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Legal Requirements for Accessing the Land Register

In Germany, the access to the land register (Grundbuch) is regulated by the Grundbuchordnung (GBO). Here are the key legal requirements:

  1. Legitimate Interest: Only individuals or entities with a legitimate interest can access the land register. This includes:
    • Property owners.
    • Individuals with a real right to the property (e.g., mortgage, easement).
    • Prospective buyers with a genuine interest in purchasing the property.
    • Notaries, attorneys, and other professionals in the course of their duties.
  2. Application Process: Access must be requested from the relevant land registry office. This can be done in writing, in person, or electronically.
  3. Proof of Legitimate Interest: The applicant must provide evidence of their legitimate interest. For example, prospective buyers need to present a copy of the purchase offer or other relevant documents.
  4. Restrictions: Access can be denied if the legitimate interest is not sufficiently demonstrated or if the request is deemed abusive.
  5. Fees: There may be fees associated with accessing the land register, which are determined by the respective land registry office.

Grundbuchordnung (GBO)

The Grundbuchordnung provides the legal framework for the maintenance of the land register in Germany. It covers:

  • The establishment and maintenance of land registers.
  • The procedures for making entries.
  • The legal effects of entries and deletions.
  • The right to access the land register.

Procedure for Accessing the Land Register

  1. Application Submission: The interested party submits an application to the relevant land registry office.
  2. Application Review: The land registry office reviews the legitimate interest and the completeness of the documents.
  3. Access Grant: Upon approval, access to the land register is granted. This can be done on-site at the land registry office or electronically in some cases.

Special Cases

  • Heirs: Heirs can access the land register to verify their status. A certificate of inheritance or a will must be presented.
  • Foreclosure: Interested parties in a foreclosure auction have a legitimate interest and can access the land register of the concerned property.
  • Creditors: Creditors with an enforcement order against the property owner can access the land register to obtain information about the property.


Access to the land register is contingent on demonstrating a legitimate interest and must be requested from the land registry office. The process and associated costs are legally regulated and may vary. It is advisable to prepare necessary documentation and understand the process to ensure smooth access.

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