Real property registration

Real property registration

  • A real property is any subset of legally defined land, including any things attached to it, natural or man-made, such as vegetation, buildings and other construction, as well as any defined rights to it.

    Furthermore, a real property can refer to any privately owned share in a jointly held property, such as a multi-owner building, if it is described in a legal joint ownership agreement.

    Subdivision of land

    A subdivision of land is applied for at the appropriate municipality office. The application needs to be accompanied with a lot map, showing surveyed boundary points along with their coordinate values. 

    Changes in access addresses must be decided on right away when applying for a subdivision of land (see information below). The number of access addresses needed and their connection to a street should portray the planned land use and construction in that land. First and foremost, the access addresses should portray planned entrances to buildings, as each main entrance will need its own access address.

    As of 2013, subdivisions are registered in the Icelandic Cadastral map. Alongside keeping up with new registration, we are in the process of digitizing property boundaries registered prior to 2013. As a result, the Cadastral map is slowly, but surely gaining more coverage each day. 

    The Cadastral map data is available for download free of charge as a shape file. 

    Application to register new real properties (only in Icelandic)

    Registration based on joint ownership agreement

    Single units (such as an apartment) in a multi-owned building or land can gain the status of a separate real property if described in a legal joint ownership agreement. Registration is applied for at the appropriate municipality office. The agreement itself is legally notarized at the respective district commissioner. 

    Application to register real properties in a multi-owned building (only in Icelandic)

    Fee for subdivision and new registration is determined by the price list of Registers Iceland effective at the time of application. 

  • Merger is applied for at the proper municipality office. A declaration of ownership of the respective real property needs to be notarized for a merger to take effect, unless all respective real property is solely owned by the same right-holder.

    Furthermore, if different lean holders hold interest in the properties involved, the position of liens needs to be agreed on and the agreement notarized.

    Merger of real property based on joint ownership agreement

    Merging real properties in a multi-owned building requires a new joint ownership agreement to be made.

    Land merger

    Land merger is applied for at the respective municipality office by handing in a lot map, showing surveyed boundary points along with their coordinate values. If all land parcels involved have already been surveyed, other rules may apply. 

    Merger is free of charge in regard to Registers Iceland

  • Change in registration is applied for at the respective municipality office. Note that changes in registration do not include registration of new real property.

  • If you plan on having your property surveyed we recommend contacting a land surveyor or engineering company for information.

    The Cadastral map portrays recent surveys that have been registered at the municipality involved. Chances are that the municipality holds information on surveys conducted prior to the digitalization of the Cadastral map. As for farmsteads, the most up-to-date information are in most cases old boundary descriptions made about a century ago. These are kept in books called “Landamerkjabækur” and can be accessed at the district commissioner, or online at Jarðavefur þjóðskjalasafnsins (only in Icelandic.)

  • An access address contains both descriptive and geographical information on a location. The descriptive information is similar to the common understanding of an address, e.g. municipality or area name, street name and number etc. The geometrical information refers to geographical coordinate.

    Access addresses are useful in all sorts of registration regarding people, businesses and real property, places of interest and more. Access addresses are constantly being used or utilized by the general public, either directly or through various institutions and companies, e.g. the authorities, emergency services, researchers, utilities companies and others. 

    An access address is simply a destination. It leads anyone in need to the entrance of a building or another kind of access. Any one real property can need numerous access addresses, but a single access address can never represent but a single real property. For example in a multi-owner building, each stairway can have its own access address. 

    The access address register contains at least one access address for 94% of registered real property in Iceland and is available for download free of charge.

  • The Icelandic register of notarized farmsteads is issued every year by Registers Iceland, in accordance to the 26th article of the “Jarðalög” Act no. 81/2004. The register holds information on all registered farmstead as of the end of previous year.
    See Reports under Lögbýlaskrá (Icelandic only)