Obtaining a town planning certificate before selling or purchasing a land
Generally, when we have to deal with a land - may we buy it or sell it? – we need a town planning certificate (urbanism certificate), besides all other verifications that one might make.
The town planning certificate is a document issued by the Town Planning (Urbanism) Section from the city hall competent where the land is located. This document shows the building parameters meaning: how much square meters you can build, what is the maximum height of a building, if there are building restrictions, how big can the footprint of the building be, if you have to withdraw from the margins of the land and what is the distance that you have to withdraw with, etc.
It is also very necessary because there might be cases in which the land was bough some time ago – five years, ten years – and in between, the surroundings changed and this document will show exactly how the asset is framed in the specific area.
A very tricky situation is the difference between the intravilan (inside the built-up area of the town/urban) and extravilan (outside the built up area of the town/ outside the city). If you need to build, the land must be intravilan. Because of the sometimes hectic urban development in Romania, some lands which used to be outside the city limits (extravilan) – meaning you could not build on them – passed in the urban area of the city (intravilan) through decisions of respective city halls as an effect of the enlargement of the city limits and, thus, they appear to be outside the city in the Real Estate Book (TABU) but factually they are very urban. This is another reason why, specifically for lands, such a town planning certificate should be issued before performing any transaction having it as object.
Business wise speaking, no serious investor will buy or sell a land without such a town planning certificate, because this document shows the real potential of the land. It is one thing to be able to build three blocks of flats having a height regime of 10 meters (meaning maximum 2 -3 floors) and a totally different thing to have a height regime of 25-30 meters. It is one thing to be able to build on 30% of the land and a totally different thing to be able to build on 60 or even 70% of the land. The town planning certificate shows you exactly this – how much profit you can make out of the land.
Also, the town planning certificate – if issued properly – can show you if certain building parameters of the area can be modified to suit best the bus and what documents are needed in order to be able to modify them.
In order to be able to issue such a document, one needs the help of an architect or engineer – a specialist in urbanism who can apply for the document and can understand its provisions.