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Preliminary Contract - Purchase of Apartment


babsetta 6 | 6
29 Mar 2014  #1
I need some information regarding preliminary contracts in Poland, specifically spółdzielcze własnościowe prawo do lokalu:

- what should I ask the owner of the apartment to provide me in terms of documents;
- what and how should I check information about the apartment in terms of debt;
- what is the cost of the notarial deed for the preliminary contract;
- indications of what needs to be included in the preliminary contract;
- any further info that I need to know about due to this type of ownership;
- if it is allowed for an EU foreigner to enter in such a contract;

Also, I would be very happy if someone could suggest a good helpful notary in Warsaw.
Tipsy toe
29 Mar 2014  #2
notary deed is enough.
You can go to the registry court and check if it belongs to the owner and nothing is owed to anyone(bank)
notary fees depends on the notary
I use joanna zarska,uk filtrowa 73 lok 9 ,warszawa
tel 22 825 6370,22 408 8846
She speaks english,also you will need a sworn translator,if you want she can get one a bit expensive but good.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
29 Mar 2014  #3
You can go to the registry court and check if it belongs to the owner and nothing is owed to anyone(bank)

Thanks for the warning -- so if I buy a flat or house in Poland it's ME who needs to check the seller is entitled to sell and not my lawyer or notary!! But they charge 2000-3000zł -- what the heck are they doing for that fee!
inkrakow 1 | 98
30 Mar 2014  #4
Check whether the spółdzielnia will allow you to create a land registry entry (kśięga wieczysta) for the property, but the major issue is that by buying this share, you agree to pay the service charges that the spółdzielnia sets.

The notary will request the seller to submit the documents needed to ensure that they have the right to sell their share in the cooperative - you're paying for this.
Tipsy toe
30 Mar 2014  #5
Check whether the spółdzielnia will allow you to create a land registry entry (kśięga wieczysta) for the property

I will never buy if there is no entry,whenever I bought I sometimes had to ask the seller to get the registry done first,good point though.
Szczerbaty 4 | 49
30 Mar 2014  #6
Maybe it was overkill, but when I bought my first apartment in Poznan I hired a lawyer to make sure every step was in order. I slept a lot easier.
jon357 63 | 14,124
30 Mar 2014  #7
Not overkill at all, and very good practice.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
30 Mar 2014  #8
I hired a lawyer

How much extra does it cost to hire a lawyer? Notaries are 2-3K. lawyers?
Tipsy toe
30 Mar 2014  #9
lawyers?

dont need a lawyer.if non polish speaking you will have to hire a sworn translator though.
Wroclaw Boy
30 Mar 2014  #10
sworn translator

Yeah and make sure you understand what the hell they are saying, in my experience they rush through these notary contracts.
Szczerbaty 4 | 49
30 Mar 2014  #11
I had an English-speaking lawyer and all he really did was check out the legal status of the property to make sure there wouldn't be any surprises when it came time to sign all the documents at the notary. I don't think I paid more than 500 zlotys for his services. This was in 2001 so prices I am sure are higher now.

My real estate agent was a friend of family, so let's say I trusted her. If you don't trust your agent, you may want to take the lawyer a little further down the road to the notary for the signing of documents.

I got the impression that the notary is rather reliable so long as you go to one that's established. They should check the status of the property online the day of signing just to make sure that no legal funny business is going on with the property at the last moment. I bought two properties in Poland and always felt pretty good about the notary.

If you feel confident in your abilities, go it on your own. I used the lawyer for my first property, but didn't for my second. It doesn't hurt though to know that you have somebody in your corner tending to your interests.
Lenka 3 | 1,372
30 Mar 2014  #12
All of you do realise notary is after law school, don't you? He finishes the same Uni as your lawyer...And he puts his license in line when signing the documents.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
30 Mar 2014  #13
So a buyer doesn't really need a lawyer, just a notary?
Who does the buyer send the money to when he buys? The seller of the house (the vendor, in English) or the lawyer or notary? In the UK, it's the lawyer or conveyancer. This can cause some aggravation and there are some cases where a lawyer has become insolvent on the day money was transferred to their account, meaning the buyer or purchaser lost out, when the purchase lump sum (assuming not a mortgage advance) was held in an unring-fenced or non client account.

forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=1525223
propertynews.com/advice/buying-a-property/your-solicitor-s-role/
Tipsy toe
30 Mar 2014  #14
in some transactions i transfered funds directly to the sellers accounts except one where i put in escrow account of the notary and she transfered to seller after the final closing.
Lenka 3 | 1,372
30 Mar 2014  #15
Well, if someone want's to be extra, extra safe then sure, one can hire a lawyer ,however, they may even be school friends. It looks like that- you finish law and then you decide which branch of law interests you- lawyer, judge, prosecutor, notary...So your lawyer may have more knowledge than your notary but it's a gamble. And when I was given a flat (never bought any so can't say anything about the money part of your post) the notary had the leatest flat's document. However he is only the guarantee of the common wishes of both parties. And to make a contract that is precisly what buyer and seller want. To be sure you may ask the court for the documents. That will be be enough.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
30 Mar 2014  #16
in some transactions i transfered funds directly to the sellers accounts except one where i put in escrow account of the notary and she transfered to seller after the final closing.

Thanks, I may well do the same (escrow) if I ever buy.

To be sure you may ask the court for the documents. That will be be enough.

Thanks, so these deeds or documents at the local court would prove their ownership and a right to sell with no charge (loan) outstanding, I assume. In England, I'm pretty sure you can't sell if a charge remains on a home unless the charge owner (usually a bank that gave a mortgage or secured loan) knows about it and also agrees.
Lenka 3 | 1,372
30 Mar 2014  #17
Thanks, so these deeds or documents at the local court would prove their ownership and a right to sell with no charge (loan) outstanding, I assume

You assume correctly
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
30 Mar 2014  #18
Thank you, Lenka. I know this is Poland where everything costs money, but I'm kinda hoping that doing that check is free or not more than 25zł. What puzzles me is why they'd release the information to me? How would they know I'm entitled to see it? But on the other hand, I think the relevant UK govt dept release info from the UK Land Registry to enquirers as well.
Tipsy toe
30 Mar 2014  #19
How would they know I'm entitled to see it

Cuz its a public record,even in the usa when one buys a house its recorded with the amount of loan taken and how much it was sold for.
inkrakow 1 | 98
30 Mar 2014  #20
The amount a property was sold for is not public in Poland.
wjtk - | 29
30 Mar 2014  #21
I'll give you guys a little tip: if you want to check legal status of property you are interested in, you can do it for free via internet. All you need is Księga Wieczysta number (number in land and mortgage register). You can do it here:

ekw.ms.gov.pl/pdcbdkw/pdcbdkw.html

This is not a private site, this is official online register run by Ministry of Justice. You can check who is the owner, if there are any mortgage and few other legal details.

Of course i don't recommend to rely on it if you don't speak perfect Polish and you are not familiar with legal nuances.

Generally i strongly recommend to hire a lawyer in such cases, especially if you are a foreigner. His services aren't that expensive in such easy and small case. What's 200-800 zł in comparing to the amount of money you are paying for your apartment? Is it really that much?

Remember also we are speaking about preliminary contract - iit would be nice if someone checked if there aren't any disadvantageous (for you) paragraphs there.
Lenka 3 | 1,372
30 Mar 2014  #22
Personally I believe a sworn translator would be more useful than a lawyer- especially one that knows all the terms and so on.
Please remember that notary has to make sure interests of BOTH sides are protected. In my case it ment that the notary explained the consequences of every legal point.
wjtk - | 29
30 Mar 2014  #23
I disagree with you - sworn translator may not catch all consequences of contract terms (he is not a lawyer afterall) and believe me - this can be very tricky. Notary will not replace normal legal advice, you won't have time to re-negiotiate some terms etc. You know how it is, its difficult to change your mind in last moment.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
30 Mar 2014  #24
Cuz its a public record,even in the usa when one buys a house its recorded with the amount of loan taken and how much it was sold for.

I'm surprised they release names etc. When I was a tenant somewhere and had a problem with a rented apartment, the admin people wouldn't even confirm the surname of the owner even when I quoted it to them! They said "Cannot confirm or not. All I can do is note your request and get back to you."

You can do it here ekw.ms.gov.pl/pdcbdkw/pdcbdkw.html

Someone else on my travels mentioned that to me, but they didn't know the link. Thanks for posting it :)

What's 200-800 zł in comparing to the amount of money you are paying for your apartment?

I agree.

Personally I believe a sworn translator would be more useful than a lawyer-

Let's have 'em all, heck let's invite everyone!
OP babsetta 6 | 6
31 Mar 2014  #25
Thank you all for your advice.

inKrakow, you mentioned that one should make sure that the apartment has a registry entry. Why is it so important? What could happen if I bought a place that does not have a registry entry? Also, when talking about charges that the spółdzielnia sets do you mean the czynsz?

Also, does the notary have a pre-drafted standard contract? Is there opportunity to discuss/add any clauses to the contract? Does the notary explain what each clause means and what are the consequences?
Lenka 3 | 1,372
31 Mar 2014  #26
Yes to all.


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