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General Information/Property System
Albanian land markets have only begun to develop relatively recently because of earlier restrictions on the sale of land

 
 

Introduction

In 1991, the Government of Albania initiated reform of land and immovable property relations by reviving principles of civil law, authorizing market transactions and initiating transfer of agricultural, housing and commercial properties into the ownership of citizens and juridical persons. Subsequently, the Government adopted other reforms intended to create modern systems of environmental protection, land use and management of state-owned lands.

Despite this progress, the framework of legal principles and supporting juridical, administrative and institutional systems is not yet complete and the system does not yet operate as efficiently or transparently as required. This "stocktaking" report looks at the main elements of land and property reform, describing the current status of reform and factors that are obstacles to its completion. The report looks at still-open policy issues that must be resolved and considers aspects of environmental protection, land use control and management. The report concludes with recommendations for priority actions in the next stages of reform.

Find out more about Status of land reform and real property markets in Albania downloading official documents at:
http://web.worldbank.org/


The market situation in Albania can be characterized with the following:

• the market is not transparent and market information is unreliable;
• the market exists mainly on urbanized areas, land in rural areas is very rarely sold;
• the market is concentrated to the capital area and attractive regions on the sea-shore;
• the market is still partly illegal, properties are sometimes sold by persons without any
legal rights to the property and/ or without registration.

Of the surveyed Balkan countries, only Albania has a state land reserve. This small reserve consists of about 20,000 hectares (of a total 575,400 hectares of arable land). The State began to lease the land to farmers in 1999. District agricultural directors that are governed by the Ministry of Agriculture administer the land.

Albanian land markets have only begun to develop relatively recently because of earlier restrictions on the sale of land. Before 1995, the sale of land was prohibited. However, informal sales were common, which caused titling and registration problems and increased insecurity. The sale of agricultural land did become legal in 1995, but a lack of education and lingering state control impeded market development and landowners’ comfort with land transactions for several years.

Until 1998, the sale of agricultural land was subject to the conditions of Law no. 7983, which required the seller to offer the land to family, neighboring land owners, ex-owners, and inhabitants of the village before selling to anyone else. Law no. 8337 now streamlines the sale process, allowing property to be sold to any Albanian citizen once a registration, certification, and documentation process has been completed.

Foreign citizens still cannot purchase land, but they may lease cropland for up to 10 years. Current obstacles to a viable Albanian land market include some public uncertainty as to whether land can be properly bought and sold, and a fear of divesting the family of land. As late as 1998, many farmers were not aware that land sales were legal. This has contributed to a lack of sales, leases, and exchanges of land in rural areas.

Mortgage

The Albanian Civil Code provides for mortgage lending, and the Immovable Property Registration System provides for registration of mortgages. One source puts the total number of registered mortgages at about 2,700 for 1999 and at 1,900 for the first 6 months of 2000. However, the vast bulk of these mortgages are urban apartment mortgages, and the lending figures include credit obtained through programs financed by international donors as opposed to private capital. Moreover, Albanian bankers report that the foreclosure process is uncertain and untested, thus borrowers must demonstrate little risk of default before loans are made.

Source: http://www.fao.org


Property Laws for Albania:


For Non-Divided Agricultural Land
For Leasing State Owned Agricultural Land

http://pbosnia.kentlaw.edu/resources/legal/albania/prop2.htm


Property reform

Since 2003, the Property Reform Unit has been working closely with government institutions and the Assembly, providing legal expertise on the issues of restitution, compensation and registration of immovable property. A joint expert group of the State Committee for Restitution and Compensation of Property and the Presence was set up in 2005 to draft sub-legal acts.

The Law on Restitution and Compensation of Property of the Republic of Albania (English Version) can be found at: http://www.osce.org/albania/18643.html




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