How can foreign citizens buy properties in Romania

How can foreign citizens buy a property in Romania?

In Romania, the obligation to buy a property through a real estate agency is not regulated by law. Although foreign citizens can buy property in Romania without the involvement of any real estate agent, we recommend choosing a real estate agency or an agent who can guide you through this process.

Any foreign national, stateless citizen or legal person, regardless of country of origin, is free to buy real estate in Romania such as apartments, buildings or commercial spaces, office or industrial space or buildings, being subject to the same conditions as those applicable Romanian citizens.

However, it is important to note that the land on which the property is located cannot be purchased. In the case of this type of property, a surface right must be established. Thus, the foreign citizen interested in buying a property on the Romanian territory has the possibility to buy only the right to use the land, and not the land itself.

Starting with 2012, foreign citizens from EU / EEA member countries can buy land in Romania only for secondary residences. Therefore, at present, a citizen of an EU / EEA Member State can acquire real estate (house, land, apartment, etc.) under the same conditions as a Romanian citizen, through sale-purchase, exchange, donation or other type of deed. transfer of ownership, but the destination of the building must be that of secondary residence *.

*) The residence of the natural person is in the place where he has his secondary residence. Unlike domicile, residence is optional and temporary. A natural person may have only one residence in the territory of a state.

Legal regulation:

According to art. 4 of Law no. 312/2005, the citizen of a non-resident Member State in Romania, the stateless person not resident in Romania domiciled in a Member State, as well as the non-resident legal person, constituted in accordance with the legislation of a Member State, may acquire ownership of land for secondary residences, respectively secondary offices, upon the fulfillment of a term of 5 years from the date of Romania’s accession to the European Union (ie from January 1, 2007). Member State means any country that is a member of the European Union or of the European Economic Area. The term of 5 years from the date of accession expired on January 1, 2012.

Article 5 of the same law also provides for the possibility for citizens to acquire ownership of agricultural land, forests and forest land at the end of a period of 7 years from the date of Romania’s accession to the European Union, this period being fulfilled on 1 January 2014.

EU Member States:

Foreign nationals from any of the European Union member countries listed below can buy properties in Romania (house, land, apartment, commercial space, office building, industrial space, etc.) only for secondary residences.

Austria, Greece, Belgium, Czechia, Ireland, Bulgaria, Italy, Romania, Cyprus, Latvia, Slovakia, Denmark, Lithuania, Slovenia, Estonia, Luxembourg, Spain, Finland, Malta, Sweden, France, Poland, The Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Hungary.

EEA Member States

Also, foreign citizens from European Economic Area member countries (see Member States below) can buy properties in Romania for second homes:

Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway

Third countries:

As for the citizens of non-EU / EEA member countries, they can acquire land in Romania only on the basis of a mutual international agreement between the Romanian state and their country of affiliation. In the absence of such an agreement, the non-EU / EEA national can only buy ownership of the building, acquiring a surface right * over the construction land during its existence.

*) The surface right is a dismemberment of the property right regarding the land, its use being attributed to the holder of the surface right during the existence of the building.

For example, citizens of countries with which Romania has not signed, to date, reciprocity can buy the right of ownership over the construction (apartment, house, etc.), acquiring only a surface right over the land related to the construction during its existence. on the acquisition of land ownership.

The above restrictions only apply to individuals. A company, resident or non-resident legal entity, may acquire any real rights over real estate, to the extent necessary to carry out its activity, in compliance with the legal provisions on the acquisition of private ownership of land by foreigners and stateless persons, as well as by persons foreign legal entities.

The foreign citizen who wants to sell or buy a real estate in Romania without having a Romanian personal numerical code must obtain a fiscal identification number (NIF) from the competent fiscal authority – ANAF. The NIF is one of the documents required of the foreign citizen at the notary’s office to be able to conclude a sale-purchase deed. Upon sale, the foreign buyer will pay the same taxes as a Romanian citizen.

Also, the documents necessary for concluding the sale-purchase deed are (except for the need to obtain the fiscal identification number) the same as for the Romanian citizens and concern mainly the seller. As a buyer, the foreign citizen will only need the identity document and the tax identification number.

The foreign citizen can acquire the right of ownership over a land only by legal inheritance (ex: he is related to the deceased and has a concrete vocation to inheritance) but not by will.

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