Buying and selling real estate
When you sell or buy a property, request
- a certificate of title
- a certificate of mortgages and encumbrances
- if necessary, an extract from the cadastre.
The certificate of title shows ownership information. The certificate of mortgages and encumbrances contains information about any mortgages on the property as well as registered leases and other special rights. When you are buying a property, visit the property and check the certificates before the purchase.
The seller and the buyer may draft the bill of sale together in the electronic Property Transaction Service. If the bill of sale is drafted on paper, both the buyer and seller must be present in one location to sign it and have it witnessed by a public purchase witness.
When you have bought a property, apply for the registration of title within six months of signing the bill of sale. In the registration of title, you are recorded as the owner of the property. If you want to use your property as security for a loan, you need to apply for a mortgage at the same time. Apply for a mortgage in the electronic Property Transaction Service.
A mortgage is an entry in the title and mortgage register and it can be used as a security for a loan. If the debtor does no repay the loan, the lender has the right to sell the property and take the money as a settlement for the loan.
A mortgage can only be applied for by
- the holder of a certificate of title
- someone authorised by the title holder or
- someone who has a current application for a certificate of title.
Title- mortgage- and land register
The National Land Survey of Finland maintains a title and mortgage register. It also maintains a land register together with municipalities. In land survey procedures, properties can be split, combined, expropriated and established and rights related to properties can be terminated and their dimensions defined.
The mortgage register contains basic information about properties, such as the area, registration date, easements and shares in jointly-owned areas. Maintaining the local mortgage register is usually the responsibility of municipalities. Mortgage register maintenance outside areas with binding plot division is the responsibility of the National Land Survey.
If you use services of a public purchase witness, you don’t need to apply the title by yourself. You can ask the public purchase witness to do the application for registration of title instead.
Real estate tax
If you own real estate or are treated as the owner, you have to pay real estate tax. Real estate tax is based on the value of land and buildings. The Tax Administration first collects it and then pays it on to the municipality of location. Each municipality determines the real estate tax rate.
The owners may be different for the building and the land on which it is located. In this case, the tax for the land must be paid by the owner of the land, and the tax for the building by the owner of the building.