As a result of the recent recodification of private law in the Czech Republic, the cadastral regulations have been changed

Along with the new Civil Code new cadastral law has come into force on 1 January 2014. However, some of provisions of law will take effect only from the beginning of 2015. This new law has repealed and replaced the existing cadastral law and the law of property registration, including other rights on real estate property.

A significant change in the law is the strict application of the principle of the so-called “material publicity” under art. 980 et seq. of the Civil Code, according to which the informations contained in the registry is consistent with the real state of things. Applying this principle the protection of good faith is reinforced in relation to the verity and completeness of the data that has been registered and published at the cadastre. On the one hand, this principle implies that any inconsistency or contradiction with the current state of things must be demonstrated, but may not be used against the person who was acting in good faith. On the other hand, material publicity manifests itself in the rule that ignorance of the registered data is no excuse. Thus, before signing a property contract, it is necessary to check the correctness of the data registered at the cadastre, that may be accessed on line.

The cadastral office is obliged to inform the owner of the property of any cadastral registration variations. Anyone who feels that he has been affected by changes to cadastral data, has the right to request that corrections be made to it, and also registration of the note of the inconsistencies within a period of one month from the moment they get to know about the entry. If the entitled person has not been duly informed of a possible change in the registration, the term is extended to three years from the moment the entry has been made.

The legislator has established a transition period of one year so as to allow time to adapt to these new regulations, therefore the provisions of art. 980 et seq. will be applied from January 1, 2015. As for the registration of rights that took place before that date, the established time to request the correction of an entry – and make it compliant with the current state of things – will take effect from that date. For the reasons stated above, it is convenient for property owners – as well as others who are entitled to it – to verify the registered and published data, because the consequences can be serious.

Instead, in order to protect property owners against fraudulent transfers of real rights, other amendments to the law have been taken. Here again, the cadastre office has to inform the real estate property owner, before registering, that legal relations will be affected by the change. Notification that a cadastral registration change has been applied for, will be sent to the available address of the owner of the property, or by means of a data box. The cadastral office may then proceed with the requested registration change after twenty days from the dispatch of the notice. Thus, the law gives priority to the security and protection of real rights rather than to the speed of the operation.

The right to be informed, as reported above, is only valid for cadastral registration changes. However, other types of entries (such as annotations) are not protected in this way. Taking advantage of the web, the new cadastral law also provides a special verification service for a fee, which is called hlídací pes (watchdog). With this service, the owner or any other entitled person (the mortgagee, the person authorized by the easement, etc.), can be informed of any attempts to modify the registered data and not only of cadastral registration changes. Owners may choose whether they want to be notified via data box, postal mail, e-mail or text message. The price of the service varies according to the number of properties subject to verification, but the basic fee (hundreds of Czech crowns) is very convenient, if we take into consideration how much a property can be worth.

Mgr. Martin Holub, advokát
Mgr. Lucie Miškovská
Law Firm Šafra & partneři