Buying a house or flat by a foreigner in Poland

In recent years, more and more foreigners decide to live or invest in real estate in Poland. They are both citizens of Western countries, who are increasingly buying rental apartments in Poland, as well as people from the Eastern border, looking for a job and a better life. In this article, I will talk about whether and how a foreigner can buy a flat or a house in Poland.

Buying residential real estate by citizens of the European Union

The most important legal act regulating the real estate trade with foreigners is the Act on the Acquisition of Real Estate by Foreigners of March 24, 1920. This law was amended in connection with Poland’s accession to the European Union.

The entry to the EU has opened up the Polish real estate market for foreigners. Thanks to this, citizens from the EU, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland have easier access to residential real estate (flats and houses) in Poland. The amended Act allows them to buy residential premises without the need to obtain a special permit from the Minister of the Interior Affairs and Administration. In practice, this means that citizens of the European Union can purchase real estate in Poland on the same terms as Polish citizens.

Purchase of a flat in Poland by people from outside the European Union

Citizens of countries not belonging to the European Union, or actually to the European Economic Area, also including Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland, have a longer way to purchase residential real estate in Poland.

These persons should obtain a permit to purchase a flat from the Minister of Interior Affairs and Administration. However, national rules set out many exceptions from this necessity. The act stipulates that foreigners are exempt from having to obtain a permit if:
purchase of a separate apartment or utility premises that performs garage functions is related to satisfying the housing needs of the foreigner. This means that everyone can buy a single flat or garage, regardless of their origin, the purchase of real estate takes place after 5 years from obtaining a permanent residence permit or a long-term EU residend permit, the real estate is purchased by a foreigner who is married to a Polish citizen and resides within the territory of the country for at least two years after obtaining a permanent residence permit or long-term EU residend permit. In addition, the estate after purchase must become part of the joint property. Thus, it excludes having a prenup.

In addition, it should be noted that the above circumstances do not exempt a foreigner buying a property in Poland from having to obtain a relevant permit in the event that the property is located in the border region of Poland. Of course, this applies to buyers from outside the European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Switzerland.

Buying a flat and buying a house by a foreigner in Poland

There are major differences in the legal requirements between the purchase of a flat and a home by a foreigner and it is worth emphasizing them again.

The apartment is understood as an independent, separate flat and its purchase does not require any permits, regardless of the country of origin of the buyer. The buyer does not have to have a residence permit and does not even have to stay permanently in Poland.

The necessity to obtain the permit of the Minister of the Interior Affeirs and Administration concerns the purchase of all land properties, including houses and plots. This means that citizens from outside the European Union are required to obtain such a permit when buying a single-family home for their own use as well as a multi-unit residential block for investment (for example for rent).

Navigating the Polish law and real estate market

Polish law defines the conditions under which a foreigner can acquire real estate. Excellent knowledge of this law is essential to avoiding troubles and succesful transactions. Knowledge and experience is also required to move around the Polish real estate market.

Experienced real estate agencies know both – the law and the market – and are able to significantly facilitate and support the process of acquiring real estate in Poland. Their knowledge allows for proper valuation of the estate and for negotiating favorable offers. That is why the use of real estate brokers, especially by foreigners, allows you to make more beneficial transactions.

This is particularly important in cities such as Warsaw, where the market is heterogeneous, and prices and conditions differ significantly depending on the district. Without a perfect understanding of the local real estate market, you can easily lose time and money.

At the Biarda Estate agency, I will not only find a flat in Warsaw suitable for you. I will also help in arranging the necessary documents and formalities, including obtaining a permit to purchase real estate from the Minister of the Interior and Administration. On such an important issue as buying a flat or a house, it is better to be a proven real estate broker from Warsaw.

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