Who can own property in Romania?
It all depends whether you are an EU or non-EU citizen.
EU citizens can own land, apartments or houses in Romania, just like any Romanian citizen. In this respect, you need to obtain a special fiscal identification code (in Romanian “NIF”), which allows you to pay taxes. You can get this from the fiscal authorities (in Ro “ANAF”). However, if you already have a Romanian CNP, you are already registered with ANAF.
On the other hand, non-EU citizens cannot own land in Romania. Even if you want to own a flat or house without land, in practice they are usually sold together and cannot be separated.
I am non-EU, what are my options?
As non-EU, you can own property, including land, through a Romanian company. The fastest solution is to incorporate a limited liability company (in Romanian “SRL”) as sole owner and buy property through it.
Also, if you married to a Romanian or otherwise EU citizens, your spouse can buy property in their own name. Then the real estate will belong to the couple together, as common property obtained during marriage – unless you have a prenup agreement that states otherwise.
Can I get a bank loan for my real estate purchase?
When it comes to financing a real estate purchase, you might have a hard time getting a loan if you’re not a Romanian citizen. And it gets usually even more complicated if all your money is obtained from abroad, not from a Romanian employer, in a local bank account.
There is no official legal restriction for lending money to expats, and it all eventually depends on the bank and their internal policy. But, in practice, banks are much more reserved to offer loans in this case, as they are concerned about potentially not getting their money back.
How can a lawyer help me with my real estate purchase?
A lawyer can help you with a real estate due-diligence, such as checking land specifications, current and past ownership, preparing a solid sale-purchase agreement and even assisting you with the purchase itself, in front of a public notary – including the negotiation process. This way, you can make sure that your property purchase is safe and legal.