Changes in transactions with agricultural land in force from 1 August 2014.
The Latvian legislator has amended the law “On land privatisation in rural areas” so that from now not only Latvian citizens and registered legal entities will be able to acquire real estate, but also private individuals and legal entities from European Union Member States, European Economic Area States and the Swiss Confederation. Regardless of this, however, the legislator has introduced restrictions on certain transactions with agricultural land. In order to acquire agricultural land, private individuals and legal entities have to prove certain criteria – relevant professional education, prior activities and income from agricultural production, clear information on the true beneficiaries and the absence of tax debts. In addition, each private individual or legal entity will be able to acquire ownership of up to 2000 ha of agricultural land. However, municipalities will have the right to set the maximum area of agricultural land that one private individual or legal entity can own within their administrative areas, but no more than 2000 ha. There is also a new procedure for acquiring agricultural land, so that a person who meets the criteria in order to be able to acquire agricultural land must first apply to the municipality of the territory in which the land is located. In the application the person has to certify that the land will be used only as agricultural land. The transaction deed and a document certifying that person’s right to own land also has to be attached to the application. After reviewing the application the municipality will decide whether or not to allow an applicant to acquire agricultural land.
Source: Law “On land privatisation in rural areas”