At the end of April 2020, the Hungarian Government submitted to the Parliament a bill on the termination of the undivided joint ownership on agricultural lands and the clarification of the data of the rightholders of properties deemed agricultural land in the land registry, aiming at the establishment of a clear and transparent land ownership structure.
The bill regulates the following three procedures in order to terminate the undivided joint ownership: (i) dividing the property between the owners, (ii) acquiring the property by one of the owners or (iii) in certain conditions, expropriation by the State. In the first case, any of the owners could initiate the termination of the undivided joint ownership by the notification of the land registry authority, and the initiating owner should also notify in writing all other owners and registered users of the land. The owners should agree on the properties to be created in the course of the division in a contract countersigned by an attorney at law, and an obligatory annex should be a draft map and an area sheet. In case of certain agricultural zones, the bill determines the minimum size for the properties to be created. If the total area of the property does not reach the minimum size determined by the bill, the first procedure mentioned may not be applicable, but the property may be acquired by one of the owners and any owner may initiate the seizure of the ownership ratios of the other owners. The approval of the agricultural administrative body would not be necessary for the acquisition of a land under the bill.
The other aim of the bill is the clarification of the data of the owners, since there are relatively high number of persons registered as owners in the land registry, the data of whom are incorrect. Therefore, the bill establishes the legal ground on the basis of which the land registry authorities may explore the unidentified persons being owners in the land registry for the clarification of the legal status of the affected properties.
By Lidia Suveges, Attorney at law, KCG Partners Law Firm