Real estate dictionary

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Concepts from the world of real estate

Studio flat - (in Slovak: apartmán) the designation of non-residential space in a residential building, which is intended for purposes other than year-round housing. 

Apartment  - means a room or a set of rooms which, by decision of the building authority, are permanently intended for housing and, as separate housing units, can serve this purpose.

Apartment building - a building that is intended for housing consisting of four and more apartments sharing a main entrance from a public road.

Client creditworthiness - estimate of a client’s ability to repay a loan; clients with a high, stable and demonstrable income, with a problem-free payment history, have a good creditworthiness.

Garage in an apartment building - means a non-residential space in a building which, according to the decision of the building authority, is intended for the stopping and parking of vehicles.

Garage parking space in an apartment building - means a spatially delimited part of the garage; a garage parking space is not a separate non-residential space.

Cooperative apartment - an apartment owned by a housing cooperative; when transferring a cooperative apartment, the membership rights and obligations of the cooperative member are transferred. When buying a cooperative apartment into personal ownership, it is necessary to pay the residual value of the apartment’s annuity to the housing cooperative. The annuity is actually the total value of the apartment, which the tenant gradually repays to the housing cooperative.

Agreement on the transfer of membership rights and obligations - an agreement under which the member’s share in the housing cooperative, including the right to rent the cooperative apartment, is transferred from the transferor to the transferee.

Auction - a public sale in which a thing is offered for purchase to a large number of people. An item is sold on the fall of the hammer to the highest bidder, provided that this bidder at the same time undertakes to meet the conditions for such sale, as set by the auction company.

Auction security - the condition for participation in the auction is the deposit of funds or a bank guarantee, the amount of which and the date by which it must be deposited in favour of the auctioneer is set in the auction notice.

Auction notice - a notice by which the auctioneer announces the auction, stating who the auctioneer is, the date and place of the auction, a description of the subject of the auction, the auction type, the date and place of viewings, the lowest bid, the minimum bid raise, the method of paying the auction price, the deadline for depositing the auction principal, the conditions for handing over the auctioned item to the purchaser.

Types of land - for the purposes of registration in the Land Register, the following types of land are distinguished:  built-up area and courtyard, other area, garden, arable land, hop garden, vineyard, orchard, permanent grassland, forest land, water area.

Cooperative apartment - an apartment which is owned by a cooperative and in respect of which a cooperative member has the right to rent within the rights and obligations associated with their membership in the cooperative.

DSTI - Debt Service to Income (financial cushion) the sum of all loan repayments of a loan applicant must not exceed 60% of their disposable income after deducting the subsistence minimum, i.e. they must have at least 40% of income left for current expenses.

DTI - Debt to Income (maximum credit exposure) banks can provide clients with loans up to a maximum of 8 times their net annual income.

Deposit (security) - funds that are used by the landlord to secure claims in case of non-payment of rent by the tenant, or to cover damage to the apartment and its fittings. The deposit is paid upon signing the lease agreement and is returned to the tenant upon termination of the lease and handover of the apartment free of any damage.

Non-urban area - undeveloped part of a municipality outside the urban area. This usually relates to the outer part of a land registry area of a municipality, i.e. the area located outside its built-up area and the area designated for building activities (outside the urban area).

Operation, maintenance and repair fund - a fund into which owners of apartments and non-residential spaces pay advances, according to the size of their share in the common parts, equipment of the building. The fund is intended for the operation, maintenance and repairs of common parts and equipment of the building, common non-residential spaces, accessories and adjacent land, as well as costs for renovation, modernisation and reconstruction of the building.

Geometric plan - is the technical basis for certain legal acts and other deeds. It is mainly used to change data in the Land Register (outline drawing of changed real estate land plots, land, buildings) in the land registry map. The geometric plan must be legally certified by an authorised surveyor and officially certified by the land registry, which keeps records on the affected real estate.

Lockup stage - is the stage of an apartment in a new building, where floor screeds, entrance doors, windows and radiators are to a large degree finished. The client still needs to finish the floors, plumbing, and sometimes even decorate the walls. It is the opposite of the ‘standard’ stage.

Mortgage loan - a loan secured by a lien on real estate. The mortgaged property can be an existing property or a property under construction.

Urban area - built-up area of a municipality. It is characterised by continuously built-up land and land designated for construction activities, including internal roads, green areas, technical and civic amenities.

Land Register - a set of real estate data, which contains their inventory and description, geometric and positional determination. The subject of the Land Register includes land in the form of land plots, buildings connected to the ground by a solid foundation, selected buildings connected to the ground by a solid foundation, and apartments and non-residential spaces defined by the Act on Apartment Ownership. Part of the Land Register consists of the registration of ownership and other real rights to real estate.

Land registry map - is a topographic map with a description that shows all real estate and land registry areas, which are the subject of the Land Register. Lands are marked in the land registry map with plot numbers and markers for the types of land, buildings are shown according to their outer perimeter.

Land registry authority - is a state authority tasked with maintaining real estate data. It records real estate rights, e.g. property rights, liens, rights corresponding to easements, pre-emption rights if they are to have the effects of real rights, and other rights if established as real rights to real estate. A land registry office is located in each district town in the framework of the district office, land registry department (formerly named Land Registry Administration). 

Use-approval permit - a decision of the building authority granting approval to use a building for the purpose for which it has been approved.

Purchase agreement - an agreement between the seller and buyer on the basis of which the ownership right is transferred from the seller to the buyer. It must be done in writing in the case of real estate and the seller’s signature must be officially certified.

Buyer - a natural or legal person who buys and acquires a thing (movable or immovable, apartment or non-residential space) in exchange for funds.

Purchase price - the remuneration for the subject of the purchase may be determined by stating the monetary amount or by any other method by which the purchase price can be unequivocally determined.

Lien release - the consent of the lien pledgee (usually a bank), who has its claim secured by a lien on the real estate, where the content of such consent is the lender’s consent to the deletion of the lien on the real estate on the basis of the borrower’s repaid claim.

Title deed - a written document containing selected basic data on real estate, owners, rights and other relations to real estate. The title deed consists of three parts, Part A - Summary of Property - describes the real estate (apartment, house, land), Part B - Owners and Other Entitled Persons - describes the owner of the real estate, and Part C - Encumbrances - describes the encumbrances to the real estate (e.g. liens, easements, etc.).

Loggia - a small terrace, which does not protrude from the floor plan of the house, its area reduces the size of the adjacent room.

Loft - an apartment created by the reconstruction of unused halls, factories or other industrial premises. The main features are high ceilings, maximum open space, recognisable construction system. 

LTV - Loan To Value - is a financial concept expressing the ratio between the amount of the mortgage loan provided and the value of the mortgaged real estate.

Maisonette - multi-storey apartment on two or more floors located in an apartment building.

Extraordinary repayment - instalment outside the regular repayment schedule (beyond the framework of regular instalments).

Acquisition title - the document or fact on the basis of which a person acquired ownership of a real estate (e.g. purchase agreement, donation agreement, judicial decision).

Lease agreement - a contract under which the landlord lets a thing to the tenant against remuneration, for temporary use of or benefit from it (for an agreed period). 

Rent - remuneration, or consideration for use of a thing on the basis of a lease agreement. Based on the lease agreement, the tenant temporarily uses the thing owned by the landlord.

Tenant - a natural or legal person who is entitled to use a thing (the subject of lease) in the manner specified in the agreement; appropriate to the nature and purpose of the thing.

Proposal for entry in the Land Register - an  application from the parties to a legal act, addressed to the land registry office to initiate proceedings to allow the entry of the right in the Land Register.

Non-residential space - a room or set of rooms which, according to the decision of the building authority, are intended for purposes other than housing. These are mainly studio flats, art studios, other studios, offices, business rooms, warehouses, garages.

Real estate - are lands and buildings connected to the ground by a solid foundation.

New building - newly-built real estate sold by a developer or real estate less than 10 years old from its use approval.

Register C land plot - land plots shown in the land registry map.

Register E land plot - these are the original land plots from the land-book insert or land plots shown on the older maps, which show the original real estate properties on the map of the designated dossier. 

Seal on the title deed - signals a legal act concerning the given real estate. There are two basic types of seals - a seal marked by the letter Z (record) or a seal marked by the letter V (entry).

Joint co-ownership - the sign is a co-ownership share expressing the ideal ratio of the co-owner’s participation in the rights and obligations arising from co-ownership of the shared thing. When selling a co-ownership share, the other co-owners have a pre-emptive right. 

Floor area - the sum of the floor areas of all rooms in the apartment or rooms and corridors in the interior of the building. When calculating the co-ownership share in the common parts, facilities and accessories of the building pertaining to the apartment or non-residential space, the total area is calculated exclusive of the loggia or balcony.

Sublease - arises on the basis of a sublease agreement, when the tenant sub-lets, with the landlord’s consent, the real estate or part of it to another tenant for temporary use.

Multifunctional building - a building primarily intended for non-residential purposes, such as administration and office services, and it is a building in which more than half of the floor space is intended for these purposes.

Land - a part of the ground surface separated from neighbouring parts by the boundary of a zoning-administrative unit or land registry area, the boundary of ownership, tenure, types of land or the border line of the method of land use.

Note - it is a type of record in the Land Register. Notes are acts of the land registry, which are intended to indicate the facts or relationship relating to the real estate or person and which do not affect the creation, change or termination of the right.

Legal personality - capacity to have rights and obligations. The possibility granted by law to entities (natural and legal persons) to be the bearer of rights and obligations. We distinguish between the capacity to have rights and obligations that arises at birth and expires upon death, and the capacity to perform legal acts, which arises upon reaching full age.

Legal entity - (Slovak abbreviation: PO) a person (e.g. a business company, an association with legal personality, a municipality) having the capacity to perform legal acts from the effective date of its entry in the register in which it is incorporated, unless set out otherwise by a special law.

Seller - a natural or legal person that sells and transfers a thing (movable or immovable, apartment or non-residential space) or services in exchange for funds.

Landlord  - a natural or legal person who on the basis of a lease agreement lets a thing to the tenant against remuneration, for temporary use or benefit from it (for an agreed period).

Foreclosure notice - a situation where, despite the lender’s demand, the borrower defaults on the agreed loan conditions, and thereby loses the benefit of the provision of repayments, and where the lender proceeds to recover its claim in full and in a single amount from the borrower.

Pre-emptive right - the right of prior offer for purchase. In the case of sale, the entitled person has the right to be offered as first the item for purchase. The pre-emptive right arises on the basis of law (e.g. in the case of co-ownership shares) or on the basis of an agreement.

Loan accessories - agreed interest and fees in connection with the loan granted.

Apartment accessories - these are ancillary rooms and areas designed to be used with the apartment.  

Mortgage refinancing - one-off amortisation (repayment) of a mortgage loan through a new mortgage loan, usually at another bank.

Reconstruction - restoration to its original form or condition, more often reconstruction associated with modernisation.

APRC - Annual Percentage Rate of Charge - is the most important indicator of the cost of a loan for consumers. It expresses the overall interest rate of a loan or credit, taking into account not only the interest but also other fees relating to the loan.

Guarantee - the guarantor entity undertakes, by a unilateral written statement, the obligation to satisfy the lender’s claim arising from the credit relationship in the event that the borrower fails to do so.

Guarantor - a natural or legal person who is required to pay a claim to the lender if the borrower fails to do so.

Association of apartment owners - a legal person that is competent to exercise rights and make commitments only in matters related to the management, operation and repairs of the common parts and equipment of the building. It holds the status of a management company, but the management in this case is independently carried out by the owners of apartments and of non-residential premises.

Common parts of a building - parts of a building necessary for its essence and safety, especially the foundations of the house, roofs, corridors, perimeter walls, facades, entrances, staircases, common terraces, attics, lofts, horizontal load-bearing and insulating structures, and vertical load-bearing structures.

Common facilities of a building  - mean those facilities intended for common use and that serve exclusively this building, even if located outside the building. These facilities include in particular elevators, laundry and boiler rooms, including technological equipment, drier rooms, pushchair rooms, common television aerials, lightning conductors, chimneys, water, heat, sewer, electric, telephone and gas connections.

Co-borrower - one who is willing to share (up to 100%) repayment of debt together with the borrower.

Consumer loan - a loan intended for a consumer for non-business purposes, usually for the purchase of consumer goods or for the payment of a certain type of service (study, holiday).

Brokerage agreement - an agreement on the basis of which a broker carries on an activity so that customers have the opportunity to enter into a certain agreement with a third party, whereupon the broker is remunerated for such activity.

Building savings - is a purpose-built, state-supported product of building societies, the aim of which is to obtain funds for the purchase, construction or reconstruction of housing. Building savings consists of the savings phase and, when the conditions have been met, the client obtains a building loan.

Standard (of an apartment) - furnishing of an apartment to a ‘standard’ means that it is usually fitted with floors, sanitary facilities in the bathroom and toilet, entrance and interior doors, wall plaster and radiators. The opposite of standard is the lockup stage.

ÚPI -  zoning-planning information. A document issued by the relevant building authority informing about the rules of use for a certain area or a specific plot of land.

Interest - the lender’s remuneration for lending funds.

Interest on arrears - the borrower’s penalty due to their default in fulfilling the financial obligation.

Officially certified signature - form of signature verification, where the verifying authority confirms that the signatory signed the document in front of them, or recognised the signature as their own. The document’s content is not verified, only whether the person signed the document in their own hand.

Escrow - an agreement, the subject of which is the safekeeping of a thing (usually money) and its release upon the pre-agreed conditions being met. The most common escrow is notarial escrow or bank escrow.

Loan commitment - a written promise from the bank that it will provide the client with a loan in the future after meeting the agreed conditions.

Loan account - an account in which the bank records the course of drawing and repaying the loan.

Zoning plan - zoning-planning documentation aiming at the rationalisation of the spatial and functional arrangement of an area in the country and its use. The zoning plan is decisive for whether lands can be used for construction, and thus also for their price.

Recognition of a signature as one’s own - additional verification of a person’s signature as their own on an earlier date stated on a particular document.

Usable area - relates to the actually usable area of the property, including all accessories (cellar, loggia, terrace).

Easement - a restriction on the property owner, who is obliged to tolerate something, to refrain from something or to do something. Such restriction also applies to the later owners of the given the real estate (easement IN REM) or the right expires at the latest through the death of the beneficiary (easement IN PERSONAM).

Pledge - the binding, blocking of a deposit, or other performance in favour of a third party, for example a condition for drawing a mortgage is the insurance of the mortgaged real estate and the pledge of the insurance indemnity in favour of the mortgage bank.

Registration entry - the type of record of a right to a real estate on the basis of a decision of the land registry office to allow the entry of the right, resulting in the creation, change or termination of the right to the real estate. This concerns primarily rights arising under agreements.

General business conditions (GBC) - the terms and conditions of the relationship between the parties, which are not set out in the agreement but complement it and are of a more general nature.

Loan security - a legal instrument used to cover losses in the event of the borrower’s inability to repay the loan. In the case of mortgage loans, the only possible way of securing a claim is a lien on real estate. Other ways may include e.g. a bill of exchange or guarantee – in the case of mortgage loans these serve only as additional security.

Lien - a legal instrument used to secure a claim (e.g. a mortgage loan) and its accessories until it is fully repaid. In providing security for a mortgage loan, a lien is established on the basis of the permission allowing the entry of the lien in the Land Register on the basis of a concluded lien agreement between the lien pledgee (financial institution) and the lien pledgor (client).

Lien pledgee - the lender which accepted the collateral from the pledgor for securing the lien pledgor’s liability.

Lien pledgor - a person who borrows funds at a bank and provides security for their liability toward the lender by means of collateral.

Pledgor - a person who owns the real estate at the time of establishing the lien. This person may be different from the lien pledgor.

Record entry - this is a type of record in the Land Register. A record entry is used to make a record on the creation, change or cessation of a right, provided that such circumstances occurred by law on the basis of a decision of a court or state authority, on the fall of the hammer of the auctioneer at a public auction, or the deletion of a currently established encumbrance.

Mortgage security - a loan must be secured by real estate in the Slovak Republic, recorded in the Land Register, by establishing a lien on the real estate and its insurance against damage and destruction.

Valuer’s opinion - assessment of the value of the real estate by an expert witness; for the purposes of a mortgage loan, the valuer’s opinion may be prepared by any expert witness from the relevant department.

Loan applicant - a natural person who is of full age, having the capacity to perform legal acts, and with permanent residence in the territory of the Slovak Republic. The applicant may be one or more persons, and the applicant may also be a legal entity.