Hungary changes the procedure for transferring ownership of agricultural land

On December 22, 2021, the Hungarian parliament published Act CL of 2021, which amends certain agricultural laws and amends Act CXXII of 2013 on transactions concerning agricultural and forest land (the Land Transfers Act). By modifying the approval procedure for the transfer of ownership of agricultural land, this amendment to the Land Transfer Act should shorten the delays.

According to the new rules, signed sale, purchase and lease contracts must be submitted to the agricultural administrative authority (mezőgazdasági igazgatási szerv) for evaluation. Only contracts deemed appropriate by the authority will be published over 60 days to inform holders of pre-emption rights. This change should lead to a considerable saving of time for the contracting parties in cases where the contract suffers from a defect leading to a refusal on formal grounds since, according to the previous rules, an examination by the authority only took place after the 60-day publication period has expired. .

From now on, the agricultural administrative authority has 15 days to decide whether the contract is likely to be approved. If the contracts are appropriate, the community will publish the call to holders of pre-emption rights in the town hall and on the central site for the publication of land transactions.

It is important to note that the decision of the agricultural administrative authority at the beginning of the process does not constitute an official approval of the contract, but only a confirmation that the form of the contract lends itself to approval.

Additionally, additional restrictions have been introduced for the sale of multiple lots in one lot (több földnek egybefoglalt vételáron történő eladása). Under the old rules, land used by the same registered user could be bulk sold regardless of location, but the new rules only allow bulk sales of land in the same or adjacent neighborhoods and only whether the seller or the buyer had been the registered land user for at least three years. Unchanged is the rule that adjacent plots can be sold in lots regardless of the registered user.

Article co-written by Bence Varga.

Amalia H. Mercado