Introduction to the land register in Germany – Grundbuch
In Germany, the land register is known as “Grundbuch“. Each land plot, house or apartment is registered in a document in the land register called “Grundbuchblatt“. Checking this document is an important step leading to the purchase of property in Germany.
The clerk or solicitor (Notar) is obligated to update and read the content of the land register during the property transfer that constitutes the sale contract. If you wish to check & study the current situation before signing the contract, you are entitled to ask the seller an excerpt of the land register (Grundbuchauszug). You can then in your own time check if everything is in order. Your bank will also probably require this document when agreeing to a loan with you.
Structure of the land registry in Germany
The content of the land registry in Germany is made up of 4 different parts, regardless of the type of property.
Inventory – Bestandsverzeichnis
The inventory, known as Bestandsverzeichnis in german, has all the details of the property itself:
- The share it represents in the case of co-property (Miteigentumsanteil)
- Its location in the building or land plot (Lage): eg: VH 1.OG rechts – Front building, first floor, right hand-side.
- Its designation (Bezeichnung)
- Its size (Größe)
- Its use (Nutzung)
Checking the inventory lets you see all the details about the apartment or part of the property that interests you.
Part I – Abteilung I
The first part lets you check who really owns the property you are looking into. It has the name of the owner of the flat, land plot or house.
Part II – Abteilung II
The second part of this document introduces you to current assets of the property, excluding debts, mortgage deeds or land rent, which will be introduced in the third part. You will find here details about the right of way (Dienstbarkeit), pre-emptive right conditions (vertragliche Vorkaufsrechte) and pre-notifications in the land register (Vormerkungen im Grundbuch).
A temporary property transfer right (Auflassungsvormerkung) will also be noted down here for the buyer as soon as the sale will be certified by the solicitor.
Part III – Abteilung III
The third part lays down all the details about debts, mortgage deeds or land rent (Gund- und Rentenschulden) which fall under the property’s responsibility. If you are financing your investment with the help of a bank, a right of pledge (Grundpfandrecht) will also added here to secure your loan.
What is not shown in the land register in Germany?
In Germany, the land register doesn’t detail the expenses that the co-ownership must support (Baulasten). Those expenses cover various services to keep up the common parts of the property. When purchasing a property, you can ask to see the full list of costs in as document called Baulastenvercheichnis. It is not compulsory for the buyer to show this document. The building management company can often help you get this document.
As a real estate agency, we strongly advise you to ask for the land register in Germany when looking into an investment opportunity. You will be then at full liberty to study every hard detail of the property to check who the owner is and if the reality fits the offer that the real estate agent presented you. You can find more information about the land register in Berlin on its official website.
We can help you understand the fine details shown in this document and if need be, reach out to a lawyer to make sure that the conditions fit the reality of the property. Get in touch with us for more information about the land register in Germany or any other related issue. We would love to help.