Legal restrictions

1. Acquisition of immovable property by foreign persons/companies.

Are there any legal restrictions that affect a foreign citizen wishing to purchase an immoveable property? Does nationality play a role at all?

There are legal restrictions regarding acquisition of land property. According to law “On the privatisation of rural areas”, non EU citizens cannot acquire land property in Latvia. Other than that nationality is not taken into account. As of May 1, 2011, EU citizens will be able to acquire land property on the same terms as Latvian citizens.

– Are any permits required by a foreign citizen wishing to purchase a real estate property? Are these matters covered by the Land Registry Procedure?

No special permits are required from foreign citizens; they only must meet certain prerequisites such as being EU citizens. These matters are not regulated by the Land Registry Procedure.

2. Acquisition of agricultural land: restrictions and limitations.

– Are there any legal restrictions that affect a foreign citizen wishing to purchase an agricultural property? Is there any kind of limitation?

Only EU citizens can purchase and agricultural property. As of May 1, 2011, there will be no legal restrictions.

Are any permits required by a foreign citizen wishing to purchase an agricultural property? Are these matters covered by the Land Registry Procedure?

No special permits are required from foreign citizens; they only must meet certain prerequisites such as being EU citizens. These matters are not regulated by the Land Registry Procedure.

– If so, please describe the procedure and name the relevant authority that must grant approval.

No permits are required by a domestic citizen wishing to purchase an agricultural property.

3. Acquisition of flat property: legal restrictions.

– With regard to the purchase of flat property, are there any legal restrictions, such as approval by other apartment owners or by the management company responsible for the relevant property (stipulated in the statutes for example)? Are these matters covered by the Land Registry Procedure?

There are no legal restrictions regarding the purchase of flat property. These matters are not covered by the Land Registry Procedure.

4. Acquisition of immovable property in special areas (such as on the coast or near military-related sites or in national parks, in the mountains, etc.)

– Is a permit required for the acquisition of real estate property in special areas (such as on the coast or near military-related sites or in national parks, mountains, etc.)? Is this part of the Land Registry Procedure?

No special permits are required from foreign citizens; they only must meet certain prerequisites such as being EU citizens. These matters are not regulated by the Land Registry Procedure.

5. Acquisition of immovable property and listed monuments and memorials.

– Is a special permit required for the acquisition of monuments or listed buildings?

– If yes, please name the relevant authority that must grant approval.

– Is this part of the Land Registry Procedure?

To acquire a property with monuments or listed buildings, buyer must first get refusal from pre emptive rights from State Inspection for Heritage Protection. This is not a part of the Land Registry Procedure.

6. Planning Code and legal restrictions (pre-emption right; approval by the municipality or other authorities; splitting a land parcel).

– Do your municipalities or the government have a special pre-emption right to property (i.e. a right of first option for the sale of a real estate property)? Does land division require a special permit?

Yes, municipalities or the government have a special pre-emption right to property. There is no specific authority that must grant approval. These are the rights of municipalities. These matters are not covered by the Land Registry Procedure.

7. Land given by the municipality to domestic inhabitants: legal restrictions?.

– Does your national law have a so-called «local residents model», i.e. the allocation of land by the municipality under the condition that the buyer is obliged to keep the land and not to move away for a specific number of years?

No, there is no such regulation.

8. Acquisition of immovable property and tax affairs.

– Must the transfer tax be paid before or after the registration in the land register? Can the Land Registry carry out the real estate property registration without a certification from the tax office?

Buyer must pay the transfer tax, but it is not required at the time when property rights are registered in Land Registry. State Revenue Service controls the transfer tax paid.

9. Destination of the land parcel and legal restrictions.

– Does your national law have special legal restrictions that are already apparent from the description of the land parcel?

No

10. Any other legal, very specific restrictions.

Does your national law have other, very specific legal restrictions that the Land Registry must observe?

Only EU citizens and citizens of Republic of Latvia can acquire land property.