Bulstat RegistrationAfter Jan 2012, EU citizens are allowed to own regulated land property on their personal names. I have covered this topic few times in the past months, so I’m not going to enter another useless dispute with yet another notary, scared to apply the law.

The purpose of this post is to inform the property buyers what they are obliged to do after they actually purchase the regulated land and/or house.

Bulstat registration of property owners

The first thing the first-time buyer need to do is to register themselves in the Bulstat Register. Pursuant Art. 3 para 1, point 10 of the Bulstat Register Act:

Every foreigner who doesn’t have Bulgarian ( incl. foreign) personal number AND own real estate property on their personal name has to register himself in the Bulstat register.

The above is just an excerpt from the Act. There are other cases in which the Bulstat registration is mandatory, but these are out of the scope of the current blog post.

The obligatory term for Bulstat registration is 7 days as of the moment the title deed is handed by the notary to the property owner or to a proxy. If the registration is not done within the aforesaid therm, the property owner will be sanctioned with a fine by the Bulstat Register.

The Bulstat Register is part of the Registry Agency. The Bulstat registration is done in the local office of the Agency, where the property is located.

Bulstat registration is done only for first time buyers! Once you have bought a property on your name and have registered with Bulstat Register, you don’t need to register again. It’s a one time procedure.

Bulstat register is a statistics authority which tracks different types of information. In the case I describe here, the main goal is to count and collect information of the EU citizens who have bought real estate property in Bulgaria.

City Council Tax Declaration of property

The second legal actions that a property buyer needs declare in the local municipality that he owns the property. If this is not done, the outstanding taxes would still be assigned to the old property owner.

The declaration has to be done within 2 months after the title deed for the purchase is signed. If this deadline is missed, the municipality will impose sanctions (fines and interest) on the new owner.

The declaration of the property has three main goals:

  1. The municipality is now aware that the property has new owner
  2. The owner declares the type of the property, it’s area, construction type etc.
  3. The municipality calculates the tax value of the property based on the declared facts and defines the annual property tax and garbage fee

Having the above information, the local council sends annually (usually in the beginning of the year) letters with the outstanding amounts for local property tax and garbage fee. Some municipalities provide online check ( e.g. Samokov) where the person just have to sign up with his Bulstat number and can see the information without waiting for postal notices or calling the local tax office.

If the  declaration hasn’t been done, or the outstanding money hasn’t been paid, the municipality charges interest on the unpaid amounts.  A recent trend is that the municipalities use law enforcement agents to collect all these debts. Hiring an enforcement agents increases the amount with legal costs and is a threat to foreigners who don’t live in Bulgaria, because the property can be put on public tender and sold in order the council debt to be covered.

Read more solicitor advice here:


21 comments

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  • Harprit 21 September 2012 Reply

    I am a German citizen and have just bought a property in Sofia and already have the notary deed in my name one week ago. The apartment will get Akt 15 in December and Akt 16 in March 2013. At which point do I need to register for Bulstat, NOW as it has been 7 days since getting the notary deed OR after Akt 16 happens?

    Thank you

    Regards,
    Harprit

    • Milen Hristov 25 September 2012 Reply

      You have to reister within 7 days after you have got your notary deed. The fine for delay is not much – up to 50 Levs.

  • Mrs m Ferriday 23 January 2013 Reply

    Dear sir please can you help us me and my husband brought a appt in the tworivers about 7years ago it was just land .
    We have the deeds but becouse they were delayed in finishing them we tuck them to court as stated in the contract for ever day of delay they own us 25eurs per day .
    We won our case last year .
    But we did not get any money as they had 9bank accounts and no money in any .
    The two rivers are not yet at fase 16 so surposed to not yet of been finished .
    How ever we have seem them avertising the two rivers in hoilday brochures for hoildays .
    Can they do this
    And can they use our appt even throw we have the deeds and is all paid for it
    Is there anything we can do
    Kind regards marilyn

    • Milen Hristov 28 January 2013 Reply

      I have sent you an email regarding your case.

  • Yasik 6 March 2013 Reply

    Dear Milen, if we think to buy a property through a company, should we apply for the registration, when we buy the first time? Thanks.

    • Milen Hristov 4 April 2013 Reply

      Hi Yasik, when you buy property with a company, you have to first register the company and then declared the property in the local municipality.

  • carol mailey 12 March 2013 Reply

    Hi I brought land in Bulgaria about 6 years ago, I then got the land regulated & payed all the taxes.Is there an easy way I can check the land is in my company name, & that it is regulated?.

    • Milen Hristov 12 March 2013 Reply

      Hi Carol, the documents that have been provided by the company that did the regulation should state clearly that the land is regulated. If you don’t have such documents, our solicitors can make the check for you. Please email me to milen@mhlegal.eu if you want to instruct us to make the legal check.

    • Milen Hristov 4 April 2013 Reply

      Hi Carol, you can make a check in the Land Registry.

  • Tom Dorr 3 April 2013 Reply

    Bought a property Nov 2012, but no Bulstat card to this day, the municipality used my passport number as identification. Bulstat cards still a legal requirement?

    • Milen Hristov 4 April 2013 Reply

      Hi Tom, Buslat number is still required, but plastic cards are no longer mandatory. When you register for Bulstat you are issued a paper certificate showing your number. This is sufficient. In your particular case you have to register for Bulstat as this is a statutory requirement. Everymforeigner who is not resident of Bulgaria and owns property has to register in the Bulstat Register.

  • Tom Dorr 1 May 2013 Reply

    By not having a Bulstat number attached to the municipality documentation allow payment of yearly tax rubbish collection, as the clerk took a passport number, any laws been broken, any fines attached?

    • Milen Hristov 3 May 2013 Reply

      You have to register in Bulstat within 3 days after buying the property on your name. The fine is about 50-100 BGN, but if more than 5 years have passed, the fine will be void. However it’s better for you to still register at Bulstat registry as various authorities will ask you for the bulstat number e.g. you will have difficulties selling the property.

  • Lucy 9 June 2013 Reply

    I have 2 properties which I bought 6/7 years ago in different municipalities. I have no Bulstat number for either property but I have been paying my local taxes against a reference number given to me by the municipality when I presented my title deeds. Do I have to now apply for a Bulstat. Will I apply for 2 Bulsats because they are in different areas or just one or can I continue paying local taxes against the reference number.

    • Milen Hristov 20 June 2013 Reply

      Lucy, you need to register for Bulstat number, since it a statutory requirement. You need only one Bulstat number, as it is associated to your name and not to your properties. Just chose one of the properties and register in the local Registry Agency office, where this property is located.

  • peter kirkup 7 October 2015 Reply

    i am paying 150 euros every year for property tax I know if I get the forms to fill in I should be paying 50 levs every year how do I go about doing this can you help thank you

  • Lindav 25 April 2016 Reply

    My managing agent who we have now left since moving to bulgaria in march this year (we now have both the white card and residency card) has not got my bulstat card and said we never gave it to him even though we have photocopies of this card in the paper work he returned to us. Upon going to pay our council tax today we were presented with a bill for 1200 lev as this has not been paid since 2014. Upon questioning the managing agent today he advised he had never paid our council tax as that was down to us. We have since located an email advising us he has paid our council tax dated January 2013. Are we being scammed. We pay business tax every year although this has not been paid either since 2014 although he charged us 115 for accountancy fees today we have had to pay over 1500 lev to the council as the charged both myself and my husband separately I own the land and my husband owns the house. Your advise would be appreciated in the best way to deal with this

  • siobhan 24 May 2016 Reply

    I own a 2 bed apt in varna for 15 years. I was never told i needed to pay taxes and wonder if i owe these taxes. My solicitor did not mention any taxes.

  • steven clark 10 March 2017 Reply

    I have a rural property which is empty, I have never stayed in this address but have been renovating over the years. I have no idea of what tax or yearly fees I have to pay or how to do this and where to pay it? Can you assist me?

  • Jamie Gargett 10 April 2017 Reply

    Hello – my Dad bought a property approx 12 years ago and created a company. We haven’t been to the property since. Would you be able to assist in registering for the Bulstat number and finding out what fines / taxes are owed?

  • Jacqueline Waterhouse 17 April 2017 Reply

    I was buying a property on Golden Valley complex in 2006, I paid £22500 for the build to start, we went to visit the property midbuild, and was happy with the way all was going..however Eurosilex the builder went into liquidation, although another company took over the build, I have been unable to get any help with the refund of my funds or my apartment, I instucted a firm of Lawyers here in the UK Judicare who are specialist in this field, I paid them £5000 to act on my behalf, I was called to let me know we had won our case and that the company had 28 days to pay..this was around 2011, after countless conversations with Neil Neaney at Judicare, it appears that the case is still with the bank, I have since found out that the complex is now complete and all the apartments let or purchased, despite being told bu Neil Heaney this could not happen..As you can no doubt appreciate I feel I have been duped on both cases, and now have nowhere to go with this, my husband passed away in 2013, I am now living on a pension, if I could get some of my money back it would be a bonus…can you help or point in the right direction..thank you

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