Property Guide Latvia

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Laws and regulations concerning real estate in Latvia

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Latvia is a part of European Union, meaning it shares some part of its legal base with common European system, however, some part of legal regulation still remains in jurisdiction of domestic government and legislative bodies.

Since restoration of its independence back in 1991, Latvian real estate went through land reform, denationalization, modernization of legal base, EU common regulations and real estate crisis of 2008s. Currently in Latvia there are numerous laws and regulations controlling different matters in regard to real estate.

Below you can find basic information about major legal acts and regulations regarding real estate in Latvia.

General regulations concerning real estate un Latvia

Here you can find laws and regulations providing general grounds for existence of real estate and private property as such. Since Latvia is a democratic country - everything in scope of competence of the public law must have legal grounds, please see information below.

The law About restoration of the Land book law of 22nd December year 1937

One of the most relevant real estate laws in post-soviet Latvia, despite the fact it is comprised of only 6 brief articles. After Latvia has regained its independence - this law has restored previously canceled by Soviet government Land book law.

The Land book law

This is the most fundamental law of the real estate industry in modern Latvia. It provides legal regulations for real estate alienation and ownership title transfer registration in the Land book register of the Republic of Latvia. Not only it provides general grounds for all real estate transactions in Latvia, but also defines and states functions, rights, duties and boundaries of the State Land book service. Here you may find general provisions on how to register your ownership title or a pledge, how land book registries are to be executed, what information and documents may / may not be requested by the State Land book service. It also describes internal organization of the land book register and which data must be stored.

The law About land privatization in rural areas

Also known as the ’Likums par zemes privatizāciju lauku apvidos’ - is quite archaic legal act, nevertheless, quite essential when it comes to selling and buying land plots in rural areas of the country. The law states requirements and documents to be provided in order to sell or purchase land plot in certain rural areas.

The law About land reform in the cities of the Republic of Latvia

Also known as ’Likums par zemes reformu Latvijas Republikas pilsētās’, another archais legal act, which as a legacy of the land reform executed by the Latvian government in the 90s after the Soviet Union fell apart and Latvia has regained its independence. By its essence - another legal act setting legal rules and requirements, which must be met in order to sell or purchase land plots in certain cities and parts of Latvia.

The law About privatization of the state and municipal housing

Despite the fact denationalization and privatization of housing has officially ended back in early 2000s, to this day this law remains in effect, providing requirements and legal instructions on who and on what basis may / may not acquire housing in his personal property. generally speaking - this legal act is one the numerous legacies of the Latvian post Soviet denationalization.

Land book register laws and regulations

The main state institution responsible for keeping real estate records and registering ownership title in Latvia is State Land book service. As it was mentioned previously, since Latvia is a democratic state - boundaries of competence for public law bodies must be strictly described by legislative acts. Therefore, there is a set of laws defining competence and functions of the State Land book service. You can find basic laws below.

The law About judicial power

State Land book service is considered a subdivision in competence of city (district) courts, but officers on service - are called land book judges. Land book judges are responsible for in absentia case hearings, approval and registration of the land book entries in the register. So, technically, they are legally recognized as a part of the judicial system of Latvia. The following law sets general legal provisions for judges and judicial organs as such.

Court administration regulations

Legally approved by the Cabinet of ministers of the Republic of Latvia, this document sets internal rules and regulations as well as defines competence of the Ministry of Justice in regard to judicial bodies and courts in Latvia.

The administrative procedure law

One of the most complex and fundamental laws in administrative law in Latvia, covering provisions for all state institutions, bodies of public power, administrative acts, their appeals as well as many other relevant matters. In terms of real estate, sections A, B and D cover competence of state institutions, decision making procedure, administrative acts and other related matters, meaning that it can be applied to State Land book service and their decisions, if required.

The law About property registration in the land books

This law fully regulates the procedure of real estate property registration in the land book register as well as sets requirements and standards for different property entries to be followed in order to register them.

Real estate property sell / purchase

Here you may find laws and regulations directly concerning real estate property sell / purchase as well as ownership title transfer and registration in the public land book register. It is important to point out that some of the previously mentioned laws contain some bits of regulation in this regard as well.

Regulations of the land book registration request applications

If you are willing to register your ownership title in the land book - you need to submit registration request application. These regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia clearly state what information must be included in such request application as well as what extra documents must be attached under certain circumstances.

Regulations on state fee for ownership title and pledge registration in the Land book

A set of regulations developed by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia, defining amount of state and administration fees to be paid, when registering ownership title or any other entries in the land book registry.

Real estate property rental

If you are owning a property you would like to rent or you are renting a property - it is always useful to be aware of your legal rights and duties guaranteed by law. In Latvia rental of residential property is a strictly regulated industry. Few major laws were implemented mostly to protect local tenants from abusive and illegal behaviour of the landlords, providing legal protection to those renting residential premises for their personal residence.

Apartment law

This law serves as fundamental grounds defining what is considered ‘an apartment’ and ‘residential property’. It also regulates legal relations between apartment owners in a single building as well as decision-making procedure regarding administration of the building and other common property-related issues.

The law About rental of residential premises

This law covers all legal relations between tenants and landlords. It also sets liability of both parties and lists rights and duties under different circumstances.

It is highly recommended to go through this legal act prior to renting residential premises, as all regulations included in this law are mandatory for all landlords and even mutual written agreement agreeing on other rules and regulations will be considered invalid by any court and provisions of this law will be applied automatically. It strictly lists under which circumstances and procedure how landlord can evict tenants, what services are compulsory for landlord to provide to his tenants and other essential matters. In certain cases, if landlord does not follow the rules of this law - it may be considered an administrative violation or even a criminal act, meaning a police can be called by tenants to protect their rights.

This law also lays down competence for Rental board - a municipal body, serving as supervisory organ to protect the rights of tenants against illegal actions of the landlords.

Real estate restrictions

Real estate property may have a number of different restrictions: pledges, mortgages, servitudes and others non-possessory limitations. Below you can find major basic laws covering provisions for these real estate restrictions.

Civil law

Section three of the Civil law of the Republic of Latvia is entirely dedicated to property law. In the same time it provides regulations and grounds for servitudes and pledges that can be applied to different types of property, including real estate.

Mortgage bond law

The following law provides general provisions for financial institutions in regard of real estate mortgages. It defines volume of mortgage, appraisal rules as well other relevant matters.