Pursuing ownership of property on your behalf at the local Bulgarian court

On the Bulgarian property market there are many situations where, for one or another reason, a property buyer who has paid the total purchase price per their signed private purchase contract, is not able to achieve ownership in the standard path – namely via signing together with the seller of new Title Deed for ownership of the property in Bulgaria. There are various reasons or complications, but almost allways related not to the buyer, but to the local seller / developer: they may have suddenly ceased business; vanished or stopped communicating with the trustful buyers; or for some reason refusing to transfer the completed apartment to the buyers (i.e. breach of contract), or to pretend they have not received the total sale price in their own accounts although the buyers have properly followed their instructions for payment, or failed to obtain Act 15 / Act 16 in Bulgaria, etc. In all circumstances transfering the Deeds of a Bulgarian property before local notary public can not be done, which fact leads to a great danger for the buyer’s investment. You just simply need to check the Register of court cases at the civil department of the Sofia City court, or the Burgas County court for the last couple of years, in order to see for yourself that there are many many court cases for pursuing ownership have been entered by overseas property buyers against local developers.

An independent Bulgarian property lawyer will advise you properly that signing of a standard preliminary contract for a property purchase in Bulgaria, does NOT give you ANY ownership rights on the property yet. This is the provision of the Bulgarian legislation. Although you may have signed a preliminary contract, and paid the installments, it is not your apartment yet. It is legally owned by the seller at least until they sign with you or with your Bulgarian conveyancer the new Title Deed for transferring the property to you. The main role of the preliminary contract for a propery purchase is, to oblige the parties later to conclude the actual sales contract (i.e. the Title Deed). Please refer to our section Preparing contracts for more information.

This is why, the other role of the preliminary contract is to be a legal base for entering a claim for receipt of the ownership has been given by the Bulgarian law – a valid option for buyers who have performed their obligations per the signed and valid private purchase contracts (i.e. the preliminary contracts) to claim ownership of the contracted property, at the local Bulgarian court. The pricise right to pursue ownership via court decision has been detailed in art.19, al.3 of the Contracts and Obliations Act, which entitles you in a situation of signed preliminary contract and paid purchase price to seek ownership at local court – personally or via hiring a Bulgarian solicitor for this purpose.

On the base of the above we have a good practice to perform such lawsuits on behalf of our clients, for receipt of ownership on the contracted properties in Bulgaria, having initially signed prelimianry contracts and proofs for paid purchase price, to be heard in local Bulgarin courts, against local developers / sellers. If you are in a situation to have already paid the total pruchase price following the instructions of the Bulgarian developer, but not yet been able to sign the new Title Deed for ownership, do not hesitate to contact us we are capable to pursue on your behalf proper receipt of the ownership in court, where the expected court decision in your favor has the role of a standard ownership document – which we will translate in your language and forward to you in original at the end of the process. The transfer charges due in the standard property transfer (Stamp Duty, Council tax for purchasing a property and notary fee), also will apply here and can not be avoided – i.e. upon issuing their decision in your favor, the local court will oblige you to pay these to the bank account of the court. On the other hand, the court expenses, payable on entering the claim and performance of the case (court tax and lawyer’s fees) after successful outcome, are to be claimed from the other party as a type of reimbursement.

Feel free to contact us for more information and guidance