Obtain a land registry extract from either the competent District Court, a notary public or an attorney-at-law
Agency : District Court, Notary public or Attorney-at-law
Before purchasing a property, the buyer inspects the government land register for any legal requirements, rights and restrictions including the seller’s ownership title, mortgages, liens, pre-emption rights, rights of way, canals, lines, brooks.
The extract from the government land register will contain that information about any Austrian property and can be obtained at any district court [Bezirksgericht] or mapping office [Vermessungsamt]. Public notaries, lawyers and other people or authorities dealing with the transaction of property also have access to the property database.
Time and cost: Less than one day (online), EUR 14.4 (For an electronic uncertified land registry extract the fees are EUR 3.53 per lot. For a certified land registry extract, obtained from a District Court, the fees are EUR 14.40.)
Authenticate signatures and authorization of representatives, and property acquisition tax clearance from the notary
Agency : Notary
At the notaries office the parties can combine three steps:
- The signatures of seller and buyer must be authenticated on the contract. That can be done by the notary or in court. Fees for signature authentication is set in the Act on Fees of Public Notaries, last amended by the regulation Federal Law Gazetta BGBI II NR 218/2010. Court fees may differ slightly to the notary’s. Provided that more than one signature should be authenticated in one document (e.g. sales agreement), the costs for the further signature amount to 50% of the costs stated.
- In case of a corporation as seller or buyer the authorization of the signing representatives must be proven, and this is done together with the authentication of the signatures; otherwise a certified excerpt out of the business register produced by the High Court (Landesgericht) must be presented to the Land Book.
- The parties must pay the Property Acquisition Tax or Transfer Tax (Grunderwerbssteuer) which, in this case, amounts to 3.5 % of the purchase price. They must present to the Land Register a clearance certificate (Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung) furnished by the tax authorities certifying that the tax was paid (time to complete: tax assessment will last about 4 weeks; to get the certificate after paying the tax further 2 weeks; no extra costs). This clearance certificate may be substituted by a self-assessment declaration (Selbstbemessungserklärung) filed by a notary or a lawyer (attorney at law/solicitor) if the tax is paid to the notary or lawyer who cooperates with the tax authorities.
The notary public or the attorney-at-law usually issues the clearance certificate stating that the real estate transfer tax (3.5% of the purchase price) and registration fee for the Land Register (1.1% of the purchase price) have been paid. The registration fee for the Land Register rises from 1% to 1.1 % of the purchase price due to the regulation Federal Law Gazetta BGBI I Nr 111/2010 and is effective as of January 01, 2011. The certificate will be issued immediately after the notary or lawyer has received the amount of the real estate transfer tax and registration fee. The money for the purchase and the taxes is given to the notary/lawyer on a trust account. The parties may set up the contract themselves or use a standard template. In late 2005, the Act concerning “Changes in the vocational law of notary public, attorneys-at-law and civil engineers” was announced, providing for the use of electronic signatures which are to be submitted electronically to the courts. This Act has therefore created the legal basis for online registration and electronic notarial attestation. This reform is effective as of July 1, 2007.
Time and cost: 3 days, EUR 100,119.72 (EUR 134.90 per signature + 3.5% of property value (transfer tax) + 1.1% of property value (Registration fee))
File the application at the competent District Court (Land Registry)
Agency : District Court (Land Registry)
As of November 1, 2009, applications to transfer and register a property are required to be submitted electronically via an online data-exchange system called WebERV. The WebERV is an online-based form of communication between the courts, notaries and lawyers for submission of claims, briefs and applications and delivery of court transcripts, orders and decisions. This system provides standardized masks and forms for various kinds of applications such as registration of the ownership, registration of mortgages, precedence (Vorrangeinräumung) and cancelations. Documentation on the fact that the company is owned by Austrian or European Community citizens. This system is effective as of November 1, 2009 and is provided for by the “Grundbuchs-Novelle 2008” (Land Registry Amendment 2008), Federal Law Gazetta Part 1 No. 100/2008 (BGB1 I 100/2008). As per this law, it is mandatory for attorneys and notaries to submit their applications concerning the transfer and registration of property using this system. Registration with the Land Registry has a binding effect as from the date of application, i.e. from this moment the company becomes the owner of the entire property (land, building, etc.). The fee for registration (paid to the attorney at law or notary) is freed from the trust account. Also, the notary/lawyer transfers the real property transaction tax to the tax office and transfers the purchase price to the seller. The documentation shall include:
- Sales agreement
- Clearance Certificate of the tax authority verifying the payment of land transfer tax or self-assessment certificate
- Documentation on the fact that the company is owned by Austrian or European Community citizens
Time and cost: 17 days, EUR 44 (EUR 44 (if the application and all deeds are submitted via Web ERV) or EUR 62 (if the application and all deeds are not submitted via WebERV))