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Buying Property in Poland as a Foreigner

A foreign national is permitted to purchase and own real estate in Poland. With that said, a foreign national must obtain the permission of the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Republic of Poland in advance of purchasing real estate in that country.

The application process before the Ministry of Home Affairs is not a particularly complicated process. Indeed, there are lawyers in the country that specialise specifically in this application process due to the growing number of foreign nationals who are buying real estate in Poland.

A company in Poland that has over 50% foreign ownership must also obtain permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs before that company can purchase real estate in Poland. Again, the application process for a company is not particularly complicated.

There are some restrictions geographically as to where a foreign national actually can purchase real estate in Poland. The Polish government restricts the ownership of real estate on the so-called Polish frontier. It is important for a foreign national to make certain that the locale in which he or she intends to purchase real estate in Poland is not within one or another of these restricted zones.

Approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs to purchase real estate in Poland generally is good for a period of six months. A person can apply for an extension when the initial period expires.

Once permission to purchase real estate is obtained from the Ministry, a buyer of real estate makes an offer to a seller, which will then be memorialised in a preliminary contract or agreement for sale.

Following the signing of this initial contract, the buyer is given a specified period of time to obtain financing. Additionally, the seller is obliged to make certain that the title to the real estate is clear and capable to being conveyed to the buyer during this time period.

In most instances, the buyer is required to post a deposit at the time this initial agreement is executed between the parties. More often than not, the deposit is in the amount of 10 to 15%.

The real estate purchasing process comes to an end when the parties execute the final agreement for sale and conveyance of the real estate. A new title is prepared, placing the real estate in the name of the buyer. The title is then filed with the government.

Once again, a foreign national does need to keep in mind that prior permission of the Ministry of Home Affairs is required before a foreign national can purchase real estate in that country. It is vital to keep in mind that if permission is not obtained by the Ministry in advance of the purchase of real estate, the transaction will be voided and the purchaser will lose his or her interest in real estate — and his or her money as well.

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