Slovakia, often confused with Slovenia is the Czech Republic’s less well-known neighbour located on it’s eastern border. It has borders itself with; Austria, Hungary, Poland and Ukraine. Once part of a unified Czechoslovakia, landlocked Slovakia has been independent since 1993. The process of independence started in 1989 with the end of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia. This peaceful event, dubbed the Velvet revolution was followed by the country’s dissolution in to to two separate states. Slovakia has remained a close partner to the Czech and was made a member of the European Union in 2004. Since this time, the country has welcomed many visitors from overseas and when Easy jet started flying budget flights to the country, the state was opened up to many more first time visitors, many fell in love with the country and decided to take advantage of it’s cheap property prices. Bratislava is the capital city and is the focus for most first time visitors, often compared to Prague because of it’s wonderful architecture, Bratislava is fast becoming a place that many people can claim to own a second or holiday home.
The Holiday Home Market in Slovakia – Unlike it’s close neighbour, the Czech Republic, Slovakia is keen to attract foreign investment through property purchase and the whole process of buying property is a lot easier. Foreign nationals are permitted (and encouraged) to purchase property in the Slovak Republic in their own names. It is not necessary to establish a limited company to buy property and as of May 2004 virtually all restrictions to the purchase of property by foreigners were abolished. Some restrictions do remain, but these mainly relate to the purchase of agricultural and forestry land which rarely interests foreign investors anyway. Demand for rental property in the country is strong in the main cities and the type of property on offer to renters varies greatly. The same rules apply here as to other major cities, if you have good quality property, it will command a high rental yield. As mentioned above, overseas investors are currently being encouraged to buy property in Slovakia and to aid this, in 2005,the authorities abolished property transfer tax ( this is the equivalent of stamp duty in the United Kingdom. On the whole, purchase costs are on the low side and before you enter in to negotiations, it is a good idea to find yourself a good quality solicitor will local knowledge of the rental markets. If you are intending to rent your property, you will need to make sure that you can obtain a Slovakian holiday home insurance policy that is extended to include letting. You should also ask the solicitor for many permits or regulations relating to renting property and you can then make sure.
Holiday Home Insurance in Slovakia – Holiday home Insurance for property in Slovakia is available from the United Kingdom and cover can be provided for both buildings and contents. The usual rules apply with regard to valuations. when calculating your sum insured for buildings, you should use the actual amount required to rebuild the property in the event of a total loss. Contents should be valued on a as new basis. If you are buying a new build apartment from a developer, you will probably find that the cost of insurance will be included on a communal basis. In this cases, it is always bets to ask your solicitor to check with the vendor as to the arrangements for buildings insurance and a copy of the policy should be sought to make sure that it covers all the perils you require. Many overseas home insurance policies differ from those available in the United Kingdom and you may find that the range bf perils is different. Slovakia does have a history of minor earthquakes and in recent years heavy rainfall has led to flooding in parts of the country. However, the highest water in fifty years recently failed to trouble the city defences in Bratislava and that is a good sign. The main holiday home areas are: Ajdovscina, Banskobystricky, Beltinci, Benedikt, Bistrica Ob Sotli, Bled, Bratislavsky, Kosicky, Nitriansky, Presovsky, Trenciansky, Trnavsky and Zilinsky.
Buying a Holiday Home in Slovakia -The actual process of buying property is very straightforward and simple. Once you have located the property you require and have found a solicitor willing to act for you, you need to agree a price with the owner, once this has been done, it is customary to pay a deposit of around 10% of the purchase price. A pre selling contract will be drawn up and this has to be signed by both parties, once this is signed, if you wish to pull out of the deal, you will be responsible for all agent charges.. Likewise, if the seller wished to pull out of the deal, he must pay for all expenses and your deposit is returned in full. In Slovakia, it is most common for the property to have a survey and this is then sent to the buyers solicitor for consideration, the solicitor will also carry out all the necessary checks with regard to title etc and the balance of money is sent to the vendor after both parties have signed the agreement. It takes about four weeks for the Land Registry to transfer a title. In Slovakia, this is known as Kataster. As mention, the fees relating to property purchase are not excessive, the following are fairly typical.
- Legal fees (including notary) on purchase £300
- Land registration fee ( Kataster) £300
- Registration with tax authorities annual tax returns – approximately. £100
- Nominal annual property tax. £30
- If you decide to let your property out, local management fees are quite low at start from only a few hundred pounds, however you will have to pay income tax should on let property and this is currently 19%. Slovakia has a double tax treaty with the UK so you won’t have to pay twice. At the present moment, if you hold the property for a period of in excess of five years any profit made on the sale will be free of capital gains tax