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Bulgarian Property and Transparency

Dnevnik reports on steps to improving transparency in property and real estate transactions in Bulgaria. The paper says that a public institution is to be established to handle money in property deals, although the legislation to set up the institution has yet to be passed. Dnevnik goes on to say that the system to be introduced is based on that which operates in France, where purchase funds will be sent to a central state-owned authority and subsequently transmitted to the vendor.

Monies will have to be paid by bank transfer and there will be a delay, whilst checks are being made as to the source of the money and any taxes deducted, before the final payment is sent on to the vendor. One has to applaud such an initiative as it will certainly assist in stopping scams and cash payments.

A further measure is the setting up of panels of experts in each region to evaluate property market values in order to prevent further money laundering, whereby a difference in the price paid through the state-run institution and the market value of more than 15% or so, would prompt investigation.

It will be interesting to see if and when all this comes into being. It would be a momentous step by Bulgaria to endeavour to combat the massive money laundering in the real estate sector, tax evasion and other property scams. It is also an excellent opportunity to instil trust into buyers of Bulgarian property.