By the end of the 14th century
Lithuania was the largest state in
Europe. An alliance with Poland in 1386 led the two countries into a
union through the person of a common ruler. In 1569,
Poland formally united into a single dual state, the Polish-Lithuanian
Commonwealth. This entity survived until 1795, when its remnants were
partitioned by surrounding countries. Lithuania regained its
independence following World War I but was annexed by the USSR in 1940 -
an action never recognized by the US and many other countries. On 11
March 1990, Lithuania became the first of the Soviet republics to
declare its independence, but Moscow did not recognize this proclamation
until September of 1991 (following the abortive coup in Moscow). The
last Russian troops withdrew in 1993.
restructured its economy for integration into Western European
institutions; it joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.
Lithuania in the EU including links to Lithuanian government sites
and Tourist Information.
Lithuania is the southernmost of the three
Baltic states – and the
largest and most populous of them. The Lithuanian landscape is
predominantly flat, with a few low hills in the western uplands and
eastern highlands. The highest point is Aukštasis at 294 metres.
Lithuania has 758 rivers, more than 2 800 lakes and 99 km of the
Sea coastline, which are mostly devoted to recreation and nature
preservation. Forests cover just over 30% of the country.
Vilnius, is a picturesque city on the banks of the rivers Neris and
Vilnia, and the architecture within the old part of the city is some of
Eastern Europe’s finest.
Vilnius university, founded in 1579, is a
renaissance style complex with countless inner courtyards, forming a
city within the city.
housing stock was rapidly privatized after the re-foundation of the
State of Lithuania on March 11, 1990. Today 97.6% of the housing stock
is in private ownership. The rental sector is very small - if one
excludes the 8% of the population who live in buildings owned by
friends, only 3% rent from a private landlord, according to Statistics
Lithuania (though the Free Market Institute’s Household Study produces
Except for agricultural lands, there are virtually no restrictions in
foreign ownership of land in
There have been instances of some resale
homes being sold without the correct title deeds, but this is not a
problem that can not be avoided with the use of an
solicitor. Be aware that the purchase contract is highly likely to be in
the local language, so if your solicitor is not bilingual you will need
to arrange for a professional translation.
sale agreement of any property must be certified by a notary. Failure to
notarize an agreement makes it null and void. Transfer of property is
documented by an act of transfer-acceptance signed by both seller and
buyer. It is worthwhile to note, however, that the registration of the
agreement on the Property Register is not a precondition to its
takes an average of three days to complete the three procedures needed
to register a property in
Failure to notarize the sale/purchase agreement makes the transaction
null and void by law.
Registration of sale/purchase agreement is not mandatory. However, to
protect the interest of both parties, registration with the Property
Register is highly recommended. Registration typically takes 14 days,
but it can be expedited by paying a surcharge on the normal table of
fees which are quite reasonable.
Usually, estate agent's fees are typically 1.5% to 3.0% of the purchase
price, plus 18% VAT.
Notary fees are 1%.
fees of €100 (£90), valuation fees of €100 (£90), mortgage arrangement
fees of one per cent, and relevant insurance costs. A two per cent
purchase tax will also need to be paid before the property is registered
at the land registry.
New buildings, defined as buildings sold within 24 months of completion
or improvement, are subject to 18% VAT.
Local mortgages are available at competitive rates, usually from around
3.5 per cent, and finance is available for up to 100 per cent of the
purchase price – although 85 to 90 per cent is more common. The mortgage
market is a highly competitive one as more locals
benefits of such financing options, though global credit restrictions
have caused the stream of credit to slow considerably.
The loan issued will depend on your ability to repay the mortgage, as
well as the type of property that you are hoping to secure it against,
and it will be conditional upon the property being correctly insured.
You may find it easier to get a mortgage on a new home but all
properties, even if they are new build, will have to pass a bank
valuation. However, be aware that terms and conditions change depending
on how many properties you own. Local banks are unlikely to lend more
than 50 per cent LTV (loan to value) for any successive properties.
Rents can be freely negotiated between the landlord and the
tenant. On renewal of a tenancy contract, the tenant has the
right to first refusal. If he cannot agree terms with the
landlord, he may go to court for arbitration of the amount of
tenant must pay the rent not later than the 20th calendar day of
the following month, unless other periods are provided in the
Deposits; The landlord cannot ask for more than the first month
lease for more than one year must be in written form. If the
period is not stated in the contract, the contract is deemed to
be for an indefinite period.
expiration the tenant has the priority right to renew for a new
term, and for the same duration, except where the previous
contract exceeded twelve months. In that case the contract is
renewed for twelve months, unless the parties agree otherwise.
landlord may propose modifying the lease conditions, including
the contract term and rent amount, in writing, not later than
three months and not earlier than six months before expiry of
the contract of lease (or where the lease is for a term shorter
than 12 months, not later than one month before the expiry of
tenant disagrees, he must inform the landlord in writing within
a month, otherwise he shall be deemed to have agreed, and he
shall have the right within a month of receiving notification to
apply to the court for the determination of the conditions of
the contract of lease through judicial proceedings.
tenant can dissolve the lease by warning the landlord in writing
a month in advance.
right of occupancy is enjoyed by the lessee’s family members.
landlord may evict the tenant:
- If the tenant fails to
pay rent or the utilities for at least three months
- If the tenant or his
family or other co-residents destroy or damage the dwelling
- If they create
conditions which make it impossible for persons in the
immediate area to lead a normal life
such cases, the landlord does not have to provide an alternative
crisis 2008/09: Lithuania’s
house prices continue to fall, with the economy stagnating and
the credit markets are freezing.
After enormous price increases from 2003 to 2006, Lithuania’s
residential property prices peaked in early 2007, and then
stayed flat until the first quarter of 2008. After that, the
house price bubble started to deflate.
In Q4 2008, the average price of newly constructed apartments in
Central Vilnius with full finish was €2,640 per sq. m., down
22.4% from a year earlier. Given Lithuania’s high inflation, the
average price actually dropped 29% in real terms.
The average price of renovated old 1-room apartments in central
Vilnius also dropped by 20% y-o-y (a fall of 27% in real terms)
to €2,520 per sq. m. in Q4 2008.
The housing deflation was evident all over
Vilnius, prices for flats of old construction plunged by 23%; in Kaunas – by 15%; in Klaipeda – by 24%; in Siauliai – by 13%; and
in Panevezys – by 9%, according to reports by ELTA, the
Lithuanian News Agency.
The effects of the global financial meltdown, combined with
tighter credit conditions and government-imposed
anti-inflationary measures led to an economic slowdown and this
in turn has pushed house prices down.
Unless the government acts decisively, the housing market
stagnation is forecast to last until 2012.
Vendors, a Quick sale of your property