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Poland land ownership documents - what do they look like / where to obtain

rozenstorm 2 | 1
20 Jan 2010 #1

I (with the help from someone in Poznan) am investigating property ownership in Poland. My Dad died in Feb 2009 and in his documents I found a 50 yr lease for a farm from him to his sister in law, written in 1963. It is due to expire in 2011. My parents emigrated to Australia in 1963.

Recent investigatons show that my father owns no land in Poland. I have been asked to find a deed orownership document.

What does a deed or land ownership document look like? And would such a land ownership document have a copy anywhere of its contents? Eg in NSW Australia, a historical search would be present with the Land Titles Office.

Knowing what one may look like, or the wrding of one may help me when I go through my father's papers. As I don't understand polish, it is hard for me to know what is important paper compared to papers which are not useful.

1jola 14 | 1,879
20 Jan 2010 #2
Liz, Look for words like:

rysia21 3 | 7
13 May 2011 #3
Merged: How do you obtain a original copy of a court decision (Poland land ownership)?

How do I obtain an documentation from a court decision appointing ownership of land to me and my siblings. Looking to get these documents placed in the Land Registry. Original documents were lost.
ItsAllAboutME 3 | 270
13 May 2011 #4
did you ask the court? do you know if there is a cost associated?
rysia21 3 | 7
14 May 2011 #5

I lost the registry number to my grandparent's land in Poland. They have since passed away. I have the address to the land but was told that I need the registry number to get a copy of the registration. How can I find proof of their registration to the land? Which registry book do I need to look at? do I need to go to court? Please help!

No, you can usually look up the registry number at the court if you just have the address. Alternatively, if you aren't in Poland, a lawyer can look it up for you.
17 May 2018 #6
I have reason to believe (a letter) that my father bought a house in Poland when friendly with some Poles. I think this was in about 1991/2. My father died in 1995 but nothing was mentioned in his will. Could my father have purchased in his own name before Poland was an EU member? As I don't have the address - other than a description of the area -outside Gdansk - am I wasting my time investigating this?
Dirk diggler 10 | 4,846
17 May 2018 #7
Yes it is worth investigating. As his son you would be entitled to it. It is a long arduous process which can take years. However the house and property could he worth a lot of money today. Some properties that went for 20k 30k in the 90s could now be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. An 60k 80k property could he worth over a million. It all depends where its located, what the zoning is, and size.
Atch 17 | 3,693
18 May 2018 #8
If you don't even know the name of the area, you'll find it a struggle. However, if your dad bought a house then he should have registered his ownership of it. The register, the "księgi wieczyste" is held by the local district court. It can be searched online but unfortunately, they only offer three search options, search by the registration number, address, or plot number and as you have none of these, it's no use to you. The only thing I can suggest is that you contact them. The best thing to do is write to them. They won't give you any info over the phone, they won't usually respond to emails (especially if they're in English). If I were you I would write a short letter, pay to have it translated into Polish, it won't cost much and send it registered. Give them your email address so that they can reply to you that way if they prefer. Generally officials in Poland take notice of registered letters so you have some chance of getting a response.

The address to write to is:

Sąd Rejonowy
Gdańsk Pólnoc w Gdańsku
Piekarnicza 10
80-980 Gdańsk

Was your father actually living in Poland? You say your dad was friendly with some Poles. You should be aware that if he bought the house from them, it may simply have been a cash in hand deal, not witnessed by a notary. In that case it's not legal and the ownership might never have been registered. If it was legal and registered, then your father should have received a document from the court a few months later but if he left Poland before he received that document, then the Polish people from whom he bought it could have failed to send it on to him. It would be quite possible for them to re-register the property back into their own names later. In theory they shouldn't be able to, but there was quite a lot of bribery and corruption in those days and a few quid handed to the right person was all it took to do that kind of thing. A bent solicitor or notary could arrange it easily, especially as everything was purely on paper in those days, very easy to tear up a document in the archives and replace it with another.
Dirk diggler 10 | 4,846
18 May 2018 #9
Atch has a good point the 'ksiegi wieczystej' is the best place to start.

You can also look to hire a real estate and lawyers in poland.

But before anything, find the address of the property. You can tjen guage how much its worth and if its worth pursuing. This process can take you a good 2 3 years plus before the title is finally in your name. You'll have to also pay back taxes but they're very low in poland
19 May 2018 #10
Thank you Dirk Diggler and Atch for your kind replies. It is worth a letter to the registry in Polish. I hope they can search by name and year. My father was only over there for a holiday with his friends when he viewed the house ( 30k) and I believe it is near the forests in Oliwa. He wanted to return in 1993 but my sister died of cancer that year and he never made it back as far as I know. Once again - thank you for the information and advice.

ps - I'm his daughter.
Dirk diggler 10 | 4,846
19 May 2018 #11
1991 was arguably one of the worst years of the polish economy, atleast in modern times. The county experienced a significant gdp contraction. Poland was in transition from communism to democracy and the economy was in a big slump. It didn't really start recovering till 93.

It's likely thats one of the reasons why your dad purchased property in that year as prices were very low. I dont want to get you overly excited, but that 30k can easily be hundreds of thousands if not a million depending on

Do you have any pictures of the house? If so you can compare pics to Google maps to find an address. That's really your first step as thats what you'll need for the ksiegi wieczystej to be of use to you. Also do you know how to speak/write in polish? Government offices that deal with real estate, taxes, etc generally do not have English speakers.
20 May 2018 #12
Sadly no pictures, only a description in his journal. I don't speak or write Polish and should I narrow down my search to an address i would get any enquiry translated. I just wondered if, as only a visitor in '91, whether my father would have been able to buy in his own name. If not, I think my chances of a claim would be very slim. Thanks again for your input.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
20 May 2018 #13
as only a visitor in '91, whether my father would have been able to buy in his own name.

Most probably not. Land ownership would have required permission from the Ministry of the Interior, and in 1991, that process would have been poorly defined and would have taken a considerable amount of time.

What information was in the letter? It might give some clues as to what happened.
Dirk diggler 10 | 4,846
21 May 2018 #14

I don't know. Residential land probably, agricultural or commercial laws are a lot different. 91 was a very messy time - lot of commercial and agricultural property basically stolen and sold for groszy on the zloty. Lot of government corruption, kidnappings, extortions, all sorts of ****.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
21 May 2018 #15
Yeah, I think the most likely scenario here is that he was conned out of some cash. It was happening a lot in the early 1990's - people would come to Poland and get offered the deal of a lifetime with the assistance of a corrupt lawyer or notary, only for the seller to mysteriously vanish once the cash was transferred. Or someone would convince the buyer that it was easier to keep the property in their name, only for them to vanish afterwards.

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