The Land Registry in Germany

The Land Registry in Germany

Updated on Friday 09th October 2015

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The-Land-Registry-in-GermanyWhat is the German Land Register?

The German Land Register was founded at the beginning of the 1900s and contains the records of all land plots in the country. With the help of the Land Registry, German citizens can trace the ownership of the house they live in starting with the 20th century. The Land Register gathers all the information about the German Civil Law relations concerning real estate rights and is currently maintained in electronic format. The German Land Register is decentralized, each district having its own department.

For details about each department of the Land Register you can refer to our law firm in Germany.

Who can research the German Land Registry?

The Land Registry can be accessed by anyone with a legitimate interest, but it is usually accessed in real estate due diligence procedures by those interested in buying a property in Germany. In order to access the Land Register one must contact the local department where the property to be verified is and then apply for an excerpt on the real estate in question. Excerpts are released based on fee payment which can vary. Research in the Land Register can be done based on folio number, cadastral unit, name of the owner or address of the property. The Land Register is often consulted by public authorities among which German courts, public notaries and credit institutions.

The following information can be researched in the Land Register in Germany:

  • -          the names of the actual and passed owners of a property,
  • -          if the property is subject to any debts, such as mortgages or other third party rights,
  • -          a description of the property.

For real estate due diligence you can rely on the services of our German attorneys.

Registering a property with the Land Register in Germany

When buying a property in Germany registration with the Land Register is compulsory. After signing the sale-purchase agreement the property title will be passed on the new owner’s name. Before deleting the old owner’s name and registering the new owner one must submit proof of payment of the property transfer tax. It may take up to a month to finish property registration in Germany.

For details about the taxes involved in purchasing real estate in the country, please contact our German law firm.