Right of ownership real estate is one of the most important rights guaranteed and protected by the Constitution of the country of Georgia. Detailed regulation of ownership rights can be found in a special chapter of Georgian Civil Code. There are various forms of ownership, possession, utilization and control of property under Georgian legislation whether in Tbilisi properties market or in Batumi real estate market.
An owner can transfer his or her rights to possess, use and dispose of the property to another person; to commit any action as regards to property, to transfer the property to the possession of another person and to use his or her property for carrying out economic or any other activity not forbidden by the law. Read More: Tbilisi Real Estate Market Report
Ownership rights of Georgian citizens are not limited, however the law envisions certain limitations for non-residents: ownership rights for agricultural land.
Object of ownership — immovable property in Georgia
Legal definition of immovable property is stated in the civil code of Georgia (article 149). Immovable things include a plot of land buildings and other structures firmly attached to the land, as well as the plants growing on the land and its subsoil minerals if any.
It is easy with the private villas or houses but how does this definition correspond with the block of flats when there is one tower and many flats?
Basically, things considered as essential parts of the immovable property can be deemed as the object of separate ownership rights. The essential component parts of a plot of land include buildings, structures and things firmly attached to the land and not intended for temporary use.
To sum up, individual apartments in the block of flats as well, can be recognized as an object of separate ownership rights.
Types of lands and Limitations for Non-residents in Georgia Europe
The types of lands based on the usage purpose can be divided into two : agricultural and non-agricultural lands.
Except for the difference in usage purpose and the limitations of possession, there is a certain limitation for the non-residents of Georgia. After the amendments in law, the agricultural land is only sold to the citizens of Georgia.
Above mentioned limitation is not to be considered as an obstacle while purchasing the residential real estate in Georgia for any purpose.
Forms of a property Ownership
In the Republic of Georgia ownership is regulated by the Constitution, Civil Code, this Law and other legislative acts.
According to the Civil Code of Georgia, there are two main forms of ownership : Sole and Common ownership.
In certain cases a person can be sole (individual) owner as well as hold a common ownership right to one property. For example in a block of flats, an apartment owner holds the individual ownership right on his/her apartment and a common (joint) ownership right on the shared property, which will be discussed below.
Ownership of an apartment in a Real Estate Project
A very clear demonstration of co-existence of individual and common ownership is an ownership of an apartment in a block of flats.
In an apartment building, a person is the owner of the apartment as well as a participant in the common property.
Sole Ownership in a Real Estate Project in Georgia
A person can have individual ownership of an apartment and the spaces of the building which are not used for living (stockroom, garage etc.).Only an isolated apartment or other insulated part of a building can be individually owned.
Individual property may not be parts of an apartment that, for example, contribute to its security, even if they are located inside the apartment. For example, in case of apartment expansion or other alterations, all this should be done in such a way that other residents are not restricted in their rights, the apartment is not obscured, or they do not interfere with the use of any plot of land.
The common property of the apartment owners is the land, that part of the building and the building installations that are not individually owned. For example, elevator, building foundation, etc.
The shares in common property are determined by the volume of the apartment under individual property. The bigger apartments in an apartment building, the more shares. If one person owns two or more apartments, the share will also correspond to the number of apartments.
Ownership Rights and Obligations in Block of Flats
An apartment owner in a multi-apartment house has the right to sell the apartment. He can sell it, give it away as a gift, exchange it, and so on. The owner can also mortgage the apartment or otherwise encumber it. However, alienation of the apartment, pledge, etc. will not be allowed without considering the relevant share of the common property.This means that a person who buys an apartment in an apartment house becomes not only the owner of the apartment, but also a participant in the common property, so it is not allowed, for example, in the apartment purchase agreement to take into account that the buyer can not buy the right to common property. The right to common property automatically goes to the individual ownership.
Acquisition of the ownership
Purchasing real estate property in Georgia requires a signed agreement between parties, either in notarized form or signed by the parties directly at the Public Registry.
Ownership rights on real estate property are acquired by the National Agency of Public Registry (NAPR). Public Registry extract serves as legal proof of ownership. After presenting the purchase agreement and completing the registry application, ownership rights are legally transferred to the new owner and a new extract is issued. Cost of registration is GEL 50 (approx. USD 15).
Registering apartment ownership in Georgia
A separate sheet in the public registry is filled out for each apartment property. The materials for registration of apartment ownership in the public register shall be accompanied by a construction permit certified by the construction agency, the project of the building, as well as the location and dimensions of the parts of the building that are in common ownership.
Usufruct or ownership — how to find out?
When thinking about purchasing the property, it is very important to check the ownership rights to avoid all the legal dis convenience.
In practice, it is common when the usufruct is misunderstood unto ownership by the buyers. Usufruct is the right to enjoy the use and advantages of another’s property without the destruction or waste of its substance. The definition itself says that usufructo has no right to sell the property.
Fortunately, in Georgia it is very easy to find out under whose name the property is registered. Every land has its own unique cadastral code, using which you can check the legal condition of the land.
Purchasing an Apartment at the Black Sea Coast
Legal framework regarding ownership rights of the land plots at the sea coast is a bit different. Most of the plots in the first line of the sea cost is currently state property. There are certain prerequisites for privatization of these kinds of plots under Georgian law on State Property. As the quantity of the sea cost based plots is limited, it can’t be the object of recognition of property rights of land possessed by natural or legal entities under private law if it is under the recreation part of the sea cost.(see the law)
In most cases, construction companies try to get the plot privatized from the state under certain circumstances which might be an auction.
However, the construction companies have all legal rights to build and sell the apartments even if they use the usufruct from the state. In this case, the state takes care of the investments and the terms of expropriation is very strict.
Every person who purchases an apartment at the sea cost is granted the ownership right on it.
Unfortunately, as the seller is not the sole owner of the land, the apartment buyer only gets the rights to the apartment and not on the share of the land plot. This leads us to the risk of demolition/collapse of the building.
However, if the usufruct is terminated, the apartments still can be the individual object of property right and the owner of the land will have to compensate if he decides to demolish the building.
Role of Public Registry
Public Registry has a very specific mission to keep the immovable property registry transparent and available, development of property and business registration systems, spatial data infrastructure and provision of fast, affordable and innovative services to the public.
How to check the ownership of a real estate in Georgia?
There are a few basic steps you need to know if you are going to check the property condition or find out more about the company you are purchasing property from:
- Go to my.gov.ge, official web-site of the public registry.
- Choose “Search for Applications in the Registry of Immovable Property”
- Depending on what kind of information you have — cadastral code of the land or the identification number of the development company — type in the relevant gap;
For example, lets try the identification code of a company (ID: 445576***)
- After the search is finished, you will have access to all the immovable property files regarding the company or the land. An extract from Public Registry is considered true and legitimate before further expeditions.
Unfortunately the search engine and registry extracts are in Georgian and you might need professional assistance. For that our team is ready to provide all the necessary search for your successful decision-making.
To conclude, the ownership rights are protected under the Georgian laws. The purchase process might be tricky, however, there are legal ways of conducting preliminary research. The sole ownership of immovable property gains you the right to common property, which means you with your neighbors and developer share the property rights on the land your apartment is based on. This bonds the developer and any other third party from misconducting the property.