There are two registers in Latvia:
- the cadastral information system (kadastrs) – this is used for registering the individual components of property and for consolidating these components for the purpose of recording the property in the land register, and
- the land register (zemesgrāmata) – this is used for recording property rights following registration of property in the Latvian cadastral information system.
The land register
What does the Latvian central computerised land register offer?
The Latvian central computerised land register is managed and maintained by the Court Administration (Tiesu administrācija).
Real estate is registered in land registers and the related property rights are recorded there. Land registers are accessible to the public and entries in the register are official. Land registers are managed by the land register divisions of the district or city courts (rajona tiesa or pilsētas tiesa).
The central computerised land register is an electronic data base which stores land registers, record books and alphabetic indexes permanently without amendment, and enables these data to be displayed on a computer screen and printed from a computer.
The central computerised land register focuses on the legal and factual circumstances of real estate and contains information on general issues, including:
- easements and real estate encumbrances,
- detached land,
- the legal basis for title,
- notifications on insolvency,
- creditor claims,
- appointment of secondary heirs and inheritance contracts,
- rights in rem encumbering property and pledge rights.
Land registers consist of portfolios divided into four parts.
The first part is used to register information on:
- the real estate in question,
- easements and real estate encumbrances established for the benefit of the real estate,
- land attached to the real estate,
- the area covered by the real estate and attached land,
- detached land and its area,
- amendments to easements and encumbrances entered in the first part and their deletions.
The second part is used to register information on:
- the owner of the real estate,
- the basis for the property rights and the amount for which the real estate was acquired, where this is provided,
- notifications securing claims to property rights and records of these rights,
- restrictions on disposing of the real estate and encumbering it with rights in rem,
- appointment of secondary heirs,
- inheritance contracts.
The third part is used to register information on:
- rights in rem encumbering the real estate,
- notifications serving to establish the aforementioned rights in rem.
The fourth part is used to register information on:
- pledge rights established with respect to the real estate and the amount of the pledge,
- notifications establishing the aforementioned pledge rights,
- amendments to these records and deletions.
Is access to the Latvian central computerised land register free of charge?
The search function for registered real estate is free. However, there is a charge of EUR 4.27 for viewing a portfolio.
The monthly contractual subscription charge is EUR 49.80, and to view a portfolio the charge is EUR 2.85.
How to search the Latvian central computerised land register
You can search for information on registered real estate in the central computerised land register by:
- portfolio number,
- property title,
- cadastral number,
- property address.
Information on real estate is available from the Court Administration which maintains the central computerised land register, from the land register divisions of district and city courts, and on the internet.
The national authorities and officials to whom the Court Administration provides information from the computerised record books, real estate cases and the index of persons are stipulated by Cabinet Regulation.
History of the Latvian central computerised land register
This is a significant period in the operational development of the land register, following the concerted move to computerised land registers and the creation of the Latvian central computerised land register. A gradual, targeted transition to a modern electronic land register has been taking place, from the acquisition of the first computers, which were used as typewriters, to the creation of the real estate registration system, the conversion of all land register information from paper to electronic format, and the unification of the data bases of all 27 district or city court land register divisions into a single national land register data base, which is the only data base holding legally recognised information.
1998 was a significant year in the computerisation process, with amendments being made to the Land Register Law, supplementing it with a new chapter on the computerised land register. Following these changes a substantial amount of work was needed until, in the first half of 2001, all divisions had gradually been incorporated into the central computerised land register. Parallel to the introduction of the land register registration system, work was undertaken to develop dissemination and improve the website.
The computerised register is maintained with the objective of storing all land register data in a single central data base. Only data contained in this unified data base have legal force and only land register division staff have access to these data. The principles by which land registers are organised have remained unaltered during computerisation – territorial jurisdiction has been retained and, as before, land register divisions accept requests to enter records and adopt decisions on the registration of property and on the recording of related property rights in the land register.
5 July 2001 is regarded as the launch date of the computerised land register. It was on this day that the central computerised register entered into operation and the website https://www.zemesgramata.lv was made available to the general public. The website gives access to information on land register division statistics, news and publications relating to the land register, the addresses and opening hours of land register divisions, fees, the documents required when visiting a land register division and most importantly of all, information on each property entered in the land register, its owner, encumbrances and mortgages.
The Court Administration has been fully responsible for the organisational and technical maintenance of the central computerised land register since 1 April 2004.
By 1 December 2012 the number of real estate portfolios opened in land registers was 1.2 million. Each month an average of 145 000 portfolios are consulted in the central computerised land register.
The cadastral information system
What does the Latvian cadastral information system offer?
The Latvian cadastral information system is a unified real estate accounting system that provides, maintains and applies official up-to-date textual and spatial data on real estate located in the Republic of Latvia, units of land, structures, groups of premises and sections of land units making up this real estate, and also its owners, legal holders and users.
It is maintained by the State Land Service (Valsts zemes dienests).
Property in Latvia is composed of the following four types:
- property consisting of land,
- property consisting of land and structures,
- property consisting of only a structure,
As a category of real estate land covers real estate in the broadest sense of the word, i.e. land together with the structures belonging to the owner, as well as property consisting only of undeveloped land. Property in the form of a structure is real estate incorporating only a structure situated on land belonging to a different owner. Property in the form of an apartment in a building consisting of a number of dwellings belonging to several owners is the property of each owner individually, together with a notional part of the respective common property.
Cadastral information consists of:
- textual data – data on cadastral descriptions, area, cadastral value, encumbrances and restrictions of real estate and associated cadastral objects making up this real estate, and also its owner, legal holders and users.
- spatial data – cartographic images showing the borders of land units, sections of land units and structures, cadastral descriptions and other information characterising the cadastral objects.
Cadastral data is used for the following purposes:
- recording real estate rights,
- establishing real estate transactions,
- real estate use and planning for the development of real estate,
- cadastral valuation,
- administration of real estate tax,
- national, regional and municipal economic development and territorial planning,
- land use operations and environmental protection plans,
- preparing national statistical information,
- drawing up the book value of land,
- creating and maintaining geographical information systems,
- providing for the interests of the owners of other registers and information systems,
- other purposes.
Is access to the Latvian cadastral information system free of charge?
The State Land Service data publication portal provides access free of charge to information such as the cadastral number of a property; the cadastral description of a land unit, structure or group of premises; the address of a land unit, structure or group of premises; the property title; the land register portfolio number (where property rights have been recorded in the land register); or a visual representation of the location of a land unit or structure using a symbol on a satellite map (M 1:50 000).
The charge for viewing more detailed cadastral information (without a subscription) is EUR 2.85 for each property viewed, including its cadastral components.
The information on the portal is also available to authorised users who have signed a subscription contract. Information on setting up a contract with the State Land Service is available here.
How to search the Latvian cadastral information system
The cadastral information system can be used to find property, land units, structures and groups of premises. Further information on using the search function is available here.
History of the Latvian cadastral information system
The modern-day cadastral information system dates back to 1992. Its launch coincided with the land reform, which was an essential part of Latvia's return to independence and transition to a market economy. The rights of individuals to own land were officially renewed in 1993.
The content of the Latvian cadastral information system has gradually increased. In the first four years of its re-establishment in the early 1990s only land units, land holdings and land use were registered. In 1996 data on structures also began to be registered and from 2000 the full-scale registration of apartments began.
In its first eight years of operation the cadastral information system was devoted mainly to gathering data and the primary registration of this data. Since 2001 the main priority has been to keep information up to date and to ensure its quality.
100 % of national territory is registered in the cadastral information system and registrations are managed in digital format.
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