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In order to perform almost any operation with any Latvian property, an individual must come into contact with a number of government agencies related to real estate registration and transactions. These agencies have two primary functions - maintaining a registry of various information (mostly of legal nature) about properties, and ensuring that operations with said properties are in accordance with the law. Another group of agencies are non-governmental professional associations, which were established with the aim of helping individual members of the Latvian real estate market.
State Land Service
The State Land Service or Valsts zemes dienests in Latvian is a government agency regulating the use of land as the possession of the country (not necessarily property in the legal sense). It is also responsible for administering the Property Cadaster (a.k.a. real property registry) and the Address Cadaster, as well as for calculating the cadastral value of real estate. Besides that, the Service also provides a variety of statistical information, which may be especially useful to those interested in the Latvian real estate market analysis.
The Cadaster, administered by the State Land Service of Latvia, is a primary database for information on any real property. It contains a variety of ways to search for property, including address search, map search, real estate type search, etc. The Cadaster services are divided into free and paid ones. The free ones can be accessed for acquiring general knowledge, while the paid ones are generally used by specialists to acquire detailed information for processes such as a due diligence check.
State Revenue Service
The State Revenue Service or Valsts ieņēmumu dienests in Latvian is a government agency responsible for managing tax payments and tax registers. This includes any property-related taxes, which means that any individual performing property transactions is sure to come in contact with VID at some point. The agency’s website can also be reliably used for acquiring information about the relevant taxes, e.g. real estate tax, income tax etc.
A Land Book or Zemesgrāmata is a document that contains a list of all the properties in a certain jurisdiction with any legal rights and obligations attached to them. As of 2018, there are 23 individual Land Books in Latvia, each with its own jurisdictions defined by the administrative divisions of the country. All of these are combined into the State Unified Digitized Land Book (Valsts Vienotā datorizētā zemesgrāmata in Latvian), which allows accessing data from all the individual Land Books, as well as provides additional information about the matter. An individual who comes into possession of a Latvian piece of real estate must register his/her new legal ownership status with the appropriate Land Book.
Construction boards or būvvaldes (plural) in Latvian are local government (meaning they are under the authority of municipal councils) agencies responsible for controlling the construction, renovation and demolition works in their jurisdiction. They are the ones who approve or decline all the major stages of construction works, such as project confirmation, the initialization of construction, as well as allow the building to actually be used once it is finished. Naturally, these agencies are very important to anyone who wishes to construct a real property in Latvia.
Latvian Real Estate Association
The Latvian Real Estate Association or Latvijas nekustamo īpašumu darījumu asociācija in Latvian is an association of Latvian real estate agencies, their assistants and major property market players in general. The aims of the Association is to promote and defend the interests of its members, as well as to facilitate the overall development of the Latvian real estate market. The Association can also be useful to the non-members, providing property-related information and news, particularly statistical information which is subsequently used in property market reports by various agencies.