Land registry (Grundbuch)

There is no nationwide land registry in Germany. The land registry is a special division of the local court (Grundbuchamt beim Amtsgericht). The land registry (Grundbuch) shows the names of the current and previous owners, third party rights in rem (e.g. mortagage) and the discription of the property. Changes of rights to land do not take effect before being registered in the land registry (§ 873 BGB). Some exceptions apply (e.g. the heir becomes owner of a property even if he is not registered as owner in the land registry). Until otherwise proven, the correctness of all titles recorded on the register is assumed and a buyer can rely on the correctness of the land Register ("public faith", § 892 BGB). A buyer of a property in Germany will be guided through the Registration process by a German notary (Notar) or a German lawyer (Rechtsanwalt). An heir needs to provide a certificate of inheritance or a will notarized by a German notary (Notar) in order to get registered as owner in the land registry (which is generally a precondition for selling the property). See § 35 of the German Land Registry Code (GBO). Upon application of a person who has established a legitimate interest (e.g. heir, creditor or forced heir), the land registry issues an excerpt from the land registry (Grundbuchauszug)

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