Making a decision to become a property owner is a big milestone, congratulations! However, there’s a huge gap between making a decision and actually getting the keys to the new apartment. What lies behind the legal requirements, Czech laws and estate agents’ claims? Foreigners.cz brings you a step-by-step instruction to guide you in the world of Czech real estate.
1. Picking an apartment, i.e. going through hundreds of properties listed online. But first you need to specify your criteria: what is crucial for you? Is it the location, price range, or which floor the apartment is at? Or you can assign the professionals to do the research for you! Foreigner.cz team will enter the list of your search criteria into the system, and thanks to the cooperation with numerous property owners, it will speed up the whole process. As soon as we have a perfect apartment match for you, we’ll arrange a viewing with the property owner. We’ll be there to meet the owner with you and make sure there is no misunderstanding due to language barrier.
2. Reserving the apartment. After you’ve made your choice, it’s time to make it official and sign the reservation contract with the property owner. This contract will guarantee, that the property will no longer be for sale on the market. The reservation deposit has to be paid as a proof of your serious interest in the property and is accounted into the purchase price of the apartment.
3. Signing the purchase contract. Based on this contract, property ownership is transferred from the vendor to the purchaser. The transfer of ownership is officially completed with the listing in the Property Register. Keep in mind, the contract will be prepared in Czech. So if you aren’t sure with your Czech language abilities, get the contract translated into English or make sure somebody you can trust reads the contract for you and explains you all the consequences. Foreigners.cz will arrange the translation of the contract, so that you can get familiar with a version of the contract in your native language.
4. Safekeeping of the purchase price. Safekeeping of the purchase price prevents unpleasant situations. Common practice is to transfer the purchase price (amount after deduction of the deposit) into escrow of an independent third party or institution (lawyer, notary, bank). This means, that the seller will not get the purchase price until your registration as the new property owner in the Property register is complete. An independent third party will transfer the money to the seller upon the proof of buyer’s registration in the Property register. In case, the process of registration fails for some reason, the purchase price will return to the buyer. Safekeeping so guarantees, that interests of both sides of the agreement are covered by an independent third party. Real estate property tax (3%) is usually paid directly from the escrow to the account of the local Tax register. Under no circumstance, the money can go directly from your account to the seller’s account. You’d better protect your wealth and interests! Foreigners.cz will help arrange the escrow for you and guarantee a smooth running of the deal.
5. Application for registration in the Property register. Proposal for the transfer of ownership to the Property register is necessary whenever there is a change of ownership registered in the property deed. In other words, if the name of the owner has to be changed, this means an application has to be sent to Property register to list a new owner in their database. Foreigners.cz will fill in the application and deliver it to the local Property register for you in no time.
6. The process of registration usually takes up to 60 days. After the registration process has been completed, you get back the confirmation from the Property register (List vlastnictví), where you’ll be stated as the new property owner. You will also get the keys to your new property, and at this point your ownership becomes official. Now the new chapter begins – it’s time to furnish the apartment and give it a homely feeling.
7. But first things first, and becoming an official owner means you will be dealing with SVJ. What is an SVJ all about? Every block of flats has arranged a Community of owners of the apartments (SVJ stands for Společenství Vlastníků Jednotek in Czech). This entity is responsible for building maintanence, and to SVJ’s account you’ll pay your water and heating fees. All these utilities are covered in 1 payment you make monthly to the bank account of the Community of owners. As the language barrier might be the case, Foreigners.cz will help you to deal with SVJ agenda, sort out your payments or provide you with an interpretor in case of an SVJ owners meeting.
8. And another thing you’ll need to take care of before thinking about the color of the curtains in the living room. So you’ve got water and heating covered, but there is electricity left. Your new apartment already has an electricity meter installed, however, it’s still registered on the name of the previous owner. What needs to be done, is you should go to the electricity provider’s office and change the registration details. To avoid long queues and misunderstanding with non-English speaking employees, let Foreigners.cz arrange the transfer for you.
9. Last but not least, the Internet connection. If the apartment you purchased is brand new, than most likely there will be no Internet connection at all, so it’ll need to be arranged from scratch. Otherwise, the procedure is quite similar to the energy transfer – you just need to transfer the original contract with the old owner’s name on it to your own name.
10. All of the services mentioned above are part of Foreigners.cz Apartment Sales Package. Foreigners.cz team of experts will guide you throughout the whole process, taking care of all the necessities, legal requirements, saving your time and money you would have spent on numerous consultations. If you’re interested in buying property in the Czech Republic, contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org to get a professional advice.