Yesterday the Registry Agency announced their official property information webstie. We know very well that foreigners have concerns trusting information over the Internet, as there are many contradictory sources. People often ask in forums and receive ‘advice’ from other fellow forumers. This is neither professional advice nor a trusted source information.
The goal of the official information property website
As the press release announcement stated, the goal of this property information source is:
..to provide general information and guidance to foreign nationals on the process of acquisition and management of real estate in the Republic of Bulgaria.
The website is created by the Bulgarian government after requests and discussions with few foreign embassies in Bulgaria. I personally have attended a reception organised by the embassies of UK, USA, Ireland and the Consular of Australia in Romania (there is no Australian Embassy in Bulgaria). The consulars have expressed their concern for the lack of official information on the property ownership/acquisition process. It appears that not long after the reception, this website has come true.
‘Buying and selling property’, ‘Property management and ‘Тaxes, fees, accounts’
These are the main categories of the property legislation that the website provides information about. The ‘Buying ans Selling property‘ category contains general information about the process of buying and selling of real estate property e.g. necessary documents, needed for the conveyancing, the amount of the fees, the parties should expect, what are the steps after one purchases a property in Bulgaria etc.
The second category is ‘Property management‘. Here you’ll be able to find general information about condominium management regime (don’t expect to find any details there), the repair and renovation regulations and the some basic guidelines on how the actual repair and renovation work and what permissions and documents you are expected to obtain before starting with the renovation and repair works.
The last category оn the government property information website is the ‘Taxes, fees, accounts’. This sections contains basic information what taxes and fees are likely to incur upon sale, purchase or renovation of your property in Bulgaria. Again, the information provided is just guidelines and there are no details, interpretation or advice for specific cases.
Social impact of the property information website
I sincerely admire the efforts of the Bulgarian government to create something like www.gov.uk (former BusinessLink). Although providing only general property information, it is a good start. The website itself advices:
..the site should not be regarded as a universal tool to provide a solution to the whole range of options, resulting from the acquisition and management of property, or as an alternative to hiring a good lawyer in the process of management of real estate.
I personally see many DIY Brits trying to do complex procedures without any professional legal help and acting solely by reading general information over the Internet. They end up tying themselves in legal requirements, fines, taxes etc. Engaging a solicitor in Bulgaria is as much recommended as it is in the UK.