1. Is it compulsory to register all transactions relating to land/property in your system?
Any transaction entailing the creation, modification, abolition or transfer of a property right on an immovable must be registered in order to produce legal effects erga omnes.
Other contractual agreements valid inter parties involving the use of land (i.e. leases) are not by definition subject to registration, unless the law stipulates otherwise.
2. If not, are there any circumstances under which is it compulsory to do so?
3. If not, and registration is voluntary, what are the benefits of registration?
In the case of leases, the law provides for a voluntary registration under the condition that the duration of the lease exceeds a time period of 9 years. In this case, the benefit of registration is that the lease does not only bind the contracting parties but also third parties (i.e. a future buyer).
4. What percentage of land/titles is/are registered in your system?
There are no available official data on the percentage of land titles registered.
5. What types of legal rights in property are capable of being protected by registration?
Property rights capable of being protected by registration are those of ownership, mortgage and servitudes/easements. Under certain circumstances, a contractual right relating to the use of land may also be protected (i.e. right of lease, see under II.3.).
6. Are there other rights, legal situations, judicial decisions affecting property rights or owner’s powers capable of registration?
Other legal situations/rights capable of registration are indicatively;
a) Civil actions concerning property rights (i.e. dispossession proceedings, action for distribution, action for easement, claim to inheritance, vindicatio,
c) Court orders prohibiting for a certain period of time the alteration of the legal status of the immovable (namely prohibition of transfer)
d) Administrative acts entailing the appropriation of a plot.
7. What are the effects of registration of a transfer of ownership?
The transfer of ownership only produces legal effects from the moment it is registered.
8. What are the effects of registration of a mortgage/charge? What powers or rights are available to the registered owners of charge in order to enforce their security?
Registration of rights in the Land Registry has always creative force (and not only probative), including registration of a mortgage/charge. The beneficiary of a registered charge, namely the mortgagee, holds a privilege and a priority over the proceeds of a possible auction.
9. Is the title guaranteed by the State/Registrar? If so, to what extent and under what circumstances?
The extent of the legality control performed by the Land Registrar differs depending on whether the Registry functions with the system of transcription or the new cadastral system;
According to the law, the Land Registry in the first case only performs a control of the so-called typical legality of the act/title to be registered and, thus, does not guarantee the legal validity of the title. (In this sense the system of transcription is a deed system)
Contrary to the above, the new cadastral system (which is a title system), applied in areas where cadastral data are available, implies a control of the substantive legality of the title to be registered (principle of legality of deeds). In this sense, it is guaranteed that the person registered as a beneficiary of a property right is indeed the beneficiary.
10. What remedies are available to land registry information users who may have relied on register information and suffered loss as a result of reliance on that information?
In both systems (system of transcription/cadastral system), the Land Registrar or Chief of Cadastral Office, bears personally and entirely the responsibility for any damage as a result of erroneous register information.
However, in the case of Land Registries/Cadastral Offices which function with the salaried regime and are considered public services, it is the State and not the Land Registrar which is responsible against third parties.
11. How does a party who has suffered loss make a claim for compensation if applicable?
A claim for compensation can be made by anyone who has suffered loss by filing a civil action against the Land Registrar/Chief of Cadastral Office.
In the case of Land Registries/Cadastral Offices which function as public services, there is the possibility of filing an action (of administrative law) against the State.
12. What are the risks involved where property transactions are not registered?
Given that registration is necessary for the very existence of the property right and that the principle of priority applies with regard to registration, the greater risk involved in case of not registering a property transaction is that another right may be registered first and, thus, it may prevail over any not registered transaction.
13. Are there any penalties for non-registration?
No, there are no penalties for non-registration.
14. Is cadastral/mapping information included in the title registration process? If so, is it guaranteed? If yes, by whom?
Cadastral information is included in the registration process only in the case of Registries which operate the new cadastral system in areas where cadastral data is available. This information is guaranteed by the National Cadastre and Mapping Agency S.A. and it can be subject to objection and modification through legal proceedings provided by the law.