How can a foreigner buy land or real estate in Ukraine? Opening of the land market in Ukraine in 2021

Land in Ukraine is one of the most promising assets that you can buy. However, legally, a foreigner who plans to purchase land in Ukraine may face a number of restrictions and risks. The same applies to the process of acquiring real estate, such as apartments, although in this case the situation is a little clearer than with land.

Unfortunately, the legislation governing the purchase of land by foreigners is not perfect enough, and is in the process of development. As for the purchase of real estate, there are a number of problematic issues relating to:

  • the procedure for the introduction of funds into Ukraine from other countries;

  • reliability of the purchased property;

  • the verification of both the real estate and the counterparty, etc.

We have already conducted many such transactions, so we know what you need to pay attention to.

Today we hear a lot of talk about the land market, its launch and organization. Our land and commercial property lawyer will tell you how, to whom and how much you can sell or buy land in Ukraine.

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What are the risks of buying real estate or land in Ukraine?

As a rule, no real estate is purchased directly by the future owner, but through an attorney, namely a realtor who selects the necessary plot or house, and recommends a certain notary. Often the notary or the realtor can be the familiar faces and conduct the transaction as they see fit. That’s why you need a lawyer who can spot irregularities in the transaction, and stop or adjust the process of signing a real estate purchase agreement.

There is also a chance to come, for example, to the “wrong” seller, and the land or property can be under arrest or in pledge. For this purpose, it is necessary to make a preliminary analysis and search for all the persons related to the real estate/land and the real estate itself. In such a situation:

  • We check all the registers for risks (whether the object is not under arrest, pledge, or any other restrictions) and inform you that there are no formal prohibitions or encumbrances on the property;

  • We provide you with an overall view of the situation and a risk assessment.

For example, we have seen cases where the owner of the land was already deemed incompetent by the notary at the time of the transaction. We were able to stop such a dangerous transaction in time. But the owner may also be wanted, under house arrest, or prohibited from disposing of property to another person. 

You need to pay attention to the legal aspects of the correct execution of the sale and purchase transaction at the notary. For example, if at least one person is married, the consent of the other spouse is required - this applies to both the buyer and the seller. In addition, during the transaction it is desirable to check the certificates that the buyer provides, because they may contain the names of similar companies or companies that have already been liquidated. However, you also need to know when it is necessary to pay attention to this during a transaction, so as to stop or correct it in time, without delay. That’s why it is necessary to enlist the help of a lawyer when signing the agreement.

Please note! In order to make you feel more confident during the transaction, we always ask the Client to provide the purchase and sale agreement before the signing it, because then our lawyer can suggest some changes to make the transaction more secure and reduce the risks.

For instance, there are often situations when the parties are given a template agreement to sign which does not provide for force majeure, dispute resolution procedure or other important issues.

Read more about the procedure of buying real estate (an apartment) by a foreigner in Ukraine here.

The right of a foreigner to buy a land plot in Ukraine

It’s worth remembering that there are certain restrictions for foreigners in the right of ownership of land in Ukraine, because the question of the moratorium on the sale of agricultural land in Ukraine is still open, and will be decided definitively at a referendum.

Now (as of July 2020) in accordance with part 5 Article 22 of the Land Code of Ukraine, foreigners are not entitled to own such (agricultural) lands. However, there are exceptions, for example: land for horticulture can be used by foreign legal entities and individuals on the leasehold. It is true that the legislation governing the purchase of agricultural land is still in the process of development, and the legal assistance is required in order to understand the issue in more detail.

The Ukrainian legislation is rather liberal as to the purchase and sale of non-agricultural land, since according to part 2 of Article 81 of the Land Code, foreigners without any limitation may purchase such land into ownership if:

  • It is located in the territory of the city/town;

  • It is outside the city/town, but contains some immovable property that is privately owned by the foreigner, such as a house, a factory or a workshop.

The land market in Ukraine must be launched in July 2021 (the date may be postponed). At the first stage of its introduction, only individuals will be able to buy the land. The issue concerning the right of foreigners, especially the right of foreign companies, to purchase agricultural land in Ukraine will be clear only after the referendum.

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Legal review when a foreigner buys real estate or land in Ukraine

As for the documents that a lawyer needs to safely conduct the transaction and to make a preliminary risk assessment, they are as follows:

  • A document confirming ownership of the property or land;

  • A marriage certificate of the seller and the buyer (provided that the person is married);

  • Passports of the buyers and sellers, together with the passports of their spouses;

  • Comments or special conditions to the purchase and sale agreement (if you or the seller of the land / real estate has any specific requirements to the sale of the land or real estate).

If you want to organize a purchase and sale transaction correctly on a turnkey basis, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will help you understand what and how you can buy in Ukraine, and how to do it quickly and without problems.

If you want to know more about our real estate transaction support service, please follow this link.

Learn more about the State Land Ownership Certificate here.

We are ready to help you!

Contact us by mail [email protected], by phone number +38 044 499 47 99or by filling out the form:

Publication date: 20/07/2020

We are ready to help you!

Contact us by mail [email protected], by phone number +38 044 499 47 99or by filling out the form: