If you became a property owner at any time during 2022, you are required to file a real estate tax return by January 31, 2023.
The tax return is only filed once after the property is acquired/sold/changed. Thereafter, you will automatically receive information on the amount of tax to be paid each year.
The real estate (property) tax return is filed,
- if you acquired the property in 2022,
- if you have owned the property for a longer period of time and there has been a change in circumstances relevant to the assessment of the tax in 2022, e.g:
- acreage (even if based on a revision of the land register),
- the type of land,
- in the use of the building,
- if an extension or addition has been built,
- or you have partially disposed of the property
- and if you have donated or sold part of the property and still own a property in the same region.
If you no longer own the property (you have donated, sold or otherwise disposed of it), you must notify the tax office (see below).
No tax return is filed,
- if you have already filed a property tax return and there has been no change in the circumstances for assessment.
- You also do not have to file a real estate tax return if the only change to the property is a change in the coefficient, because the tax office will automatically take these changes into account when calculating the tax and send you the correct amount of real estate tax.
WHERE THE REAL ESTATE TAX RETURN IS FILED
The return is filed with the tax office in the county in which the property being declared is located. If you have multiple properties in different counties, you file one separate return for each county (properties within a county are on one return).
REAL ESTATE TAX DUE FOR 2023
Real property tax on real property under 5,000 is due by May 31, 2023.
Real estate tax over CZK 5,000 is due:
- for taxpayers engaged in agricultural production and fish farming by 31 August and 30 November 2023
- for other taxpayers by 31 May 2023 and 30 November 2023
ON WHICH REAL ESTATE TAX IS PAYABLE
The subject of the immovable property tax is land registered in the Land Registry, taxable buildings and taxable units in the territory of the Czech Republic.
The real estate tax consists of:
- land tax,
- tax on buildings and units.
For the determination of the real estate tax for 2023, the status as at 1 January 2023 is decisive. Changes that occur during 2023 will be reflected in the tax return for 2024.
Recommendation. This will give you the information you need quickly and easily.
HOW TO FILE YOUR TAX RETURN
1. ELECTRONICALLY VIA THE TAX ADMINISTRATION PORTAL
We recommend filing your real estate tax return electronically via the Electronic Filing for the Tax Administration application on the website www.mojedane.cz under Electronic Filings for the Tax Administration – Electronic Forms – Real Estate Tax.
Inexperienced users can use the Real Estate Tax Return Wizard application, i.e., click on the FILL FROM GUIDE button. This guide will guide you through the completion of the tax return step by step using guided questions.
Experienced users can then use the electronic real estate tax return form, i.e. click on the Real Estate Tax Return button.
When completing the real estate tax return, we recommend logging into the so-called Online Tax Office at www.mojedane.cz, through which you can access the Tax Information Box Plus (DIS+) and use its functionalities to facilitate the completion of the tax return.
In particular, through DIS+ it is possible to make submissions to the tax authorities without the taxpayer having to have a qualified certificate for electronic signature or a data box. You can log in to the online tax office via the so-called Citizen Identity, i.e. by electronically verifying your identity. This can be done using an electronic ID card with an activated chip, the MojeID service or, for example, via the Banking IDentity project. Most major banks already offer Internet banking login. For more information on how to log in to the “online financial office” via Citizen Identity, please follow this link>>
As mentioned above, in DIS+ it is possible to make submissions to the tax authorities, to get an overview of the status of personal tax accounts, information about documents filed in the tax authorities’ files, as well as to use the new function for pre-filling the real estate tax return based on the data from the last tax return.
2. FILL IN MANUALLY, SEND BY POST OR DELIVER IN PERSON
If you prefer to complete the tax return manually, you can download the form on the Revenue’s website and complete it by hand. Send the completed tax return by post to the local tax office or deliver it in person.
The tax return form can also be obtained from all tax offices and their local offices. You can find a complete list here:
3. SEND VIA DATA BOX
If you have a data box, you can send your tax return by data message.
It is available for download in PDF format on the website of the Tax Administration (http://www.financnisprava.cz) in the Tax Forms menu. The direct link is as follows:
For more information on how to complete the tax return, please refer to the completion instructions available at the following link: https://www.financnisprava.cz/cs/danove-tiskopisy/databaze-aktualnich-danovych-tiskopisu
AND WHAT ABOUT OPTING OUT OF PROPERTY TAX?
In this matter, Section 13a(9) of Act No. 338/1992 Coll., on Real Estate Tax, states:
If a person who was a taxpayer of the real estate tax has lost the status of a taxpayer because during the tax period his ownership or other rights to all real estate in the territorial district of the same tax administrator, which were subject to the real estate tax (e.g. when he sells all the real estate or the real estate has ceased to exist), he is obliged to notify the tax administrator of this fact no later than 31 January of the following tax period.
HOW TO OPT OUT OF PROPERTY TAX
The law does not prescribe a form of filing for deregistration, nor has a specific form been issued. This fact may be communicated to the locally competent tax administrator in the following ways:
1. ELECTRONICALLY ON THE PORTAL OF THE TAX ADMINISTRATION
On the portal of the Tax Administration Mojedane.cz in the section → Electronic submissions for the tax administration → Electronic forms → General documents, fill in the form general document in which you write that you are opting out of the real estate tax and specify the real estate that you no longer own.
You can submit the form directly from the Tax Administration portal. Verification takes place via the Data Box or a citizen’s identity (e.g. bank identity or e-government mobile key, etc.).
2. BY (E)MAILING
Send a letter indicating that you are no longer a property taxpayer.
Sample letter for deregistration:
To the Tax Office
Address of the local tax office
Subject: Withdrawal of real estate tax
Dear Sir or Madam,
I hereby give you notice that I sold my property on …… …… (please copy the definition of property from the purchase agreement)
I hereby opt out of real estate tax.
permanently residing at……
Sources: www.remaxalfa.cz, www.penize.cz, www.financnisprava.cz, www.kurzy.cz
The sale of the house in Lidman town ended up being a coveted success, but looking back on the whole deal, I can confidently say that it was one of the most difficult transactions I have had the opportunity to deal with. And how did it all start in the first place?
Every real estate story is unique. Many people who don’t have a greater understanding of the business may think that our job is to take pictures of a property (often by phone), advertise it and wait for a buyer to come along. The truth is that this represents only a few percent of everything. And that’s not even mentioning how to handle a quality promotion. If a real estate broker is fully committed to real estate, he or she is essentially functioning not only as a salesperson working with a strong legal department, but also as a marketer, sometimes a financial advisor and, if I may say so, a therapist/psychologist who must properly empathize with the needs of clients and, based on that, find the most ideal solution for them in a given situation. And the necessary basis for everything is communication. Not everyone has to be an extrovert right away, but there is definitely a need to be in regular contact with everyone involved and to respond to unexpected changes. This story just underlines everything.
I met the client (seller) and his partner at a viewing of another house I had listed. Even though it didn’t meet their expectations, we talked about their situation and came to the conclusion that they would need to sell their house as well. We agreed that I would come and take a look at it, assess the situation and maybe we could work something out. When we later got in touch to discuss a possible sale price and other details, the client decided to use my services, with the understanding that we would wait until the rest of the snow was gone so that my team and I could get to work. And because it’s a unique house, we really took the time to make a video. The filming then included barbecues, climbing the tower, archery… in short, we certainly weren’t bored. 😊
Then came the advertising, social media promotion and working with interested parties. The latter was not the easiest, as it required a slightly longer time investment than is normally necessary. I spoke with everyone on the phone, often for several dozen minutes, to prepare the person in advance. The reasons were the history of the house and its technical condition. To make a long story short, it was necessary to explain to everyone that relatives of the original owner of the house have a cottage located on a plot of land between three neighbours, including my client. However, they had lost access to the land as they simply did not want to deal with the council on this matter, even over many years when they had many opportunities to do so. They subsequently tried to negotiate it with each of the neighbours (again including my client) but got nowhere. So, they started to resolve it legally with the neighbour whose property is the easiest to get to their cottage. Fortunately for us, this was not our case, plus I had the solicitor check that we were safe. Since almost nothing is ever 100%, she gave me at least 99% clearance. In addition, then the meter for this house was located on someone else’s property, but the owner has always been absolutely great to deal with as far as access. It’s just that not everyone responded positively to this, and so we agreed with some before the viewing that the property would not be right for them.
It was March at the time. The conflict in Ukraine and slowly but surely rising interest rates made it difficult to sell. It was clear that the market was starting to cool down, but there was still plenty to work with. The house went on the market for 6.000.000 CZK, but there were noticeably fewer interested parties compared to last year. Some would finance with cash and some with a mortgage, but those who did were planning to take advantage of the fixed interest. In the end, we agreed with just such an interested party. And within two weeks of advertising, we had a reservation. The client was thrilled, so was I, and the buyer was looking forward to taking possession of the house with her husband in the coming months. But what made this transaction even more special was that, in addition to the mortgage, the money acquired from the buyers’ house being sold was to form part of the financing. Therefore, even though everything looked promising at the beginning, the sale gradually started to drag on.
The reservation contract was signed for three and a half months. During that time, the buyers stopped working with their unsuccessful cooperating real estate agent and embarked on the sale on their own. It wasn’t that we couldn’t get along, but unfamiliarity with the location, little time and the extreme distance unfortunately were simply against it. Fortunately, new people started to contact them slowly, but we were running out of precious time. Then other personal matters began to weigh on my client and the sale had to be postponed as soon as possible. And so we also reached a point where we were deciding whether to go ahead with the sale when the situation had not moved at all in the last few months. It was just apparent by then that finding new buyers who would fall in love with the house like those we were dealing with would be harder than finding a needle in a haystack. Interest rates had risen dramatically and the market seemed to have really frozen. When there was a buyer, it was mostly for properties up to about 3.000.000 CZK.
It was for this reason that it was clear that we had to bring this case to an end in any way we could, otherwise we could either drag the sale out even more if we started it again, or the client would probably have to accept a significantly lower purchase price. And while certainly not everyone would do that, it was the seller who suggested that if the buyers could manage to finance the house by the end of the year under certain conditions, they would be allowed to do so if all parties involved signed legalities that would make the seller as secure as possible and guarantee the aforementioned. Eventually, our wonderful attorney and I figured out how to handle the whole thing. It cost us several addendums, meetings with a notary, long negotiations with banks, financing in stages, arranging an extra loan, and most importantly, really strong nerves and some extra white hair to get it all done. But in the end, we did it. In the meantime, the buyers even managed to find a buyer for their house, although financing was not easy for them either. They’re all struggling with the same thing now. Either with too high interest rates on mortgages or with selling their own property to buy another.
As a result, we have arrived at the desired success. Our original plan to get everything done in a few weeks dragged on for several months. All in all, the sale took over half a year. But we were never going to give up. It was challenging, but if it was easy, it would be boring and everyone would be doing it. I hereby have to thank once again all those who lived through it with me, because without a concerted effort, keeping a positive attitude, and although it wasn’t always easy, keeping a cool head, we probably wouldn’t have made it to a successful finale. This was then made all the more beautiful when the selling client offered me a hug, and we haven’t stopped in touch since, and I’m confident that a truly long-lasting friendship will come out of this fierce business relationship. And that’s why I love this job so much, because even though it’s not always easy, the results it brings you are simply priceless…
If you too have been thinking about selling your property, or just are already dealing with some real estate matters, don’t hesitate to contact me at any time. We can have a good coffee, discuss your situation and find the most ideal solution together. And if we go into it together, as always, I’ll take care of everything so you don’t have to!
Selling the house in Bukovice town was an unforgettable experience. It was definitely one of the harder sales, although the truth is that there are not that many easy ones, even though it might seem at first glance that every sale is exactly the same. The reality, of course, is quite different. Whether because of the type of property, the location and local conditions, or the legal and technical condition of the property.
The house in Bukovice town is of an older date, i.e. we are talking about a period older than the First Republic. I admit that it was the First Republic that I got a bit carried away when I called the house a First Republic villa in the video. In the end, however, this dit not really matter, and as a bonus, this particular era of our country became the topic of conversation between me and a commenter on Facebook who came across my ad regarding the house I was selling, and who fortunately was one of those people with whom one could have a fine, positive debate on this social network. Which was a nice change, because in the case of promoted properties in this environment it is usually the opposite.
However, even though the house had undergone a number of renovations over many years, it was necessary to acknowledge its drawbacks. Among them, for example, its location on a main and relatively busy road. However, one of its other disadvantages was the fact of a damp cellar due to the fact that the house was not properly insulated. And to make the sale even a little more difficult, we started it at a time of constant increases in mortgage interest rates and, along with that, an increasing decline in the number of potential buyers who would finance the house with a mortgage. However, the fact that the house is relatively large, i.e. more demanding to heat, also played a role, and this type of property, alongside flats on housing estates, has become the most affected group of properties offered for sale in recent months.
Of course, we have not underestimated the preparation. So we made a trip of about two hours from Prague with the team, so that the home stager Denisa Stastkova could use her skills to highlight the house’s maximum potential, while the cameraman and photographer, Jordan Dimov, documented all her work. Together with them, Tomas Babiak was also involved, taking care of the floor plans and 3D virtual tours. When everything was ready, the sale began. However, there were not many potential buyers, although in addition to advertising on real estate servers, the marketing specialist David Stasek, who promotes properties for sale on social media in order to raise awareness of the fact that a particular property in a given location is for sale, did his best. Social networks are not to be underestimated, because despite the large number of so-called “haters” they have a huge reach, and if one dispenses with the useless comments of people who obviously have nothing better to do, the truth remains that one advertising campaign can reach tens of thousands of potential buyers.
But time passed and with it the cooling of the market was more and more noticeable. The worst period came in the fall (2022) when sales perhaps came to a complete halt. This was not just my case. The vast majority of colleagues (whether from the REMAX network or from other offices) were experiencing the same thing. And we had to make a price concession because in a situation where constant paid advertising on soc. networks, regular topping on real estate servers and even banner ads, we could hardly go against the tide and fight the market that was experiencing a smooth downward trend (we are talking about tens of percent in terms of discounts compared to where property prices were at the turn of 2021 and 2022, i.e. at the real estate peak).
As far as tours are concerned, we have come to the conclusion that if people from Prague come, they won’t argue about the price at all, but the problem will be the distance from their families and friends. As for the locals, they won’t be willing to accept the price. Some of the tours were pleasant, some were too strange. One prospective buyer made us think so much by her behaviour that we had a technical report prepared, where the technical condition of the property was completely broken down in case she was interested in booking after all, so that she would not try to drag the owner through the courts in later years over possible so-called “hidden defects”. The message paid off in the end, however, because until then I had warned all the interested parties about the technical condition of the property, whereas since receiving this report I forwarded it to everyone before the inspection so that they would realistically know what they would eventually go into.
We didn’t give up. And in the end, we did the right thing. After several months of selling, we got a call from a buyer who came to see the house with his partner from Pilsen location, where they were planning to move from. We arranged the viewing for Sunday. Whether it was a coincidence or not, I have no idea, but I joked with him during the phone call that I had made the vast majority of sales thanks to the Sunday viewings. After the tour was completed, the buyer called me within a couple of days, confirmed his interest, and made sure to remind me that I lived up to my promise to sell on Sunday.
After that, things went relatively smoothly. After the reservation was signed, the purchase contract was signed and then happened one of the fastest handovers I have ever experienced, because the buyers had planned everything so that they would move from Pilsen straight to Bukovice. After the handover, we had a really great late lunch with the sellers, and later on we started another real estate adventure, because after the sale of the house was done, my clients started to deal with the purchase of a new home.
What a great story! But as this story shows, you really must not underestimate any real estate transaction. And even when everything seems to be well grasped, circumstances can still change so dramatically that you can’t fight them, but then you have to adapt, even if it’s not always what you’d wish for. Therefore, if you are going to sell your property as well, call me and let’s consult everything thoroughly. Then I will take care of everything so you don’t have to!
Summer is over and Prague is busy again! Even before the summer, however, the market situation was already changing, with rentals gaining momentum while sales were not as fast as they used to be in recent years. At that time, almost everything that was advertised was sold, and this situation lasted until the beginning of spring this year (we are more or less talking about the time before the conflict in Ukraine). Things started to change with the rise in mortgage interest rates, which caused a gradual cooling of the market in terms of sales. During the spring I managed to reserve a house for sale in Lidman town quite quickly, but since then, i.e. since March, the drop in demand has been more and more noticeable, with some stagnation in the summer. That’s not to say that there have been no sales, but we’re definitely talking about a much slower process now than we’ve been used to for the last two years in particular. There are, of course, several reasons why there has been such a turnaround. But to understand everything, even for someone who is not very familiar with the subject, it is necessary to look back again a few months into the past.
First of all, it should be mentioned that interest rates on mortgage loans began to rise more noticeably at the beginning of 2022 in connection with the fight against rising inflation. The Czech National Bank thus had to stop lending so-called “cheap money”, which, among other things, caused the growth of the real estate bubble in the Czech Republic in the first place. Another reason for the rise in prices was one of the steps taken by the former government to abolish the tax on the acquisition of real estate, which accounted for 4% of the purchase price. In retrospect, it is difficult to judge whether this was a bad move or not, as the main idea behind this act was to support the economy after the first hit of the covid pandemic. However, it undoubtedly played its part. However, in the context of the ever-worsening national debt, the aforementioned inflation gradually began to increase, which had an impact on the prices of almost all goods. Rising inflation basically means that the same amount of money buys fewer goods. In other words, money loses value. And since the normal inflation rate used to be around 3% a year and suddenly climbed to double digits in a matter of months (as recently as August 2022, it was 17.2% – see www.cnb.cz), the CNB decided to pull the trigger by gradually raising the base interest rate at more or less regular monthly intervals. And here it is worth mentioning that after today’s meeting of the CNB Bank Board (it is Thursday 29.09.2022) the base interest rate was left at 7%, and the CNB wants to act against inflation until it is fully under control, which should mean taming the inflation rate to 2%. Thus, we are probably talking about staying in this state over the next year or two. If I were to summarise this in a nutshell, over the last two years we have gone from property sales at so-called auctions, where many people were overpaying by hundreds of thousands (and largely thanks to cheap mortgages) to a situation where mortgages are now noticeably more expensive, which has led to a fall in purchasing power and therefore a cooling of the market for property sales.
Another significant matter that has contributed to the change in property market conditions has been the onset of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. And to make matters worse, the other thing to deal with has been a harsh rise in energy prices (electricity and gas). As an example, I can give one of my cases where a supplier raised my client’s advance payments from about 2.500,-/month to 12.500,-/month because the client went to Innogy as a Supplier of Last Resort after the collapse of Bohemia Energy. Specifically here we are talking about an increase of 500%, which for many can mean economic murder. Therefore, putting everything together, we can draw several conclusions.
The first is that the time to sell is generally getting longer because there are now noticeably fewer bidders responding to properties being sold. They generally finance either in cash. Exceptionally, they also use mortgages, but in this case it is usually for properties worth up to about 4.000.000 CZK or for mortgages where the interested parties were still able to pre-negotiate the loan on better terms, e.g. at 2%, which is not realistic today. Alternatively, we can also meet those who, despite the pitfalls of today’s times, still apply for a mortgage with an interest rate of around 6%, but there is really a minimum of such people… And along with this, I also meet another form of financing, which has recently become more and more common, namely the sale of a property in order to buy another. Here, many brokers can see the potential of gaining new business, as those interested parties who have not yet started selling and are only at the stage of looking for a new home, in the vast majority entrust the sale of their property to the broker who sells the one they would eventually like to buy.
But there is a certain pitfall here, because if you think about the possible effects in the longer term, brokers or self-sellers can get into a tricky situation, because if the property is approached again by those who first need to sell, then such a “domino” (meaning the linking of several deals on each other) may not lead to success. Last year, it was still relatively safe to bring two interdependent cases to a close, but as is obvious, it is a much harder discipline today.
The second conclusion is that property prices are stagnating and even working with advertised amounts can already be observed. This is due to the increasing number of properties for sale, in addition to weak buying power. However, this is also inherently caused by expensive mortgages, as many people have had their mortgages fixed for a certain period of time, some of whom have already or will be coming to the end of the interest rate fixation on their previously agreed mortgage. And if these individuals had a fixed rate of, say, 1.5% and are now facing or will soon face a rate of around 5.5% – 6%, we are talking about an increase in the amount of the payment in the order of several thousand per month (if not outright tens of thousands depending on the purchase price of the property in question). We can therefore expect to see a lot of new properties for sale gradually appearing on the market, but if demand is not high, then there will probably be a gradual lowering of prices in order to actually sell the property in question. If the seller has to get out of debt to the bank, for example, he will not have many other options, unless of course he is lucky and his property impresses a particular creditworthy buyer with something specific.
But since we are encountering other types of transactions in the real estate market, it is appropriate to write a few more lines on the situation with rentals. These have started to pick up again after a pause of about two years. They were basically stagnant during the crash and were getting cheaper, as is now the case with sales. Particularly in the big cities, many people needed to fill empty flats (remember that thousands of flats originally intended for short-term rental became available after the covid hit), and we could therefore see prices falling by thousands of crowns. The biggest breakthrough, however, came in recent months in connection with the war in Ukraine, which brought with it a wave of refugees from that region. Even before the war, prices had already started to rise slowly as life gradually began to return to the country as the pandemic faded. But it was only after the outbreak of the conflict that things really picked up. Therefore, just as it used to be common for twenty bidders to bid for one property to be sold, five of whom bid a substantial amount extra and one of these bidders won the auction, we now see this in the case of rentals. And this applies not only to the number of people who come to view, but even to the auction in question. What is really happening is that potential tenants are bidding higher amounts in terms of monthly rent in order to outbid others and increase their chances of signing a lease. It is therefore interesting to see how much and how quickly the whole market situation has turned around. In other words, property prices have been rising drastically over the last few years while rents have been cooling, whereas now rental prices are rising, purchase prices of properties being sold are stagnating and we may even be seeing a reduction, and in Prague we are talking about 10% – 15%. Personally, I have a fresh experience when I advertised an apartment for rent in a family house (it was a ground floor unit) worth 15.000,-/month + fees (i.e. in total it was about 18.100,-/month without internet). On Sunday evening I let the apartment out to the world and on Monday after lunch I had to take it off the offer through unceasing calls from interested parties. And within a week the lease was signed and the keys to the apartment were handed over. One might wonder how this is possible when there are no more crowds of people from Ukraine coming here. That is true, but there are those who have settled in the Czech Republic with the understanding that they will not return home. And now these people, who have been using asylum either in institutions designed for this purpose or with citizens of the Republic, want to find their own places to live, which logically means a noticeably increased demand, i.e. high prices. And we are now talking purely about renting, without calculating the cost of utilities.
In conclusion, the question is, where is this all going? Well, it is hard to say, but even if we are in a worse economic situation now, there is always growth again after that. We will probably have to cut back in some way for a while, but as an eternal optimist I believe that one day better times will come again. Personally, I just hope it will be sooner rather than later. One thing is certain, however, and that is that we have been experiencing extremes in recent years. But, as in any industry, real estate is a normal economic sinusoid, where for a while properties go on sale, but then demand goes into decline. This is the case for both sales and rentals. But the main thing is not to lose your mind, because even if it is not every day that is bright, with the right approach in the given market circumstances it is possible and of course necessary to do the absolute maximum for clients. Thinking about the right sales strategy is definitely in order, but the most important thing is to communicate properly and honestly with everyone. The days of making sales easier have been gone for a while, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. There is no such word in my vocabulary, so if perhaps you too are struggling with real estate matters and are not sure how to properly grasp the issue at this time, drop me a message or give me a call and together we will find the most ideal solution. I will make sure that you do not have to worry at all! Have a great day!
The sale of the apartment on Zavadilka housing estate in Ceske Budejovice is over. It was an incredibly rewarding real estate episode, which is worth sharing in detail. It shows that in the real estate market you can really encounter anything, that there is no shortage of coincidences, but that even if you keep believing, success will come sooner or later.
The background to the whole event is that at the turn of the year, a long-time friend approached me to ask if I would help her and her partner sell their apartment if they decided to do so. I agreed, of course, but had to wait a little longer for final instructions. The point of the sale was that the clients would use the proceeds to buy their dream house near their hometown of Jindrichuv Hradec. The final decision was made in February 2022 and the sale was given the green light. We put together the necessary materials with the team and shortly afterwards the sales process began. It should be noted that it was not as easy as it might have seemed at first, because even though it was a really beautiful apartment, it was already clear that the market conditions had begun to change through the conflict in Ukraine and through the rising interest rates on mortgages.
The first viewings went quickly, but we still couldn’t find the right buyer. To make matters worse, the ideal house to buy had already come up, but we needed to at least reserve the apartment for sale first to get things moving in the right direction. But that would be to avoid further entanglements. First, there was a similar apartment for sale in the same building that had a private garage. And a competing broker put it on the market for several hundred thousand cheaper. The only thing that could have flattered us was that, according to my home stager, he tried to copy the apartment’s refinement through its promotion, in order to further increase the chances of attracting more buyers besides dumping the price. Another pitfall would then seem to be that the house the clients wanted to buy was booked by someone else. But the last imaginary nail in the coffin was the news from the client’s employer who told her that he would not allow her to work from home after coming back from maternity leave, which she had originally counted on, and so her plans to buy a house in the Jindrichuv Hradec region fell apart. It was basically decided that if my clients were going to buy a house somewhere, it had to be in Ceske Budejovice and its surroundings, where prices are of course significantly higher than in the Jindrichuv Hradec area, for it to make sense.
And that’s why we had to meet to figure out what to do next. I asked myself in my mind whether it was worth selling further, since on the one hand the coveted property had been reserved, on the other hand we had to focus on a different and more expensive location, and on top of that the potential buyers at that moment probably preferred the cheaper flat next door, which is why the demand for ours had dropped. It didn’t seem as nice as the one I offered, but it must be admitted that price is what determines the speed of sale. But neither I nor the clients wanted to give up. They believed that there would be another house to buy, because that was the way it was supposed to be. And if not right away, they still had the option to go live with family after the sale and look for a house on the fly. And then I personally wanted to see it through at any cost to make their dream come true.
It didn’t take long before everything seemed to start moving in the right direction. As expected, the second broker booked the apartment, but this ironically played into our hands. I was contacted by a lady who was looking for an apartment for her son in Zavadilka location, while it was already too late for the competitors through the aforementioned reservation. So we arranged a viewing, which was to take place in a few days. In the meantime, the client called me that she and her partner had found another house to buy that was even better than the original one. And that if the apartment could be booked, they would book the house. However, I was instructed that it had to be done at the asking price and not a penny less because that was the only way they could finance the house. I have to admit that this put me in a difficult situation, but that is part of why clients hire me. After all, the whole point of the real estate business is to negotiate a sale on the best possible terms for clients. So, the challenge was clear. And it was finally fulfilled during the tour! And so it was that within about two weeks, everything turned around, we were able to book the apartment at the asking price, and the clients were still working on booking the house. We were also a bit lucky in terms of speed, as the buyers financed in cash. But there was still one tricky issue to resolve.
The original plan was that if the clients found a property to buy, they would transfer the mortgage from their flat to another family flat or possibly directly to a new property. But this would be purely up to the seller to allow this, as it is the seller alone who can place a charge on their property, as they are the owner of the property at the time. And certainly not every seller is willing to do so. After all, it makes sense, because the seller is mortgaging thieir property at the time, and if the entire success depends on the prospective buyers selling their property to buy another, there are risks of failing to sell. In short, anything is possible in the market, and even if it looks promising at first, it can cool down, as we have seen in recent weeks, or a buyer of a property on which everything depends can have a sudden accident… There are more of these possibilities and associated risks. But as mentioned, we were lucky enough to have the buyer finance the apartment on Zavadilka housing estate in cash. And since we had a signed reservation, a deposit and basically only needed to sign the purchase contract, the owner of the desired house agreed to transfer the pledge directly to his house. The fact that he was in a hurry to sell himself through other downstream plans also played a role, so it all came together as best it could. This essentially meant a dramatic acceleration of the whole process. Everything still needed to be handled correctly legally, but our wonderful attorney Hana Grinacova prepared an excellent new purchase agreement that captured everything so that each party was as secure as possible.
And what was next? My clients, the buyers of the Zavadilka apartment and the sellers of the house just had to sign the appropriate purchase agreement, which included a provision that the funds would be sent from one attorney’s escrow to the other instead of to the sellers’ account. I.e. in the “first round” the transfer of ownership from my clients to the buyers of the apartment on Zavadilka (our interested party) was dealt with and in the “second round” the transfer of ownership from the owner of the house to my clients. And after several weeks of waiting, everyone got what they had been waiting for. The buyer got a condo for her son in her preferred location, the home seller had the security of money, and my clients bought their dream home. In the end, everything went very smoothly for how much was going on. And I am able to move on again because of this incredible experience.
So, if you too have been thinking about selling your property or know of someone who has, do not hesitate to contact me at any time. Together we will find the most ideal solution and then I will make sure that you have to worry about anything at all!
The conscription number is given before the slash and is the number that identifies each separate building of a permanent nature in the municipality. In the Czech Republic, conscription numbers are a type of house number. Compared to the orientational number, the conscription number is unique. The conscription numbers are not repeated for a specific part of the municipality. That is why they are also longer, sometimes up to five digits.
The conscription numbers are red plates with white numbers on the houses, usually including the name of the cadastral area. The conscription number is usually assigned after the building has been approved and is a prerequisite for registration in the cadastre. The building then bears the conscription number assigned to it permanently. A new building built on the site of a demolished building does not inherit a number but receives a new conscription number. The higher the number, the newer the building.
In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the landmark number is an additional number that is unique within a street or public space. It is assigned by the municipal authority, one at a time within a single public road or space. This can result in a single house having multiple landmark numbers – for example, if it faces a square and also faces a side street, it will have two landmark numbers. In other words, each building can then have as many landmark numbers as there are streets or squares around its walls.
The orientational number
It should be noted that the orientational number is not mandatory in the Czech Republic. Therefore, orientational numbers may not be found in all municipalities. On the other hand, the number may also include a letter (e.g. 2a, 8c) – this is for the sake of clarity and better orientation. You can recognize these numbers by the fact that they are written in white numerals on the blue plates, unless they are painted and individually produced.
The registration number is used to identify buildings and structures that are used for occasional living and are not marked with a conscription number. This implies that they are not buildings intended for permanent habitation. Most often, cottages, cabins, other recreational buildings, etc. have a registration number. The registration number is again unique within the municipality, but the registration numbers form a separate number series, i.e. in the same part of the municipality there may be two buildings with the same number, one of which is descriptive and one registration. The plates on which the registration numbers are shown are colour-coded to differentiate them from both descriptive and indicative numbers (for example, for recreational buildings around Prague it is common to have a yellow plate with black numerals, whereas more recent registration numbers are often white on a green background).
A parcel number indicates a plot of land in a cadastral area. In each cadastral area, parcels are identified by numbers either in two numerical series, separately for land and building parcels, or in one numerical series, regardless of the type of land.
The parcel number is determined within the framework of the cadastral administration when the parcel is created and may be changed later (e.g. when cadastral territory boundaries are changed, when cadastral territories are merged or divided, etc.).
If you know the parcel number and the cadastral area, you can easily find out the area of the land, the owner of the land, whether the land is encumbered, the list of BSEU (Bonitated Soil Ecological Unit) and many other information.
Sources: www.remaxdelux.cz, www.ceskestavby.cz, www.svet-bydleni.cz, www.banky.cz, en.wikipedia.org, www.stavimbydlim.cz
An annuity is a fixed payment for a set period of time (usually monthly). The amount is the same over the term of the annuity. An annuity consists of two parts. The first is the principal payment (mortgage), which is the amount the borrower has borrowed. The second is the interest payment, which is the lender’s remuneration for lending the money.
For consumer loans, the annuity payments are the same for the life of the loan, whereas for mortgages, the annuity is contractually fixed for the duration of the interest rate fixation. You can see the proportion of interest for each instalment in the repayment schedule you have with your loan agreement.
Source: www.moneta.cz, www.kb.cz, www.remaxalfa.cz
As far as the real estate market is concerned, you can find two basic insurances, namely property insurance and home insurance.
Property insurance includes practically only the bare walls, roof, foundation, garage, etc., i.e. you are insuring the property as such.
On the other hand, home insurance includes all the furnishings, including kitchen units, bathroom tiles and wooden floors. So we’re talking about furniture, electronics, personal belongings… Simply said, anything that could be removed from the property falls under this policy. Everything is of course captured by the specific insurance policy. Property and home insurance are thus two different insurances that are best combined. In practice, the insurance will cost you a few tens of crowns per month.
Insurance is mainly taken out in case your house burns down. In addition to fire, insurance is also useful in case of a natural disaster (e.g. direct lightning strike, flood…).
If you buy a property with mortgage financing, property insurance is one of the conditions. In other words, you won’t even have to worry about whether to insure the property, because you will be obliged to do so.
You’ve probably already encountered the terms usable area, floor area, living area… Let’s make them a bit clearer! Let’s start with usable area.
Usable area is the sum of the sizes of the individual rooms. It does not include balconies, loggias, cellars, terraces, etc. Usable area is measured inside the interior walls, but does not include structural surfaces (supports, columns, shafts, chimneys, etc.), passageways (elevators, escalators, stairwells, etc.) and areas where heating and air conditioning equipment or energy generators are located.
For floor area, it is simple – add up all the area that is inside the external structures of the dwelling, including partitions. This means that the floor area is the floor plan area of the dwelling including all vertical walls and other structures (load-bearing and non-load-bearing). The floor area is greater than the living and usable area.
The living area is determined by Decree No 137/1998 Coll. For the living area, add the size of all habitable rooms. It does not include the area of the bathroom or toilet, nor does it logically include the pantry, balcony, loggia, terrace or cellar. A habitable room is a part of the dwelling that meets the requirements prescribed by the Decree, i.e. it is intended for permanent living and has a floor area of at least 8 m². If the dwelling consists of a single habitable room, it must have a floor area of at least 16 m².
The main purpose of a reservation agreement (or also a lock-up deposit agreement) is to reserve the property for the buyer. In a properly constructed reservation agreement, the seller agrees to sell the property to the buyer on specified terms and the buyer agrees to purchase the property on specified terms. It is for these reasons that the reservation agreement is a key document in a real estate transaction. Sellers and buyers and possibly real estate agents (depending on how the contract is drafted) who have entered into a reservation agreement are in a much more secure legal position than if they had not entered into any reservation agreement.
The main importance of a reservation contract is that the parties know:
what exactly is being sold and at what price (often it is not only the property itself that is being sold, but also the land, co-ownership interests in the house, inventory, etc.),
how the transaction will proceed in terms of time and organisation,
how the buyer’s mortgage loan will be drawn down,
when and how the purchase price will be paid,
how the escrow of the purchase price will be handled,
how the purchase price will be paid out of escrow to the seller,
what are the restrictions on the ownership rights (pledges, easements) and whether they will be transferred to the buyer or terminated,
when the property will be handed over to the buyer,
what are the conditions of termination, i.e. under what circumstances the contract is cancelled,
what are the other obligations of the seller and the buyer,
what the penalties are in the event that either party breaches its obligations under the contract.
Advantages of a written booking contract
As a result of the above, a written booking contract helps the whole transaction to run more smoothly, reduces the scope for misunderstandings and gives the parties greater peace of mind knowing that the counterparty is bound by a contractual penalty in the event that it breaches its obligations. If you are selling or buying a property through our real estate agency RE/MAX Atrium, we always conclude a three-party reservation contract. The parties to the contract are the seller, the buyer and the real estate agency (RK as an intervening party).
Disadvantages of a written reservation contract
If you have the ability and intention to meet your obligations (i.e. to buy or sell on the agreed terms), then a reservation contract poses no risks to you. A reservation agreement poses a risk to the buyer if he or she does not get a mortgage and is thus unable to meet his or her obligations. However, even this situation can be dealt with largely in advance. RK RE/MAX offers buyers an appointment with our mortgage advisor to have their financial creditworthiness checked before entering into a reservation contract. This meeting is free of charge and without obligation, i.e. if the buyer wants to deal with the mortgage loan on his/her own, no one will prevent him/her from doing so. However, if the buyer takes advantage of the offer to check creditworthiness and arrange a loan through our mortgage advisors and still does not receive a mortgage, the reservation deposit will be refunded to the person concerned. However, this is on the condition that the buyer tells us the truth and does not otherwise frustrate their financial situation and mortgage by their actions.
Risks of buying and selling a property without a reservation contract
Without a reservation contract, the seller and the buyer have no obligations to each other and can change their minds about the sale at any time, which also happens sometimes. This makes the whole transaction uncertain from start to finish. If you are buying a property that you have fallen in love with, then you are living in uncertainty for weeks or months about whether you will actually become the owner. This is often stressful. Conversely, if you are selling, you are not sure until the last minute when and how you will get your money. Often the sellers have other intentions and uncertainty can be a problem.
Verbal agreements are often sufficient, but not when selling property. There is a lot of money involved and there are many things to negotiate. Even if both parties have clear intentions and don’t want to deliberately deceive each other, everyone may perceive the meaning of words differently in a verbal agreement. A real estate transaction is not a matter of a week. It takes weeks or months for the bank to process the mortgage and for everything to be finalized. And so it happens that people forget what they actually agreed to verbally at the beginning. All this creates room for disputes and misunderstandings. A written reservation agreement minimizes the problems.
Another risk of buying/selling without a reservation agreement is that it makes it more difficult to negotiate a loan with the bank. Banks normally prepare loan agreements on the basis of the submission of a reservation agreement or a draft purchase agreement or a forward purchase agreement. When you do not have any contract in hand, the loan negotiation becomes more difficult. The buyer then has no choice but to get the loan approved based on the draft purchase agreement. However, the draft contract has no legal weight.
Booking deposit (or blocking deposit)
The reservation of a property is usually subject to a reservation deposit. By depositing a reservation deposit, the buyer declares a genuine interest in buying the property. The seller is thus more confident that the buyer is serious about his intention to buy. There are two forms of reservation deposit and one of them is a bit of a trap for inexperienced buyers.
1. a deposit on the purchase price
The money you pay as a reservation deposit is part of the purchase price for the property. If the seller does not sign the purchase contract for reasons on his/her side, the real estate agent must return the deposit to you.
2. Deposit for commission
Some real estate agencies design booking contracts in such a way that the deposit paid is not a deposit on the purchase price, but a deposit on their commission. Some real estate agents have a sneaky clause in their contract that the deposit becomes commission when the buyer has the opportunity to enter into a purchase agreement. However, an opportunity to enter into a purchase contract is not the same as a closed purchase contract. If for some reason the seller does not sign the purchase contract, the real estate agency still does not have to return the reservation deposit because it has fulfilled its obligation, i.e. it has created an opportunity. The fact that the actual sale has not taken place is another matter. The buyer has neither the property nor the deposit. This is a very unscrupulous business practice and unfortunately you can see it from time to time. Some estate agents do not charge commission from sellers but from buyers. By booking a deposit, they are insuring that they get paid for brokering the sale.
Beware of bilateral reservation contracts
This situation can occur in essentially two cases. The first is when there is a bilateral agreement for a retainer deposit between the real estate agent and the buyer. With bilateral booking agreements (between the buyer and the estate agent), the buyer is at a significant disadvantage. He has no legal relationship with the seller and has no leverage to keep what he may have verbally promised. In fact, the estate agent representing the seller will never commit to pay the buyer a penalty in case the seller refuses to sell the property.
The second case is where the seller and the buyer enter into a reservation contract on their own without a real estate agent. This raises the question of where the buyer will put the reservation deposit. Buyers are often reluctant to pay a deposit to a seller they do not know and the usual result is that the sale is very shaky from start to finish.
It happens that sellers and buyers who are selling/buying a property on their own without a real estate agent ask the real estate agency not to process the transaction, but to complete the transaction for them administratively and legally. If you need to complete the transaction, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Did you buy a property in 2021 or make any changes related to your real estate? Then you have until Monday January 31, 2022 to file your property tax return.
This is because anyone who acquired ownership of real estate in the previous year is required to file a tax return. This is even if you concluded a purchase contract and filed a proposal for registration of ownership last year, but the cadastral office did not register the ownership until this year, because you become the owner of the property retroactively on the date of filing the proposal for registration of ownership with the cadastral office.
Taxpayers are also obliged to file a tax return if they have made an extension, extension or partially disposed of the declared immovable property (i.e. the tax return has already been filed for this particular property at some point in the past). In addition, if, as a result of these changes, the type or area of the land has been changed at the same time, or the number of storeys has been increased, etc. And if part of a building or engineering structure is completed and subsequently used, the property is also subject to taxation. A change in the area of a plot of land following a revision by the Land Registry Office is also a decisive change for the assessment of tax.
As the selling party, you are, on the other hand, obliged to opt out of the real estate tax by January 31 of the calendar year following the one in which you sold the property. If January 31 falls on a Sunday, as in 2021, you will opt out on Monday February 1. As for the process of opting out, the law does not provide a form for filing, nor has a specific form been issued. That fact can be communicated to the local tax authority by an informal filing, usually a letter, indicating that the taxpayer has ceased to be a property taxpayer.
If you have sold one property and you have other properties in the territorial district of the tax authority that are subject to the real estate tax, this is a change in the circumstances relevant for the assessment of the tax. Pursuant to Section 13a(1) of the Real Estate Tax Act, you are required to file a tax return reflecting the change by January 31 of the tax year following the year in which you lost ownership of the real estate.
As any real estate agent would say, we love this job because of its diversity. All individual cases are completely unique, because behind each of them there is a story, which of course will be reflected in the deal. And it was no different in the case of the sale of an apartment in Gregorova Street in Pisek town. The owner approached our office on recommendation because the family got into an unpleasant situation with the bank, which had to be solved immediately. Time became the biggest enemy. Since I am originally from South Bohemia and I am the only broker in our office who focuses on this part of the country outside Prague, it was clear who would take on this case.
The owner and I met promptly to start planning the necessary steps. It was September 2021, but the seller’s son was living in the apartment at the time and the owner had to leave the Czech Republic for a while. So we arranged everything for the beginning of October. And so, during the owner’s stay abroad, her son left the property and after her return home the first major preparations began. And there were not few of them. The painters took the apartment by storm, but they were far from the only ones. Along with them, craftsmen also participated in the preparations, completely renovating the tiles laid on the spacious balcony. But the movers had already managed to join in to take away the first few bags of furniture and many other items. Then it was our turn to work on a professional presentation with the team. So we spent several hours filming, taking photos and creating a 3D scan. And it didn’t take long before the first part of the sale was over. The second and even more important one was to start very soon.
On October 21st of 2021, the property went on sale. Not only was it posted on real estate servers, but social networks were an integral part of the promotion. In the age of digital marketing, they are a very effective sales tool. Thus, paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram was responsible for the advert being seen by tens of thousands of potential buyers. Viewing days were scheduled for 4th and 5th of November 2021 and before they took place, I actively communicated with all interested parties to provide them with as much information as possible before the viewings, so that during the viewings we could already focus on the property itself.
We set the asking price at 7.500.000 CZK. It was therefore necessary to highlight all the advantages of the property, which were fortunately many. Namely, the building is relatively new (the year of completion was 2011), the sunny apartment includes three covered garage spaces and the apartment is basically located in the heart of the historic town with rich amenities and a unique view of the Pisek Tower. However, the preparation and investment in promotion really paid off in the end. Six interested parties came to see the property. Each of them had enough time to see the apartment with all the facilities and enjoy all the advantages. All of them then took a few days to think about it before making their offers. And we soon got the best one. Since this time it was not only the price that was at stake, but also the financing method and therefore the speed of the sale, the best offer was the asking price and cash payment. If only it were possible, I would sell the apartment to everyone, but unfortunately this will never be the case. However, all the interested parties learned the final decision and we then moved on to the legal matters together with the selected buyer. And that was just speed!
On 10th of November 2021, the reservation contract was signed (in other words, the agreement to pay the blocking deposit). The buyer of course paid the reservation fee and already on 18th of November 2021 all parties met with our great cooperating attorney Hana Grinacova at Arbes Square (Arbesovo namesti) in Prague to confirm everything by signing the purchase contract. Then the application to the land registry was filed, the protection period was passed and on 15th of December 2021, thanks to the speed of the land registry in Pisek town, the transfer to the new buyer was completed. The seller could finally breathe a sigh of relief, because she had managed to settle all the issues with her bank, which gave her a deadline of the end of the calendar year.
And the conclusion? Everyone was completely satisfied. The owner was happy because the inconvenience was resolved and the apartment sold for more than she expected. She was ready to negotiate the price in case of an emergency. The buyers were thrilled because they had managed to buy a beautiful apartment for their daughter. Therefore, the handover of the property scheduled for 20th of December 2021 was in a really friendly spirit, positive mood and with smiles on everyone’s faces, as can be seen in the documented photo. And I can say for myself, quite honestly, that it was one of the most beautiful and clean cases I have ever successfully brought to a successful conclusion. I wish they were all like that!
Nowadays, a significant number of property purchases are paid for with a mortgage loan. In the first half of 2021 alone, banks arranged mortgages in a similar volume as in 2016 and 2017 for the whole year, when the total volume exceeded 225 billion (CZK). Unfortunately, however, not everyone thinks ahead and has a certain financial reserve. And then, when a situation similar to the covid one occurs, for example, the problem of repaying the mortgage might become a reality. And it is in such cases that problems must be solved, otherwise this imaginary snowball will start to roll up until it turns into an avalanche of unpleasantness from which the person concerned can no longer hide. So what is the ideal course of action in the event of a mortgage default?
Communicate with the bank
The worst thing a person can do is to play dead and assume that the bank will not notice unpaid repayments. Unfortunately, the truth is that there are many people like this among us. However, banks have automatic checking mechanisms, and if you forget to pay an instalment or are just late, the bank will immediately start dealing with it. And if you are the one who got into an unpleasant situation, you should definitely start paying attention to it as well. Because your efforts to solve the problem are a good signal to the bank, and they may try to accommodate you. Otherwise, it is very likely that you will reach a point where the bank will find it difficult to help you and will take you to court and you will lose your property. And in that case you will unnecessarily incur additional costs, which can be very high. That is why you need to take action immediately.
One solution may be another individual deferment of repayments. In this case, you will pay only the interest on the loan for some time without the annuity payment, and sometimes the bank will even allow you to defer the entire repayment. This is most often for 3 to 6 months, in exceptional cases for up to one year. It depends on the bank.
However, you cannot rely on such concessions and it is certainly not a solution that the bank will automatically approve. It is an extreme scenario. You can also discuss with the bank restructuring the entire loan.
However, the bank may turn its back on your problems and simply sell your debt to another entity.
Similar solutions will result in you having a record on the debtors’ register, making it difficult or impossible for you to take out further loans in the future. Therefore, for any solution proposed by the bank, always ask what impact it will have on your creditworthiness.
This solution is the most feasible if you have an apartment. For other types of property, it may not always be the best solution. You can rent out part of the property, i.e. it would be a ‘shared accommodation’. However, if a flatmate is not the right solution for you, think about renting out your flat for a period of time and moving out yourself to a cheaper rental e.g. on the edge of town or out of town. It is possible that the rental income will cover the cost of your mortgage repayments. If you find a small apartment outside of Prague and commute to Prague for work, you can save a few thousand. Prague has excellent and convenient train connections to the Central Bohemia region and such a solution can be quite comfortable. However, renting has one big risk. If you rent the apartment to someone who damages it or, in a worse case, stops paying the rent, your mortgage repayment problem will get even worse. Evicting a non-paying tenant may not be so easy. So choose your tenants very well.
If you take a pay cut at work and get into trouble, another job may be the solution for a while. However, this should not be a long-term solution, otherwise you will become a slave to your mortgage. And let’s face it, you don’t live to pay your mortgage or spend your life working. If you have a family and you subscribe to this devil for the long term, you also run the risk of your family ties cooling. So always think more in the long term.
Selling the property
If none of the above options are an option, then think about selling the property. And sell the property before you get a dent in the likes of the bad debtor register. This is because an entry on the debtors’ register will make it impossible or difficult to take out a mortgage for several years to come.
Sometimes you just need to sell your current property, which you can’t afford, and buy a cheaper home instead, whose mortgage payments you can easily manage. However, this is why you must not be on the debtors’ register.
Sellers who are under financial and time pressure often make the wrong decisions. For example, they sell a property below the price to the first buyer who comes along, or they enter into an unfavourable purchase contract and then regret their decision. In such cases, a capable, experienced real estate agent will help you make the best possible decision. He or she can look at your problem from an unbiased perspective, knows the real estate market, can do professional marketing of the property and then sell it often for more than the originally requested amount. Thus, he will help you sell the property better and at the same time save you a lot of trouble.
Definition of a housing cooperative
A cooperative is a company that has its own statutes and bodies (the highest body is the so-called members’ meeting, others are the board of directors and the control committee). Each cooperative may specify the rights and obligations of its members in its statutes. Members of a cooperative can be natural persons and sometimes legal persons. Members have the possibility to influence the cooperative’s activities through their vote at the membership meeting, they have the right to look at the cooperative’s accounting documents and they can also be elected to the cooperative’s bodies.
Community of unit owners (in the Czech Republic called “SVJ”)
An HOA (Homeowners Association) is established by law in any building with at least five apartments, at least three of which are owned by three different owners, regardless of the will of the unit owners. The HOA also has its own bodies (assembly and committee) and statutes. The legal regulation of the unit owners’ association is newly defined in the Civil Code No. 89/2012 Coll., but you will also encounter the legal regulation under the already repealed Property Act No. 72/1994 Coll.
Advantages of cooperative ownership
You will generally buy a co-operative flat for around 5% – 10%. However, this is due to the fact that such flats cannot be financed with a mortgage loan. Nowadays, this is no longer 100% true, but it is advisable to approach an experienced financial advisor in this matter, who will find you a bank that is not opposed to financing a cooperative apartment. If such a bank is found, it is likely that you will have to factor in a higher interest rate. Alternatively, another property can be mortgaged. It is this fact that reduces their market value. Co-operative flats therefore represent a more advantageous purchase for someone who has their own funds and does not need a loan.
The transfer of a co-operative share is noticeably quicker and simpler because the owner is not registered in the Land Registry as the natural person who owns the property. The owner of the cooperative flat basically owns the lease right to the unit, i.e. he/she is the owner of the so-called membership rights. If you buy the membership rights from someone, it is sufficient to conclude a transfer agreement and deliver it to the cooperative, or pay the transfer fee to the cooperative. That settles the matter.
It is easier for the cooperative to carry out the renovation and to obtain a renovation loan more easily and cheaply. The approval of the reconstruction is done according to the statutes, e.g. by a ¾ majority vote of the cooperative members.
The cooperatives as a whole pay lower property taxes.
The cooperative can also partly influence the choice of neighbours, as Czech legislation allows cooperatives to exclude non-payers or problematic housemates. The cooperative as owner can prohibit or restrict cooperatives from entering into sublease agreements and thus directly influence who will live in the house.
It should be noted that the cooperative form of ownership is not a constant form. It is common for apartments to be transferred from cooperative to private ownership if a significant number of cooperative members express an interest. However, this is more of an individual matter, and it is not always possible for interested parties to push this through. It therefore depends not only on the interests of individuals, but also on the situation and interests of the cooperative as a whole.
Benefits of personal ownership
The apartment can be financed with a mortgage loan and pledged to the bank.
You can dispose of the apartment at will, e.g. use it as an investment.
Compared to a cooperative apartment, you can continue to rent out a privately owned apartment without restrictions instead of subletting it. It should be remembered that in the case of cooperative ownership you are de facto buying a lease, so you continue to sublet the flat. And not all prospective tenants flock to sublet a flat, even though subletting is not that extremely different from renting. As for restrictions, these are set by the individual cooperatives at their discretion (e.g., that a purchased apartment can no longer be sublet to anyone who is not a citizen of the Czech Republic, etc.).
The ownership of your apartment is recorded in the Land Registry.
You can also guarantee the apartment in case you want to borrow money, e.g. for your business or to buy another property.
If you buy an apartment as an investment to rent it out, you can depreciate it and reduce your tax base for income tax, which is not possible with a cooperative apartment.
If you want to sell the flat you live in, you are exempt from income tax after two years of owning it. For a co-op, this is 5 years.
Whether you are selling the property yourself or you have decided to approach a real estate agency, you always need to prepare for the selling process well in advance. While it may seem to many that it is something trivial like shopping at the mall, the truth is that it is overwhelmingly one of life’s biggest and most important transactions. So what are the things to look out for and remember?
The wrong price
An incorrectly set sale price for a property is the most common mistake made when selling. The most common situation is that sellers look at similar properties currently advertised and set the price just and accordingly. This is because they mistakenly think that the property will sell for the price offered. In reality, the difference between the offer price and the real market price is often huge (we are talking tens of percent). On the contrary, the truth is that a significant part of the offer price is more the wishful thinking of the owners. When setting the price, it is also necessary to take into account the real transactions that have taken place in a given location over time, but it doesn’t stop there either. It is also necessary to take into account the amenities, orientation to the world, accessibility to the centre, etc.
(for more information see the article How to price a property correctly)
Neglected preparation of the property for sale
Real estate is a commodity like any other. Therefore, this commodity also deserves a good deal of preparation before the sale as such even takes place. It’s actually very simple – if the commodity is prepared nicely and shown in the best possible light, then it will sell that much faster. Yet a great many self-sellers grossly underestimate the pre-sale preparation. Most of the time, they stick to taking poor quality photos with their phone instead of using a professional photographer or videographer to make a promotional video. Minor adjustments and redecoration can often raise the price in the eyes of sellers by tens of thousands of crowns, because the property, simply put, gets seen through and can be much better and easier to present. On the other hand, it is true that too much investment in renovation may not pay off at all. You should also discuss this matter with your estate agent. An experienced real estate agent will give you good advice on what is worth investing in and what is not.
The so called home staging certainly deserves attention. In addition to professional photographs and possibly video, 3D visualization, which allows buyers to view the individual rooms of the property from the comfort of their home, will certainly help sell the property. Although it may sound unbelievable, the fact remains that even a simple 3D scan can make a successful sale, even if the buyers are unable to attend the viewing in person.
Many people think that it’s actually very simple – take a picture of the property, write an advert, put it online and wait nicely for the right buyer to come along. But it’s not that easy. Promotion requires a lot more and if it is done wrong, the result will be a low number of approached buyers, which often leads to a sale at a lower price.
Another pitfall can be the misconception by sellers that all buyers will look at the one or two advertising portals where the selling party is currently advertising. It is not uncommon for buyers not to even notice the advert and therefore relying on something like this can result in unnecessary losses of up to several hundred thousand crowns. On the contrary, it is advisable to think about targeted promotion not only on advertising portals, but also in the digital world on social networks, thanks to which it is possible to target specific users with the help of paid advertising. This will bring the property for sale to the attention of a significantly larger number of potential buyers.
Cooperation on the basis of a non-exclusive contract with several real estate agencies
There is still a perception among many sellers that the more agents they involve in the sale of their property, the faster and better the sale. In the eyes of sellers, this is a perfectly logical fact. After all, each broker will engage their own sales channels, brokers will certainly put in as much effort and effort as possible into the sale, etc. But the truth is unfortunately quite the opposite. If a broker finds out that a property is going to be sold non-exclusively, he will immediately put two and two together and know that it does not make much sense for him to put excessive effort and invest more money into the property just for the sake of promotion. The reason is simple. If, for example, five real estate agents are to try to sell, it means that one agent has a 20% chance of a successful sale, or that he will get a return on his entire investment. An experienced and good broker will thus refuse such cooperation and the seller can forget about professional presentation. Instead of a promotional video, 3D visualization, paid advertising, brokers’ clients are more likely to see photos taken with a mobile phone.
Non-exclusive cooperation not only demotivates the real estate agent but also harms the selling party. Why? Imagine a situation where you want to buy a property in a given location. You go and look at the advertising portals and filter the current offer according to the desired parameters, condition, etc. And then you may very likely come across one property advertised by several real estate agents. And even more likely you will find that this one property is advertised at different prices. If you wanted to buy a property, logically you would call where the price is lower, because why would you pay unnecessarily extra when there is an opportunity to buy the same thing cheaper? The selling party could very easily lose out on potential profit. And the reason for this is that the broker, knowing that he has a 20% chance of success, will slightly lower the price in the advert in order to attract the attention of the buyers.
Choosing a broker according to the amount of his commission
“How much is your commission?” is one of the basic questions in the sellers’ repertoire when it comes to breaking bread. It’s also an inevitable question. After all, it is necessary to agree on the remuneration for the work brokered. But a (future) problem may arise when the amount of commission is the only criterion for choosing a real estate agent. This often varies. Some people work for 3% + VAT, others for 5% + VAT. And 2% can often represent quite a large amount of money. However, it should be taken into account that the volume of services provided by individual brokers also varies greatly. Along with this, the final selling price that the estate agent achieves through investment in promotion and sales skills varies.
People generally wrongly assume that all brokers work in the same way and that they differ in the price they charge for their services. And this very idea can often cost you hundreds of thousands. Therefore, always ask the real estate agent about the amount of services that are included in his or her brokerage fee. In particular, ask about the sales activities the broker will do to find the most ideal buyer for you. These activities have a big impact on the sale price achieved. In summary, have the brokers present a sales plan and compare them with each other.
Ignorance of legal obligations
You risk a fine of up to 100.000 CZK if you are selling the property as a natural person. If you are selling as a legal entity, you risk a penalty of up to 200.000 CZK for not providing the Energy Performance Certificate (ECP).
You are also obliged to provide the buyer with the building documentation for the house. The seller is then liable for so-called hidden defects for 5 years from the sale… Overall, it can be clearly stated that ignorance of your obligations can make the sale of the property more expensive, or on the contrary, you may be forced by the buyer to provide a discount for defective performance.
For more information on this topic, please see the article Seller’s Obligations on the Sale of Property.
Weak business experience
Selling a property is primarily a business where a lot of money is at stake. Often a lifetime of savings. And as with any other deal, the selling party wants to make as much money as possible, while the buyer tries to negotiate the biggest discount. If the buyer is an experienced salesperson or has commissioned an experienced real estate agent to buy, they have an informational and psychological advantage over you, namely that they can use any mistake to their advantage without you realizing it.
Namely, it may be a situation where you need to sell quickly. This is usually through financial hardship, or because you have inherited a property far from your home and do not have the capacity to look after it. Basically, it becomes more of a burden for you to maintain so that it doesn’t deteriorate, but that also cuts into your budget, which is not always unlimited. However, if you mention to a business-savvy buyer or broker that you are in a hurry to sell, they will immediately sense an opportunity and start negotiating a discount with you. This is because if the seller is under pressure (financial/time or emotional), or, for example, is not in a hurry to sell the property or does not have the energy to do so, such a person is more inclined to negotiate a discount than a seller who is not in a hurry to sell and is not bothered or even enjoying the sale.
In addition, often a business-savvy buyer can even read between the lines. Body language will give you a clue as to the situation you are in, or, of course, they will also find out a lot through the questions they ask you indirectly. Gesticulation, eye contact or voice intonation will often give away the inexperienced seller, so the buyer is not afraid to ask for a discount and often gets it.
So don’t waste your time making wrong and unnecessarily costly decisions.
When selling real estate, the laws impose certain obligations on you. If you do not fulfil them, you risk both sanctions and the provision of an additional discount to the buyer.
Income tax related to the real estate sale
This tax is regulated by Act 586/1992 Coll. about income tax. On January 1st 2021, an amendment to the Income Tax Act took effect, extending the “time test” for exemption from income tax on the sale of real estate from the original 5 to 10 years. However, this increase in the “time test” to 10 years only applies to properties acquired by the owner after 1st of January 2021. If you sell a property acquired before January 1st 2021, the time test for income tax exemption remains 5 years from the acquisition of the property.
You will state income tax from the sale of real estate in your income tax return, which you must submit to your relevant tax office by March 31st for the past calendar year. You must also pay income tax by this date.
Certificate of energy performance of the building (CEP)
§ 7a of Act No. 406/2000 Coll. on energy management imposes on the seller the obligation to hand over to the buyer a certificate of the energy performance of the building (CEP). The obligation applies to the seller when selling an apartment or house (i.e. the building as a whole). If you sell the property as a natural person, you risk a fine of up to CZK 100.000 for not delivering the building’s energy efficiency certificate. In case of sale as a legal person, a penalty of up to CZK 200.000 may be imposed for non-delivery of PENB.
§ 125 paragraph 1 of Act 183/2006 Coll. on spatial planning and building regulations (Building Act) imposes on the seller the obligation to hand over to the buyer documentation of the construction. This obligation applies to you if you are selling the house as a whole. Citations from the law:
The owner of the building is obliged to keep verified documentation corresponding to its actual execution according to the issued permits for the entire duration of the building. In cases where the construction documentation was not created at all, has not been preserved or is not in proper condition, the building owner is obliged to obtain documentation of the actual execution of the construction.
When ownership of a building changes, the current owner hands over the documentation to the new owner of the building. At the same time, it is worth mentioning that even if the seller is obliged to provide this documentation to the buyer, the law does not stipulate any penalty for failure to fulfil the obligation. However, failure to submit construction documentation, or handing it over in an out-of-date state is considered defective performance. And this is precisely what opens up space for buyers to obtain an additional discount from the property for the defective performance. In the same way, the buyer can claim a discount for defective performance if it is found that the condition of the property does not correspond to the submitted construction documentation.
Reporting obligation to the Tax Office when selling an apartment in a cooperative ownership
If you are selling a cooperative apartment worth more than CZK 5.000.000, you are obliged to notify the tax office of this fact. Even if you are exempt from income tax.
For failure to submit the Notification, you risk a fine of 0.1% of the amount of unreported income if you fulfil this obligation after the deadline without being prompted by the tax administrator.
You risk a fine of 10% of the amount of unreported income if you file a Report after prompted by the tax administrator.
A fine of 15% threatens those who do not respond to the summons of the tax authority. You can find more information on the website of the Financial Administration.
Real estate tax deregistration
When selling real estate, you are required to deregister from real estate tax by January 31 of the following calendar year. If January 31st falls on a Sunday like this year, you will deregister from the tax on Monday February 1st. As for the opt-out process, the opt-out law does not specify the form of submission, nor has a special form been issued. The said fact can be communicated to the locally competent tax administrator by an informal submission, usually a letter, from which it is clear that the tax subject has ceased to be a taxpayer of real estate tax.
If you have sold one property and in the territorial district of the tax administrator you have other properties that are subject to real estate tax, then in this case it is a change of circumstances decisive for determining the tax. Pursuant to Section 13a, Paragraph 1 of the Real Estate Tax Act, you are required to file a tax return, in which you take the change into account, by January 31 of the tax period following the year in which you lost ownership of the real estate.
The technical report informs the seller and the buyer about the technical condition of the property and describes its deficiencies. So the seller knows what (s)he is selling and the buyer knows what (s)he is buying. This greatly reduces potential disputes in the future. With the technical report, the seller protects himself from the claims of the buyer, sometimes even unauthorized ones, which could be demanded as satisfaction for so-called hidden defects sometime in the future. Thanks to the technical report, the buyer cannot say that he did not know about the defects. On the contrary, it is the seller who bears responsibility for hidden defects on the property for a period of 5 years from the sale. This is a long enough time for defects that were hidden at the time of sale to surface.
The technical report drawn up by an authorized civil engineer refers to the construction part of the building and usually does not contain assessments of e.g. electrical installation, electrical appliances, gas equipment, flue gas routes and lightning conductors. These reports are the subject of separate review reports from review technicians with a given specialization.
The technical report minimizes disputes between sellers and buyers. However, it is not possible to exclude them 100%. A certain risk must always be taken into account. If you wanted an authorized engineer to protect you 100% from disputes, (s)he would have to carry out survey probes and de facto dismantle the property for you. The costs of such an assessment and the damages from its preparation would then significantly exceed its benefits. For this reason, you must always expect some risk. However, the risk with a technical report is significantly lower than if you don’t have one.
Revision of electrical installation
An inspection report is always drawn up for newly installed distribution systems, because without it the electricity supplier will not connect your electricity meter. At the same time, however, it is appropriate to have a revision report drawn up even if a change has been made to the electrical installation, which occurs, for example, during the renovation of an apartment or in connection with the installation of a new electrical system. boiler, boiler, etc. This report is drawn up by a certified inspection technician. If it is handed over to the buyer during the sale, you thereby declare that the electrical installation is in accordance with the standards. The requirements for the initial revision are governed by the standard CSN 33 2000-6 ed. 2.
Control revision of the electrical installation
Along with the use of the property, the electrical installation also wears out. Neglected maintenance can lead to catastrophic situations, namely fire. That is why it is definitely not appropriate to underestimate the control revisions of the electrical installation. And that’s even if you didn’t start any reconstruction. Control revisions are governed by the standards CSN 33 1500 and CSN 33 2000-6 ed. 2. Residential and office buildings should be inspected every 5 years.
Electrical appliances audit report
Are you going to sell the property including electrical appliances? In such a case, it is worth considering to draw up an inspection report of the electrical appliances before the sale. It is especially important for those cases where the property also has an electric boiler, heat pump, air conditioner, electric sauna stove, swimming pool, solar collectors, etc. The revision of electrical equipment is governed by the CSN 33 1500 standard.
Revision of electrical appliances that are in a basic (i.e. dry) environment is carried out every five years, in a hot or humid environment every three years, and in a wet or extremely corrosive environment every year.
Revision report of flue gas routes
The flue gas path inspection is carried out by a flue gas path inspection technician. The revision is defined by Decree No. 34/2016 Coll. on cleaning, checking and revising the flue gas path.
According to § 3 of the decree, the revision of the flue gas path is carried out:
Before putting a new flue pipe into operation or after any construction modification of the chimney.
When changing the fuel type of the connected fuel consumer.
Before connecting the fuel appliance to the unused flue gas path.
Before replacing the fuel appliance, with the exception of the replacement of an appliance of the same kind, type, design and performance, provided that the suitability of the flue gas path is confirmed by a report on the cleaning and inspection of the flue gas path.
After a chimney fire.
In the event of cracks in the used flue pipe, as well as in the case of reasonable suspicion of the occurrence of cracks in the used flue pipe.
Control report of flue gas paths
The deadlines for flue gas inspection are determined by Annex No. 2 of Decree No. 34/2016 Coll. on cleaning, checking and revising the flue gas path. The deadlines for regular inspections are once a year. Where appliances with a power of more than 50kW are connected to solid fuels, checks are prescribed twice a year. A chimney sweep will draw up an inspection report for you.
Gas equipment inspection report
Inspection of gas equipment is carried out in accordance with § 3 of Decree No. 85/1978 Coll. of the Czech Occupational Safety Office on inspections, revisions and tests of gas equipment. once a year. The inspection is carried out by a technician appointed by the manufacturer of the appliance.
Risks of failure to prepare a technical report and/or audit reports
The purpose of inspection reports, as well as technical reports, is to inform the buyer about the actual condition of the electrical installation, electrical equipment, flue gas routes, gas equipment and, where applicable, about their defects. If you have these reports available, then the seller knows what they are selling, while the buyer knows the condition of the property they are buying. The most important fact is that this reduces the risk of future disputes between the seller and the buyer. And last but not least, it is worth mentioning that in the absence of audit reports, according to regulations, the insurance company will refuse to pay for the damage. Such an event can be very expensive for the seller.
When selling an apartment or a house, the seller must take into account that (s)he is responsible to the buyer for factual defects of the property. Thus, the entire sale of the property does not have to be completed for the seller by the transfer of ownership. There is always a chance that the buyer will claim back from the seller his claims from liability for defects. The matters described above, which it is advisable to pay attention to, then noticeably reduce such chances, although they never eliminate them 100%.
By law, the seller is responsible for defects within 5 years of the sale. If a situation arises where technical defects appear on the property within 5 years from the sale, which were hidden at the time of sale and are not identified by the technical report or inspection reports, the buyer can request a discount for defective performance.
We divide defects into obvious defects and hidden defects. We consider an obvious defect to be a defect that the buyer should have noticed during a normal inspection of the property with the usual attention. Typical cases of obvious defects include, for example, a broken window, an obvious crack in the wall, etc. On the other hand, hidden defects are defects that cannot be detected during a normal inspection of the property and only appear later after the purchase of the property and its handover. Typical examples of hidden defects include, for example, odors from leaking sewers, mold on walls covered by plasterboard, leaks into the property, moisture and falling tiles, structural defects, etc.
It happens that the seller tries to avoid liability for defects already in the contracts, in which the parties then encounter formulations such as “the property is transferred to the buyer as it stands and lies” or the buyer had the option detect all defects of the object of purchase in advance”. However, any such or similar statements shall have no effect whatsoever and shall not exclude or limit the seller’s liability. The exclusion of the seller’s responsibility cannot be inferred even from the general statement contained in the contract that the buyer was informed of the technical condition of the property, etc. Even the fact that (s)he did not know about the defect does not relieve the seller of his responsibility. If the selling party wants to secure themselves and essentially get rid of responsibility for the defect, it must explicitly notify the buyer of specific defects, and if there were legal proceedings, it would still have to prove this fact.
The law also allows for an agreement between the seller and the buyer to exclude the seller from liability for defects. In this way, responsibility can also be excluded for individual parts of the property or its components (e.g. heating system, etc.). However, such an exclusion of liability requires the consent of the buyer and in practice it will be problematic to obtain it. Therefore, if the buyer does not agree to such a provision in the contract, the rights from defective performance cannot be abridged in any way. source: