The cadastre law – changes at a glance

Significant  changes  to  the  Law  no.  7/1996  regarding  Cadastre  and  Real  Estate  Publicity  (the “Cadastre  Law”)  came  into  effect  on  27  July  2012  as  enacted  under  Law  no.  133/2012  (the “Amendment Law”) published with the Official Gazette no. 506 of 24 July 2012.

The  changes  aim  to  synchronize  the  provisions  of  the  Cadastre  Law  with  the  New  Civil  Code which entered into force on 1 October 2011 and to implement further measures for accelerating the process of organization and implementation of a unitary cadastre and land book registration system for real estate properties in Romania.

The objectives of the Cadastre Law, as recently amended, refer to enhanced security of real estate transactions, supporting the mortgage lending industry and the public taxation systems, providing economical, technical and legal information regarding real estate property and ensuring the publicity of rights thereon.

The most important changes brought under the Amendment Law are the following:

  1. Synchronization with the New Civil Code

In order to be in line with the provisions of the New Civil Code, the amended Cadastre Law now includes more detailed provisions on the types of registrations than can be made with the Land Book with respect to in rem rights as well as personal rights and other circumstances that may be reflected in a Land Book, and clarifies the types of documents required for such registration.

A new element compared to the provisions of the New Civil Code and the previous legislation issued for its application refers to the documents required for the de-registration of in rem rights following the enforcement of termination clauses (Romanian: “pacte comisorii”). The de- registration can be made based on (i) authentic statements of the parties; or (ii) authentic ruling issued by a public notary for ascertaining that the termination clause became applicable; or (iii) irrevocable court decision. The involvement of the public notary as entity certifying the applicability of a termination clause was not an option prior to the Amendment Law.

2. Online access to Land Book services

Under  the  recent  amendments  of  the  Cadastre  Law,  public  institutions  as  well  as  the  public notaries  must  be  granted  direct  and  permanent  access,  either  in  hard-copy  or  online,  to  the electronic  land  books  and  the  National  Agency  for  Cadastre  and  Real  Estate  Publicity  (the “National  Agency”)  must  implement  these  provisions  by  the  end  of  2012.  These  provisions could  represent  an  important  step  towards  a  future  simplification  of  various  formalities  with public institutions which require submission by the applicant of land book excerpts (e.g. fiscal registration, applications for building permits, etc).

With respect to the possibility for all interested persons to access online the Land Book services, which was initially inserted in the Cadastre Law in 2010 but is not yet implemented, an order of the National Agency’s general manager is expected in order to establish  the procedure and the limits of such access.

3. Further measures for the implementation of the National Programme for registration of real estate properties

The National Programme for registration of real estate properties was established since 2010 and its  purpose  is  the  creation  of  a  unitary  cadastre  and  land  book  registration  containing  all  real estate properties in Romania. The implementation of this programme faced various challenges, some of which relate to practical situations such as lack of title documentation of various plots which precluded their registration with the land book, complicated procedures for rectification of inaccuracies in existing documentation, etc.

The recent amendments to the Cadastre Law include a series of measures which address this  type of practical situations, such as:

  • The possibility to register plots for which no ownership documents can be presented, based on a notarial procedure which includes a 30 days opposition period during which third parties may claim legal rights over the relevant property. In case no opposition is filed, the good-faith possessor will be registered with the Land Book as possessor, and will have the right to further obtain registration as full owner after the lapsing of a 5 years period. A similar procedure will apply for areas of land which in practice exceed the area mentioned in the title deeds by more than 5% for extra-muros land (Romanian “extravilan”) and 10% for intra-muros land (Romanian “intravilan”).
  • In case the measurements indicate that certain properties, which have been previously registered with the Land Book, are not correctly reflected (i.e. with regards to their location) in the existing cadastral documentation, the rectification will be done without the consent of the registered owners of such
  • After the cadastral works are finalized for each cadastral sector, the relevant technical documents will be made public by the local municipality and rectification requests may be filed within 30 days as of publication. Separately, the land book registration ruling(s) issued based on these cadastral measurements may be challenged within 15 days from the date they were communicated to the interested

After all challenges are ruled upon, the delimitation of each property will be clearly and definitively determined and future disputes on borders of the plots should be precluded.

  • The cadastral and notarial services provided through the National Programme for registration of real estate properties for the first Land Book registration of properties shall be free of charge for the land owners. Also, the VAT exemption applicable to services of the National Agency was extended to the notarial services performed within the National Programme for registration of real estate properties;
  • New attributions are given to the local administrative authorities in connection to the implementation of the National Programme for registration of real estate properties such as the verification of the information held by such authorities in connection to a specific real- estate property, the notification of the competent notary public body about the death of a person and information related to the deceased, the identification of the individuals who own/possess a certain real-estate property,

4. New provisions regarding the procedure of re-examination of registration requests

In case a registration request is rejected, the applicant may submit a request for the re- examination of the initial request by the chief registrator of the relevant Land Book office. The decision of the chief registrator may be further challenged in court.

As per the recent amendments to the Cadastre  Law,  the re-examination request  as well as the court action may be filed also by the public notary  or by any other interested person. Also, the new legal provision refer to a clear deadline of 20 days for the chief registrator to decide upon the re-examination  request,  whereas  the  previous  version  of  the  Cadastre  Law  did  not  include  a deadline. Another amendment refers to the possibility to supplement, during the re-examination procedure, the initial documentation submitted in support of the registration request.

5. Documents needed for authentication by the notary public

Depending on the type of document to be authenticated by the notary public in relation to a right over a real-estate property, the notary shall request either a Land Book excerpt  for authentication for the documents through which in rem rights are transferred, modified or created, or a Land Book excerpt for information for the documents through which in rem rights are lost/waived or for the documents drafted within the inheritance procedure.

6. The National Electronic Registry for Street Nomenclature

Certain  of  the  amendments  to  the  Cadastre  Law  aim  at  facilitating  the  implementation  of  the National  Electronic  Registry  for  Street  Nomenclature,  including  new  sanctions  for  the  local authorities which fail to observe their obligations in this respect. This registry should have been established  since  2010  as  per  previous  provisions  of  the  Cadastre  Law  and  will  serve  for  the assignment   of   street   denomination   and   administrative   numbers   to   real   estate   properties. According to public announcements on the website of the National Agency, the programme for the National Electronic Registry for Street Nomenclature was effectively initiated in April 2012 and its implementation is estimated to take 20 months.

The access to the data base shall be free of charge to all public institutions and public notaries, and administrative change of the name or number of a street shall be registered with the Land Book ex officio. However, as an exception from the general rule, the ruling approving the registration of such changes with the Land Book will not be delivered to the interested persons ex officio, but only upon the latter’s request.

7. Other new provisions

  • The beneficiaries of encumbrances registered with the old transcriptions-inscriptions registers have to request by 31 December 2020 (i) the opening of new land books for the encumbered real estate, as well as (ii) the renewal of their rights, under the sanction of inopposability thereof to third parties after the expiry of the term. Such registrations shall be made free of
  • As already provided by the previous version of the Cadastre Law, the technical specifications contained in the public procurement documentation need to be endorsed by the National Agency prior to the initiation of the public procurement procedure. The new legal provisions institute a sanction for breach of this obligation, consisting in the impossibility to obtain the approval for the beginning of the cadastral works or in the rejection of the reception
  • The fines for breach of the provisions of the Cadastre Law were updated, the amounts being established between RON 400 (approximately EUR 90) and RON 4,000 (approximately EUR 900).

8. Future amendments for synchronization with the New Civil Procedure Code

Certain amendments to Cadastre Law are expected to enter into force starting with 1 September 2012,  together  with  the   New  Civil  Procedure   Code.  These  amendments  provide  that   the decisions issued by the courts in relation to Land Book registrations may be challenged only by appeal.

The implementation of the National Programme for registration of real estate properties is expected to have significant positive effects for developers of real estate projects in Romania. Currently, increased costs have been generated in technical due diligence and urbanism planning because of the lack of related information between the registries kept by the various authorities involved in urbanism and real estate development and updated information in the registries.

The creation of transparent and interoperable national registries would prevent such setbacks, and significantly simplify the planning and design stage of a real estate project.

With respect to delimitation of properties, the centralized measurements may bring up existing title flaws and generate a certain amount of litigation in the near future, however the long-term effect should be positive as the final result should be a single integrated cadastral map with clear boundaries for all properties.

1   This  information  note  does  not  purport  to  be  and  should  not  be  construed  as  legal  advice. Professional advice should therefore be sought before any action is undertaken in relation to the matters set out in this information note.

This information is not legal assistance. For further details, please contact us. 

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