Finnish Real Estate Register consists of the public title and mortgage register. The property identifier, the registered name of the real estate and the area are recorded in the public title register. The owner of the real property, real estate mortgages and special assumptions, for example, a registered lease, are registered in the register of land ownership and mortgage. The land data bank system is a public system, which means that anyone can access its records. National Land Survey (NLS) is in charge of the administration, maintenance, information service and developing of the system. NSL’s customer service gives additional information on the register system or a specific real estate.

The information concerning real estate is valuable to the buyer candidate, who considers buying the property. Before the transfer of property, the buyer should carefully examine the information recorded in the real estate register. The most important documents for the buyer are the extract from the cadaster (which includes some basic information of the property as well as local zoning regulations etc.), the certificate of title (which shows the ownership of the land) and the abstract of the register of mortgages, which should be annexed to the bill of sale. It is highly important to familiarize with these documents in a good time before the conclusion of the sale. By signing the bill of sale, the buyer convinces that they are familiar with the documents. At a later stage it is difficult to make a defects claim, if the matter is clear from the documents.

In addition to the property identification information and the area of the property, the buyer can check, for example the zoning plan concerning the real estate, in the extract from the cadaster. The extract provides the buyer with additional information that can be highly relevant to the use of real property, such as zoning regulations or building rights and restrictions on the property.

The number of the mortgages, the value of mortgage(s) in euros and their privilege are recorded in the abstract of the register of mortgages. The abstract of the register of mortgages also includes the execution of real property or a statutory lien and preventive measures concerning real property as well as possible bankruptcy of the owner of the real estate. The owner of real property can use their property as security for a mortgage loan. It is highly essential that the mortgage documents are provided before the conclusion of the sale.

The abstract of the register of mortgages also contains information on the so-called special rights such as leasehold. Real property covenants are not used in Finland. A special right is a more limited right than property ownership. Special rights belong to parties other than the property owner. It is based on, for example, an agreement or will. It is highly important that the leaseholder checks that their special right is registered correctly. The most common right registered in the abstract of the register of mortgages is leasehold or another special right. Moreover, it is possible to register, for example a retire settlement, a right to take timber or a permit for the extraction of resources or mineral rights. Also, an agreement to divide the possession between joint owners can be registered.

The ownership of the real estate is registered in the register of land ownership and mortgage. The ownership is also apparent from the certificate of title. The most important legal effect of the registered title is that it indicates the transfer of ownership from the transferor to the transferee. A document which states the transfer of property is commonly called a deed in English-speaking countries, but in Finland the registration has the same legal effects as the deed has in those countries. From the certificate of title appears the last registration of a registration unit. A registration unit can be a title or an unseparated piece of land. Information on the pending application for registration of title and an application for a title of an unseparated piece of land will also be recorded on the certificate of registered land ownership. The certificate of title thus indicates who has the ownership of the real estate or an unseparated piece of land, which includes the pending recordings of the transfer of ownership and the pending recordings of transfers of real estate and recordings corresponding to an unseparated piece of land. The information registered in the real estate register in Finland enjoys public belief.

Before signing the bill of sale or other agreements concerning real estate, it is necessary to get acquaintance with the certificate of title. In particular, it is important to check that the seller has the ownership of the real estate. The registration of title has many other legal implications. Before mortgaging a real estate or establishing a mortgage lien and establish a lien on it, one must first apply for registration of title. Another example of the legal effects of registration of title is the resulting protection in the event of a double extradition. If the property has been transferred to two new owners, the subsequent title takes precedence if it is applied first for registration and the buyer did not know or should not have known of the earlier transfer at the time of the transfer i.e. acted in good faith. The new owner is expected to apply for registration of title within six months of signing the contract of conveyance.

English translation by Marika Korsimaa

The 31t of March 2021