Signing the Notary Act when buying a property in Bulgaria

Checking the Reputation of the Bulgarian Developer
In the specific case of buying an off-plan apartment in Bulgaria, besides the usual legal checks, it is advisable to make enquiries into the reputation of the developer. It is also useful to view his previous projects that have been finalized.

Getting a Survey of a property in Bulgaria

Before purchasing a property in Bulgaria it is advisable to have a survey carried out, which will tell you the physical condition of the Bulgarian property, any major repairs which are needed, obvious structural faults, and perhaps an overview of any other Bulgarian property repairs that might be needed.

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You may already have had this done before making an offer on the Bulgarian property, as the results can be used to negotiate the property purchase price in your favour.

After the parties have signed the preliminary contract and have determined the date or the event on which the final notary act needs to be signed, both parties undertake certain legal actions and prepare for the final signing of the notary act.

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A notary act is normally signed within 30 days from the signing of the preliminary contract (although this can vary). Sometimes there is no fixed time given, but instead the signing is determined by a certain event being completed (for example, the roof being fixed).

Typically the buyer is required to complete the registration of the Bulgarian company being set up to buy the property in Bulgaria (if required, as company is needed only when buying land in Bulgaria) and to arrange funds for buying the property, such as a mortgage. It may also be necessary for the buyer to prepare other documents such as power of attorney, declaration of marital status and citizenship, declaration for the origin of funds, and soon.

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The seller needs to prepare all necessary documents for the signing of the notary act. Only the owner can provide these documents. If you have insisted on certain requirements to be fulfilled as per the preliminary contract, the seller will have to make sure within the time frame that all obligations are met.

The Skitsa

One of the key documents that must be presented in front of the notary is the skitsa . The drawing is issued by the competent authority, which may be different for the different regions and types of Bulgarian properties – the Agricultural Commission (Municipality Department for Agriculture and Forestry) issues the skitsa for agricultural land;the municipality orthe Cadastral Department issues the skitsa for all other properties.

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The skitsa needs to be an original document (not a photocopy) in the name of the owner, and is valid for six months from the date of issue. It shows how the property looks as per the local plan and the size of the plot.The skitsa is required to be presented in front of the notary and the original stays with the notary.The new owner receives the notary act and may receive a copy of the skitsa (but not always). The skitsa can always be obtained from the local municipality in the name of the new owner.

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The Property Tax Evaluation

The tax evaluation is another important document issued by the local tax office of the relevant municipality where the property is situated. The tax evaluation is only issued if there are no outstanding obligations to the municipality for that property. So having this will make you feel confident that the seller has paid their council tax due to date. It is not possible to complete the deal and sign the final notary act if there is no tax evaluation or if there are any obligations to the municipality on the property. They first need to be paid, and then the deal can proceed.

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The tax evaluation of the property-the basis for the calculation of council tax for any property-is determined by the tax authorities on the basis of information provided in a declaration submitted by the owner concerning the property, its size, number of floors, when it was built and so on.

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