Lithuania - Real Estate Going Global

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Real estate, as defined by the Lithuanian Civil Code, consists of land and assets related thereto that cannot be moved from one place to another without changing their purpose and essentially reducing their value, and also the assets that are defined as such in the relevant laws.

The constitutional law provides that non-agricultural and non-forestry land may be acquired and owned by foreign legal entities and individuals who comply with the criteria of the European and transatlantic integration, under the same procedure and conditions as applied to Lithuanian citizens and legal persons.

A transitional period applies to the acquisition of agricultural and forestry land by foreign legal entities and individuals who comply with the criteria of European and transatlantic integration, which was applicable since the entrance of Lithuania into the EU in 2004 is extended until 30 April 2014. Only foreign individuals who have been permanently residing and engaged in agricultural activities in Lithuania for at least three years, and foreign legal persons and other organisations that have established their representative offices or branches in Lithuania, are entitled to acquire ownership of agricultural and forestry land during this period.

Foreign legal entities and individuals who do not comply with the criteria of European and transatlantic integration are not permitted to acquire ownership of land, inland waters and forests in Lithuania. However, they may possess or use land, interior waters, forests and parks, only by way of lease or any other agreement that confers the use of the land, but not the title thereto.

Both domestic and foreign individuals and legal entities may be parties to lease contracts. The term of a land lease may be fixed by the parties and though such term for state land may not exceed 99 years, an expired lease can be renewed by the parties to the land lease contract. The terms and conditions for the lease of state land are determined by the government. In respect of state land, the lease contract is concluded by the authorities following a standard contract format. When private land is leased, the terms of the lease will be mutually agreed upon by the private owner and the lessee.
In respect of the acquisition and lease of other immovable property, such as buildings, there are no specific requirements or restrictions stipulated by national legislation for foreign investors. In most cases, the general provisions of the Lithuanian Civil Code will apply.

Source : PWC

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Mots-clés : PwC