In an effort to finalize cadastral measurements and register all immovable property in Romania, the Romanian government recently enacted the New National Land Book and Cadastre Programme for 2015-2023 (the ‘Programme’). The Programme provides for the cadastral registration of all properties throughout Romania, free of charge and is publicly funded by the National Agency for Cadastre and Real Estate funds and other public sources, including EU funds.

Operations envisaged by the Programme

Under the Programme, the cadastral and land book operations will consist of:

  • Organizing public awareness campaigns; 
  • Identifying immovable property and owners; 
  • Performing cadastral measurements; 
  • Collecting property title documents from owners; 
  • Integrating and processing data and drafting cadastral documents; 
  • Public display of cadastral documents; 
  • Registering and resolving rectification requests filed by owners; 
  • Updating cadastral documents and opening land books; 
  • Digitalizing existing analogue land books.

Impact of the completion of cadastral and land book operations

Completion of the cadastral works will significantly impact real estate transactions throughout Romania, making it easier to investigate the legal status of properties and safer to acquire them. Moreover, the finalization of such operations is likely to speed up restitution files, giving the relevant authorities significantly more information on the properties and more accuracy regarding property locations thereby reducing title challenges and boundary disputes. Finally, the implementation of a modern, electronic data base of properties in Romania will become more feasible if the Programme is successful. 

According to the New Civil Code (which became effective on 1 October 2011), after all administrative units in Romania complete the relevant cadastral works, registrations in the land book registries will create ownership and no transfer of rights over immovable properties will be valid unless such transfer is first registered with the land book. Currently, as the cadastral works have been completed for only 7 administrative units around Romania, registrations in the land book registries are made only for opposability or information purposes and do not create ownership. 

Cadastral measurement and registration of land in the land registries has been quite slow until now, mainly due to the uncertainties in ownership following restitution of lands after 1990, but also due to the significant costs to landowners. Successful implementation of the programme and the resulting application of the provisions of the New Civil Code of 2011 regarding the constitutive effect of registrations of ownership rights with the land book registries will make significant progress to the development of the Romanian real estate market.