My name is Zlatina Delibaltova. I am a lawyer, based in Bourgas, Bulgaria and have prepared this guide for all foreigners who are interested in buying a property in Bulgaria.
The three steps
- The first step is to pay a deposit to reserve the property. It is important to bear in mind that this deposit is usually non-refundable. This means that in case there are any problems with this property later on, you are not going to receive your money back. Because of this I always advice investors to hire a lawyer to check the documents for the property before they pay the deposit.
- The next step usually is a preliminary contract to be prepared and signed between the parties. This preliminary agreement is a contract in which the parties agree the general condition regarding the sale – subject, price and way of payment, penalties for non-fulfillment, rights and obligations of buyer and seller, term for final completion of transfer of ownership on the property. This step is very important. It is advisable that you use a lawyer to prepare and review such a contract, as well as to check all ownership documents, if this has not been done before. Using a lawyer at this stage may save you many problems in the future.
- The final step when buying a property in Bulgaria is signing a written contract concluded in a special form – a notarial act or deed. The notarial deed has to be signed before a public notary, whose activity is in the court region where the property is located. After it has been signed and stamped by the Notary, the title deed has to be registered with the Bulgarian Real Estate Register. It is the notary officer who is obligated to submit the notarial deed for registration with the Real Estate Register on the day of signing of the notarial deed.
Regulations of the Bulgarian law related to purchase of Bulgarian properties by foreigners
There is no restriction a foreign individual or a foreign legal entity to purchase a building (an apartment, a house, etc.) in Bulgaria.
It is not the same if a foreigner wants to acquire land in Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian legislation distinguishes two groups of foreigners depending on their residency:
– European Union (EU) citizens and EU legal entities and
– Non–EU citizens and non-EU legal entities
EU citizens and EU legal entities have rights equal to the rights of Bulgarian citizens and Bulgarian legal entities, i.e. there are no restrictions for the purchase of land by EU citizens or EU legal entities.
Non-EU citizens and non-EU legal entities are not allowed to acquire land in BG. Normally, I advise my clients to overcome this restriction through the incorporation of a Bulgarian legal entity that acquires the land.
Costs when buying a property in Bulgaria
The acquisition of a Bulgarian real estate involves the following costs:
- Tax for acquisition of the real estate
The tax is paid to the municipality where the property is located.
It varies usually between 2 and 3,5 per cent and is determined annually by the municipal council of each municipality.
The tax is being paid on the higher between the tax evaluation of the real estate and the acquisition price.
- Fee for registration of the notary deed in the land registry
The fee is 0.1 per cent. It is being paid on the higher between the purchase price and the tax evaluation of the Bulgarian property.
- Notary fee
The notary fee is due to the public notary who executes the title deed for sale purchase.
The notary fee is calculated as per progressive table. The notary fee is being paid on the higher between the tax evaluation of the real estate and the purchase price.
Obligations of the new owner after the sale has gone through
Each owner is obliged to declare the acquired real estate with the respective municipality, upon location of the real estate within 2 months after the acquisition.
The owner of a real estate is obliged to pay the annual municipal tax and waste collection fee.
Each foreigner who purchase a property in BG is obliged to register also in the Bulstat register in seven days term from the signing of the notary deed.
If you need any legal assistance in Bulgaria, feel free to contact me by mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone: 00359898699161, skype: zlato_80