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Legal Regulation of Land Turnover in Georgia

Discover all the details of Georgian land law in our new guide. Learn about the key laws regulating the purchase, ownership, and use of land
May 8, 2024
Shalva Giorgadze, Partner, Barister
In Georgia, the land legislation has undergone significant changes, especially after the restoration of independence. Understanding these laws is crucial for both local residents and foreign investors, as land is a key resource that impacts the economic development of the country and offers numerous opportunities for business operations.

Georgian land Lawhas evolved from strict state control to a more liberal policy that facilitates the development of private ownership and the land market.

Key Legislative Acts:

Civil Code of Georgia:
  • Regulates the basis of the ownership rights on immovable property
Organic Law of Georgia on Agricultural Land Ownership:
  • Defines the rules for owning and using agricultural lands, including restrictions for foreign citizens and legal entities.
Law of Georgia on Determination of the Designated Purpose of Land and on Sustainable Management of Agricultural Land:
  • Regulates the issues related to the intended use of land, defines the categories of agricultural land and the rules for their change, the principles of sustainable management of agricultural land.
Local Self-Government Code:
  • Specifies the role of local authorities in controlling the use of land resources
Spatial Planning, Architecture, and Construction Activities Code:
  • Details the procedures for land use planning, construction, and architectural design.

Classification and General Characteristics of Land Plots in Georgia

Land plots in Georgia are divided into various categories and purposes depending on their geographical location, natural characteristics, and legislatively established designation. Zoning determines the possibilities for land use, including construction and other types of activities.
Classification and General Characteristics of Land Plots in Georgia
Each category of land has its own characteristics in terms of property rights, usage possibilities, and restrictions:
  • Agricultural Plots:
    These lands are intended both — for agrarian and for message use. Farming, livestock breeding, and the cultivation of agricultural crops are permitted for agrarian zones and building of living houses are permitted in message zones. Foreign investors face restrictions when acquiring these lands.
  • Non-Agricultural Plots:
    This category includes lands for the construction of apartment buildings, industrial facilities, roads, offices, and tourism infrastructure. Construction is possible according to urban planning norms and development plans.
  • Specially Protected Areas:
    Protected lands include national parks and reserves where all activities are strictly regulated to preserve natural resources and biodiversity.
  • Zones with Special Status:
    Resort and historical-cultural zones have special conditions for development and protection. Construction in these zones is allowed only according to special projects that must meet strict environmental and cultural heritage protection requirements.

Land Registration and Property Rights, Changing Land Categories

Land ownership registration in Georgia, as well as encumbrances on land parcels, is carried out through the National Agency of Public Registry. By default, all undistributed land parcels are state property until the contrary is documented and, if they lack buildings, are classified as agricultural lands. In Georgia, there is a possibility to privatize land parcels, change the land category. We will discuss these and other methods of acquiring rights on land parcels and the types of transactions with land in a separate article.
You can select the land plot you are interested in on the map of Georgia and we will conduct its legal review.
It may be usefull:

Special Conditions for Foreign Investors

Foreign citizens and foreign companies are prohibited from owning agricultural lands, which is related to the need to protect national interests and agricultural resources of the country.

A physical person NOT being a citizen of Georgia may acquire agricultural land only through inheritance (either by law or by will).

Legal entities with foreign partners can own agricultural lands only if the dominant partner of such a company (owning more than 51% of the equity) is a citizen of Georgia or a company owned by a Georgian citizen.

The turnover of other lands (non-agricultural) is not restricted but may be subject to additional requirements and conditions, as in the cases with lands of the forest and water fund.

Conclusion

Understanding Georgian land Lawopens significant opportunities for investing and developing businesses, especially in the agrarian and construction sectors. The laws provide both protection of property rights and regulatory mechanisms to ensure sustainable development of land resources.

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MARIA GUSEINOVA
Leading Manager of Commercial Department