Process of Registration

1. How many stages are there in the conveyancing process?

Conveyance process contains of three major processes[1]:

  • Preparation and signing of contract (deed) at notary´s office.
  • Payment of state fee;
  • Registration of changes in land registry.

[1] These three stages are based on the same approach as used in Doing Business documentation.

2. How many other agencies/departments/registers etc. must be dealt with or checked prior to signing a legal transfer or mortgage?

In case of signing legal transfer or mortgage parties have to turn to notary who will prepare necessary documents and send them after signing to land registry. Parties only have to pay state fee, but communication with land registry is done by notary.

3. Who is responsible for dealing with other departments/agencies?

There are no other departments/agencies involved. Only payment of state fee must be done. Parties can do it online in notary´s office or turn to bank or notary will pay the state fee on parties´ behalf and charge the relevant amount.

4. At what stage of the overall conveyancing process is your organisation involved

After contract (deed) has been signed and state fee paid, notary will send documents to land registry information system by using e-notary information system. Application regarding changes will be registered and forwarded to assistant judge (registrar).

5. Is any or all of the conveyancing process dealt with electronically?

In order to prepare the deed, notary uses e-notary information system to make all the necessary inquiries. Original of the deed is signed on paper, but an electronic copy is sent to land registry.

6. Is any or all of the registration process dealt with electronically?

All registration process is done electronically. Electronic copy is sent to land registry information system via e-notary information system. Assistant judge (registrar) looks the documents through without printing them out. Decision is made by using electronic means and in case parties have email addresses, all communication after registering a deed in land registry is also done electronically.

7. When a deed/document or land registration form is lodged for registration, what is the general procedure involved in registering the effect of the deed?

In order to make the changes in land registry, registration of the deed is not enough. After registration submitted documents will be looked through and entry is made. The deed gets its legal effect after that.

8. How many stages are there in the registration of title process?

See answer to question 1, the number of processes does not depend on the content of deed.

9. What kind of entries are in your system?

Registered immovable are the following:

  • An immovable (plot of land);
  • Right of superficies;
  • Apartment ownership;
  • Right of superficies in apartments.

The entries made into land registry can be as follows:

  • Composition of registered immovable (compulsory);
  • Owner(s) (compulsory);
  • Encumbrances and restrictions (optional);
  • Mortgages (optional).

10. What is the average time taken to register a (1) transfer of all property (2) transfer part property (3) mortgage/charge?

According to the law registration must be done within 30 days after submission the deed (application), the average time taken to register a deed is 4-7 days. The content of the deed does not influence the registration time, all deeds (applications) are looked through in the order of submission. There is only one exception; first registration of immovable must be done within 3 months.

11. At what level in the organisation is the final decision to register a title made?

Decision regarding registration of real rights (incl. title) is done by assistant judges (registrars), who are independent and take responsibility for their action. An assistant judge can refer the decision to a judge if:

  • the law of another country is to be applied;
  • the assistant judge wishes to derogate from the position of the judge, which is known to him or her;
  • legal complications become evident upon the hearing of a petition;
  • in the opinion of the assistant judge, the provision subject to application is contrary to the Constitution.

12. To what extent are registration decisions in your country taken by a person with a professional qualification? What is that professional qualification?

All decision regarding entry making are done by assistant judges (registrars) of by the guidance of judges (see question 11). Assistant judge must meet the following requirements:

  • be a citizen of the Republic of Estonia;
  • have acquired in the field of law at least an officially certified Master’s degree;
  • have proficiency of the Estonian language at the level C1 provided for by the Language Act or a corresponding level;
  • have high moral character;
  • have the abilities and personal characteristics necessary for working as an assistant judge.

13. If registration decisions are not taken by a person with a professional qualification, how are they taken?

14. Is the decision to register a legal, judicial or administrative function (or mixed)?

Due to the fact that land registry department are part of the court system, all decisions (incl. entries) are considered as judicial decisions.