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Housing in Latvia
 
 
 
 
 

General

Popular area for the expatriate community in Latvia is the capital city, Riga. The housing in Riga city is limited to apartments. The most expensive area is Old Riga, the inner city of Riga. On the border of Riga you can find apartments, semi-detached or detached housing.

Cost of housing varies from area to area and the size of the house or apartment you'll pay anything from €1,000 for a basic apartment to Euro €5,000 for a luxury apartment. The local currency is Latvian Lat (LVL).

Buying a Property

Foreigners can freely buy, develop and dispose of movable property (buildings) in Latvia, provided that the property was acquired separately from the land on which it stands. Direct acquisition of land by foreigners is subject to permission of the local municipality. However, foreigners may lease land for a period of up to 99 years without any restrictions.

After a property has been chosen, the buyer and seller sign a preliminary contract. Upon signing the buyer pays a 10% deposit, which can be held in an escrow account by the lawyer or notary. Once all is well with the property, the Notary Act or Contract of Purchase is drawn up by the buyer’s solicitor and then signed by both parties in the presence of a notary in Latvia, or in the buyer’s local Latvian embassy if he cannot be in the country on the day of contract completion.

All immovable property must be registered in the Land Book. Land and buildings are registered separately. If the real estate transaction is not registered in the Land Book, the purchaser may not effectively transfer the title or enforce other real property rights until the registration has taken place.

It takes an average of 54 days to complete the nine procedures needed to register a property in Latvia.

Renting a Property

Rents can be freely agreed between landlord and tenant. Rent control exists only on denationalised buildings.

Contracts for any period are possible. Contracts terminate on expiry of the term; no notice is necessary. If the tenant withdraws from the lease, he can be required to pay the whole amount of the lease or rental payment. The freedom to contract is extensive.

Contracts for terms which are not specifically agreed are deemed to be contracts for an indefinite period. Contracts for indefinite periods terminate, unless otherwise agreed, only after six months` prior notice. This notice can be given by either party. However where the rental is paid monthly or weekly, only one week or one month’s notice needs to be given. There is no maximum deposit.