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Should I buy a Free Hold apartment in Kraków?

malyniebieski 3 | 16  
5 Sep 2010 /  #1
Hi Group,

My wife and I are buying an apartment in Kraków and we recently came across a good apartment in the city center that is a Free Hold. Our agent tells us that it is a Free Hold as if it was some kind of disease:) Who can explain this concept better? Is it some type of problem to buy a Free Hold?

What is the difference between a--Free Hold--property and a regular apartment--Lease Hold--I am presuming? Should I buy a free hold or a lease hold? What are the pluses or minuses of each?

5 Sep 2010 /  #2
What's the Polish term your agent used for 'freehold'? A leasehold, as it's defined in the UK, is quite rare in Poland and very unpopular, so I think that you might be confusing terms.
terri 1 | 1661  
6 Sep 2010 /  #3
I think that the terms are being confused. Anyone who buys a house/apartment buys the freehold (odrebna ksiega wieczysta) - nobody buys an apartment on leasehold.

You can lease an apartment (i.e. pay rent, but the apartment is never yours).
It would be interesting to know the Polish terms being used.
6 Sep 2010 /  #4
nyone who buys a house/apartment buys the freehold (odrebna ksiega wieczysta)

Not quite, because you can also by a spółdzielcze prawo własnościowe, or a building on a plot with użytkowanie wieczyste. That's why I asked what term the agent used.
terri 1 | 1661  
6 Sep 2010 /  #5
Have you any idea how difficult it is for a foreigner to buy an apartment with 'spoldzielcze prawo wlasnosciowe' and who would want to such an apartment anyway?

Uzytkowanie wieczyste - you have to have the permission of the owner of the land to use it - and who would want to buy something on someone else's land?
APM - | 4  
6 Sep 2010 /  #6
In Poland most apartments are freeholds. In the old Krakow buildings it happens that a single apartment doesn't have its own deeds and it's a share in the whole building (you buy a 'percentage' of the building). Leaseholds are possible only for land.
OP malyniebieski 3 | 16  
6 Sep 2010 /  #7
No, our agent called the apartment a "Freehold". So, what you are saying is that it may actually be a "Lease Hold" and the agent does not know the actual terminology? Ok, great, and thanks that was helpful from all of you on this site. We have three apartments in our choices and that one with the so called "Free Hold/Lease Hold" will be not considered.

A side question--how does an apartment ever become a "Lease Hold" in the first place and who would ever want to buy into this format?

terri 1 | 1661  
6 Sep 2010 /  #8
Ask the agent to write down in Polish exactly what the Polish word is for the apartment (freehold or leasehold) -
Do not let him translate it into English, because he does NOT know how to translate it and gives you the nearest equivalent which he found in a book somewhere.

Once you have the Polish terminology we will then tell you what the Polish terminology means.
As it happens I have an apartment/flat in the Old Town - and I have 'odrebna ksiega wieczysta' individual title deeds.
When you buy a percentage of the building - you cannot ever insist that it is THAT particular apartment that you are buying - you buy the square metres in the building. Do be careful with that.
art apartments - | 4  
10 Sep 2010 /  #9
I have found a lot of terms and translations even made by the sworn translators but:
użytkowanie wieczyste is translated as perpetual usufruct see the link

mieszkanie własnościowe, hipoteczne - tj posiadające ksiege wieczystą (mortgage register book) it could be translated as freehold. It means that you have got a separate property (it could be a house, a flat)

mieszkanie spółdzielcze własnościowe - in my opinion can not be translated as freehold. it is not the same right to the property as mieszkanie własnościowe. It is ograniczone prawo rzeczowe. Ask your agent what happens as spoldzielnia will go bankrupt.
Peter KRK  
10 Apr 2011 /  #10
Forms of ownership
Print this list and ask your agent which one does he/she want to sell you.

1 = Free Hold
2 = Perpetual lease/use - concerns grounds - you can treat it just as a Free Hold but instead "taxes" you pay "leasing fees" which are bigger. You can hold this ground only 100 years (keep healthy). You can have Free Hold flat and perpetual lease (or co-lease) ground. No problema.

3 = Cooperative semi-own(ership of) flat - weird term indicates a communism era legacy, special legislation, no laws for coop members/lodgers/semi-owners, etc, etc, etc. Never-ever buy this.

4 = Social Building Society - TBS law was a "succes" of holy memory post-communist minister Barbara Blida. It is a bizzare mixture of Free Hold and leasing, private and commune property as complicated as possible. It couldn't work too long time and now is agonising.

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