirements are met. Their expertise is especially valuable for complex transactions or when dealing with legal issues.

Real estate agents are useful in finding and negotiating property deals but may not be the best resource for verifying a title deed. They can facilitate the process by connecting you with notaries and lawyers, but they don't typically have direct access to the necessary legal tools for verification.

To identify red flags and avoid scams, it's important to be vigilant. Always cross-check the information on the title deed with official records; any discrepancies are a major warning sign.

Make sure the title deed is current, as outdated documents might not reflect recent changes. Be cautious of anyone who tries to rush you through decisions or transactions without proper verification, as scammers often use pressure tactics.

Always conduct your own independent verification through a notary or lawyer, even if the seller provides documents.

And be wary of requests for unofficial payments or fees to expedite the process; all transactions should be transparent and receipted.

Remember, diligence is key in real estate transactions. Taking the time to properly verify the authenticity of a Certificat de Titlu can save you from potential legal and financial troubles down the line.

What to check

Understanding the history and legal standing of a property in Romania, especially when considering a real estate transaction, involves several key steps.

To access and interpret the property's history records, you'll primarily engage with the local Land Registry Office, known as the "Oficiul de Cadastru și Publicitate Imobiliară" (OCPI).

This office holds detailed records of all registered properties, including past ownerships and transactions. By requesting a real estate registry extract from OCPI, you'll get a comprehensive view of the property's history.

This history is vital because it reveals the chain of ownership, ensuring that the property was transferred legally over time. It also helps uncover any potential legal disputes or claims that could resurface.

Checking for outstanding debts or liens is a crucial part of the process. Again, the OCPI can provide information on any registered encumbrances against the property.

Additionally, engaging a lawyer or a notary can help in conducting a thorough search for any unregistered debts or legal issues. These encumbrances are significant for a new owner because they might inherit these debts or legal problems, which could lead to financial loss or legal disputes.

Verifying the accuracy of the property’s measurements and boundaries as stated in the title deed is equally important. This information can be verified through a cadastral survey available at OCPI. If there are discrepancies between the title deed and the actual property measurements or boundaries, these need to be resolved before proceeding with the transaction.

Resolving such issues might involve legal processes to amend the title deed or, in some cases, conducting a new survey to redefine the property boundaries.

To understand zoning laws and land use restrictions, you'll need to consult with the local municipality or town planning office. They hold information on zoning regulations, building codes, and land use restrictions for different areas.

Knowing these laws is crucial as they dictate what can and cannot be done with the property, such as types of allowable constructions, land use, and modifications.

After our research and the feedback collected from our local real estate partners, we have written an article about the risks and pitfalls when buying a property in Romania, you might want to check it out.

Don't sign a Romanian document you don't understand

Buying a property in Romania? We have reviewed all the documents you need to know. Stay out of trouble - grab our comprehensive guide.

buying property foreigner Romania

How to update the title deed after the property transaction in Romania?

After purchasing a property in Romania, updating the "Certificat de Titlu" or "Certificat de Proprietate" is a crucial step to officially transfer ownership. This process involves several specific steps.

Firstly, the property transaction must be formalized through a sale-purchase contract, which is typically drafted and authenticated by a notary public.

Once the sale is complete, this notary will submit the contract and other necessary documents to the local Land Registry Office, known as "Oficiul de Cadastru și Publicitate Imobiliară" (OCPI). It's important to note that the transfer of ownership is not official until it's registered with OCPI.

At the OCPI, the property will be registered in your name, and a new "Certificat de Titlu" will be issued reflecting this change. This process can take a few days to a few weeks, depending on various factors, such as the efficiency of the local office and the complexity of the transaction.

Once the property is officially yours, considering certain types of insurance and additional protections is advisable. Property insurance is essential to protect against damages from unforeseen events like natural disasters, theft, or vandalism.

Additionally, title insurance can be considered to protect against any legal issues that might arise from defects in the title that were not discovered during the initial due diligence process.

Regarding inheritance laws, particularly for foreign owners, it's important to be aware that Romanian law may apply to the property upon your passing.

Romania follows forced heirship rules, which means a portion of your estate, including property in Romania, is reserved for certain family members, like children or spouses.

It’s wise to consult a lawyer to understand how these laws might affect your estate and to make appropriate arrangements, such as drafting a will that complies with Romanian law.

Make a profitable investment in Romania

Better information leads to better decisions. Save time and money. Download our guide.

buying property foreigner Romania

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Readers are advised to consult with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions. We do not assume any liability for actions taken based on the information provided.