March 10, 2010 / ELRA Secretariat
by Harald Wilsch, Secretary General of ELRA
On behalf of the European Commission seminar „Judicial Cooperation in the European Union and Land Registry as an Implementation Instrument“, the Secretary General of ELRA, Mr. Harald Wilsch, and four colleagues from the Spanish Colegio de Registradores visited a Hungarian Land Registry Office in Györ. In fact, the meeting was held on February, the 23rd 2010, and was attended by Ms. Dr. Gertrud Sipos, Director of the Land Office of Györ, and Ms. Dr. Csilla Heinemann, Judge, both Hungary. The agenda contained basically two topics:
– The Unified Hungarian Land Registration System
– Function of the judicial proceedings with land registry cases.
To start with the Hungarian integrated cadastral system means to mention the official name: Unified Land Registry System. Since 1971, the Cadastre and the Land Registry (“Grundbuch”) have been unified and are now operating in an integrated form, in case under the Ministry of Agriculture, currently the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Therefore, a lot of legal and cadastral mapping services are offered by the Hungarian system. As far as the daily legal activities are concerned, it must be realized that this work is done by 121 District Land Offices (DLO), including the Budapest District Land Offices. These offices are the first instance authority and are responsible for the maintenance of the Land Registration and Cadastral map information. The 19 County Land Offices (CLO) are acting as the second instance authority and are managing the district land offices by giving them technical and legal support. The supervisory authority is the Department of Land Administration and Geoinformation (DLAG), which is a part of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Fortunately, the whole area of Hungary is covered by digital cadastral maps (uniform national projection system). To indicate the quantity: there must be around 7,5 million parcels in Hungary. It is also worth pointing out that the Hungarian law defines the registration as an administrative procedure, not as a judicial one, as it used to be sometimes in the Hungarian past. The access to the Land Register is based on the fact that the Hungarian Land Register is generally open to public. For the public use, the access to the Land Register will be possible at October 2010.
The Hungarian Land Register falls into three sections:
– Property Sheet, Part 1: descriptive data (parcel number, address, size, land use etc.)
– Property Sheet, Part 2: data relating to the ownership, name, birth and address of the owner
– Property Sheet, Part 3: other real rights, like mortgage, easements, foreclosure etc.
That means that the Hungarian land register is folio-filed real.
As a measure taken for speeding up the procedure, the Hungarian system gives a deadline of 22 working days for dealing with the application. With regard to the documents, which arrive at the Hungarian land register, it must be noticed that these documents can only be made by a notary or a lawyer. In practice, most people join a lawyer, because it may be cheaper. The Hungarian land register sets great stores by giving strong legal effects. One case in point: the bona fides effects, given by the Hungarian land register. The same as the German land register, the Hungarian land register establishes two effects, a positive assumption of correctness and a negative assumption regarding all cancellations in the land register. In addition to that, the Hungarian land register is also based on the constitutive effect of registration. As a result, the registration is absolutely necessary for creating a mortgage, an easement or for establishing the ownership. The land registry procedure itself does not start ex officio; in fact, an application is needed to start the procedure, based on the documents, given by a notary or a lawyer. But it is also true, that only public documents, made by a notary or a lawyer, may allow an entry in the Land Register. A simple private document can not be the basis for registration. Furthermore, the Hungarian land register system also knows the so-called marginals, which is quite the same as the Spanish asiento de presentación. It is obligatory to make such a marginal at the same day, when the application arrives. This marginal is posted on the top of the relevant land register. Just the same day, it is noted as a marginal that the land registry procedure has started. The German law also knows these kinds of provisional registrations, but not in the Land Register itself, but in an auxiliary database managed by the Land Registry.
For searching in the Hungarian Land Register database, it is necessary to have the parcel number and the address for finding the relevant land register.
The official website of the Hungarian land offices is: www.foldhivatal.hu
Since 2007, the Land offices are totally self-financing. And what is more, the Land Offices are yielding also a profit, which is given back to the state budget. This may also be due to the fact, that the Land Offices have been modernized in the period from 1994 to 2005.
Regarding any restrictions for foreigners acquiring property in Hungary, it was also mentioned, that the restrictions in the field of forestry and agriculture will be abolished in 2011. Nowadays, there are no restrictions for acquiring flat property or any other kind of real estate.
Finally, it was right to encourage our Hungarian colleagues to become a member of ELRA in the very next future.