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FAQs - Main questions
The option of “selling” an apartment twice or more times is possible only until the final act-the title deed is signed before the notary and the purchaser had become owner of the apartment. Once the title of the apartment is transferred, the purchaser is registered as an owner in the Land Register and the seller/developer does not have any rights over it, including the right to sell it again. Of course, your lawyer should have verified that there were no encumbrances upon the property and you had acquired the full right of ownership. In case, such verification is not performed, there is a risk of eviction (i.e. to be removed from the property by the party, whose rights upon it were established before yours). In case the seller/developer had signed preliminary contracts with several purchasers for the same property( i.e. the property is “sold” to someone else), it is again necessary to check your particular contract to see what your rights are. In this respect recently we have received many court judgments delivered by the Bulgarian courts. Foreign investors had been granted the instalments of the purchase price they made on the basis of the rescinded preliminary contracts. Such judgments might also include payment of penalties, lost interest, reimbursement of the court tax, deposited at the submission of the claim, and the lawyer’s fees. In order to facilitate the process of proving the payments made, it is recommendable to make only bank transfers. You could also require the seller to provide you with confirmation that the funds had been received- signed receipts, invoices ect.
The disposal of a property by a third person without the knowledge of the owner is unlawful. In any case you are entitled to the rental price. In such situation you need to consult with your lawyer. The following actions could possibly be taken: -Send them a notification to leave the property at once. -If the unlawful occupant does not obey the notification and remains in the apartment then you could seek the assistance of the police. -As a final solution, you can initiate legal proceedings. -Under mutual agreement with the occupant you could sign a rent contract and legalize your relations;
The management of a complex consists of the procedures and control over the use and maintenance of common areas and compliance with the internal rules of the building, as well as control on the fulfilment of obligations by owners, users and occupants. The management of a complex is carried out by a General Assembly of all owners and/or Association of owners. The general assembly is to be summoned at least once per year and every owner has the right to vote in proportion to the shares possessed in the condominium. The shares that correspond with the owner normally can be found in the title deed or in other documents describing the property. There is a list with the main obligations each owner has to obey, such as: not to obstruct the other owners, users and occupants from using the common areas of the building; not to cause damage to the common areas; not to occupy them; not to engage in activities that excessively disturbing and causing great inconvenience to the others; fulfill the decision of the general assembly; to pay the necessary cost; to comply with the sanitary and hygienic standards and etc. A condominium book should be organised, kept and maintained in each building listing relevant information regarding the property, the owner, users and etc. The decisions of the governing bodies, adopted pursuant with the condominium requirements, are absolutely mandatory for all the owners in the building. Often foreign owners of properties engage a management and maintenance companies to perform all internal organization in the building, pay on their behalf utility bills, collect payments from owners, rent the apartments on their behalf, ect. It is highly recommendable to sign a contract with such a company following the review and the advice of your lawyer.
According to the Bulgarian Law every owner has the right to inviolability of their home. Nobody, apart from the legal grounds provided by the law, can enter your property without your consent. It would be reasonable to contact your lawyer first, who can request an explanation from the management company and take the appropriate action. You could also contact the police and inform them for an attempted fraud or robbery if you are confident that such a crime might have been committed.
Every owner is obliged to pay the utility bills for his/her property according to the invoices sent monthly by the electricity/water/ heating companies. You should receive the invoices/bills under your name directly from the respective companies, unless you have empowered someone to deal with it on your behalf. In case you consider the bills to be too expensive or excessive, you can address the respective company to run the necessary check-up. Additionally, the owner has to cover the utility bills of the common areas of the building in proportion to the shares possessed by him in the condominium. It is recommendable to request the invoice/bill that was issued by the respective company for the common parts to check the figure with the one stated by the maintenance company.
According to the provisions of the Bulgarian Income Taxes on Natural Persons Act no tax is applied to any income acquired during the tax year from the sale or exchange of: a) one residential immovable property, provided that more than three years have elapsed between the date of acquisition and the date of sale or exchange; b) up to two immovable properties, as well as any number of agricultural and forest properties, provided that more than five years have elapsed between the date of acquisition and the date of sale or exchange;
You need to pay the annual tax upon the property that is accompanied and charged by the tax authorities together with the garbage fee. Those are managed by the local municipality where your property is located. They could be paid in cash at the municipality desks or via bank transfer but as a reference you should insert a specific code for the payment of the particular tax/fee. It is recommendable to consult with your lawyer and to obtain information and assistance when paying those taxes and fees.
The re-sale is a transfer of the right of ownership from one person to another. It is performed by signing of a title deed before the notary. The seller should ensure that he is in a possession of the full right of ownership, and the buyer should secure the funds to pay the price. If one of the parties is a company, it is necessary to verify that it was duly established and registered in the Commercial Register. It is also essential to define the directors/managers, empowered to conclude contracts for the company. As a foreign investor it would be hard to understand the formalities required when signing the deeds- not only because all the paperwork is in Bulgarian and you would need an interpreter, but also because of the differences in the applicable law provisions when buying a property in Bulgaria. Note that the legal system in Bulgaria is not based on the common law as is in UK and an advice from a local lawyer would be necessary. Additionally, in case any of the parties have taken a bank credit secured with a mortgage upon the property, it is recommendable to hire a lawyer to check all contracts before handling the property.
Bulgarian Commercial Act provides the main framework to set up commercial legal entities and corporate governance in Bulgaria. According to the Bulgarian law the main types of companies are: - Limited liability Company, it requires a minimum capital of 2 BGN – currently it is the most preferred type of company, it is easy to constitute and to manage, the legal obstacles are much less than the other types of companies. At the same time the owners are liable for the company's obligations only with their contributions. -Joint stock company, it requires a much higher initial capital of at least 50 000 BGN; -Partnership: general partnership, limited partnership; partnership, limited by shares- in these case no capital is required. The rules for registration of a commercial entity apply to both Bulgarian and foreign nationals. Special regulatory/licensing regimes are established for companies intending to operate in the field of banking, insurance, voluntary pension, investment brokerage, ect. The basic requirements for the registration of a company in the commercial register are: presentation of the Memorandum of Association, appointment of the manager or managers; payment of the minimum amount of capital prescribed by the law; respective license or permission if such is required. In any case the most reliable, secure and simple way to register a company is to engage the services of a lawyer.

The lawyers’ fees may vary according to the services required and the time necessary to review a case. The remuneration could be fixed in a contract between the attorney-at-law and the client. This remuneration should be fair and justified and may not be lower than the one envisaged under the Ordinance №1 of 9.07.2004 of the Bulgarian Supreme Bar Council, which determines only the minimum remuneration of an attorney-at-law according to the legal context and specifics of each case.