From January 1st, citizens from Great Britain can no longer acquire land (including agricultural land and forests) in Bulgaria except by inheritance. The reason for the ban is that they have the status of third-country nationals for the European Union as a result of Brexit. The ban does not affect past cases, as well as the purchase of other real estate (apartments, houses, etc.).
According to Assoc. Prof. Boryana Museva, Head of the Department of International Law and International Relations at the Faculty of Law of Sofia University, the ban does not affect past cases. Those Brits who are already legal property owners in Bulgaria, in any form, will not be affected in any way by the changes after Brexit.
On 31st December 2020, the transitional period provided in the withdrawal agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom expired. During the transitional period, EU law was applied and citizens and legal entities from England could acquire the right to own land under our constitution and laws. From January 1st, 2021, they are considered third-country nationals.
If a British citizen decides to buy a house in our country, they will only own the building, they cannot own the yard, ie the land to it. However, the ban can be bypassed like it was when Bulgaria was not part of the EU.
The ban can be circumvented if the British citizen owns a company registered in Bulgaria. Associate Professor Boryana Museva commented that this possibility exists only for land located in urban areas because the Law on Ownership and Use of Agricultural Land prohibits companies in which partners or shareholders are foreigners to own agricultural land.
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