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Albania - Property Rights Just a ‘Click’ Away

June 24, 2014

World Bank Group

Tens of thousands of Albanians are finally securing rights to their property through a government-led program, at no cost. These new ownership rights allow people to buy or sell their land with less hassle, and less expense.

It used to take several trips – and lots of stress – getting the papers she needed to help clients buy and sell their property.

But now, Mimoza Sadushaj, an Albanian notary, has access to everything she needs – in minutes.

“The best thing is that we are saving time,” Mimoza said recently from her private office in Tirana, where she can finally access Albania’s land and property registration records online, for the very first time.

“Before, we had to go to back and forth to the land registry office two or three times,” she added.

The new online service is part of a government-led Land Administration and Management Project, aimed at helping Albania’s land and home owners to secure and better use their property rights, fundamental to creating well-functioning real estate markets.


" With one click we can see information, fill forms, everything! Before, it was harder, you had to work with hard copy. "

Bledor Shira

archivist, Property Registration office

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Mimoza Sadushaj, a notary, can now help her clients buy and sell their property, from her office, in minutes: she can finally access Albania’s land and property registration records online, for the very first time.

Photo/World Bank

Under this World Bank supported project, millions of Albania’s land records – previously only in paper form – have now been digitized and are part of a centralized information system used in nine of the country’s biggest and busiest property registration offices, which the project has also renovated.

“We have all the servers and all the infrastructure in the government data center here in Tirana, and everything is centralized and everything is controlled; all the data are in a secure place,” said Klarina Abazaj, a Development Team Leader in the main Property Registration office in Albania’s capital.


" It is good to be registered, because you can get credit to start other activities. "

Shpetim Pupreqi, 63


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The biggiest and busiest Immovable Property Registration Office located in Tirana was renovated by the World Bank supported project.

Photo/World Bank

The upgrades enable Klarina and other property registration staff to gain almost immediate access to the documents they need in order to process clients’ requests for ownership certificates and other titles.

“With one click we can see information, fill forms, everything! But before, it was harder, you had to work with hard copy,” said Bledor Shira, an archivist at the Property Registration office.

As part of the same project, an estimated 400,000 Albanians are getting their properties registered via a systematic registration process, supported by a public media campaign, and which includes the help of government-paid specialists who do all the necessary collecting of documents, free of cost.

The information is displayed in public areas around the country for 45 days, to allow owners and others to comment, or contest. Afterwards, it is sent to the local land registration offices, and becomes official.  

“It is good to be registered, because you can get credit to start other activities,” said 63 year old Shpetim Pupreqi, as he visited one of the public displays in the town of Kruja recently to check for information on his land. Shpetim said he was planning to use the property as collateral to get a bank loan and start a small business.

Shaqir Ismailaj, 64, was also at the display, but said he had different plans for his property: “I want to give it to my children,” he said.


Image

Millions of Albania’s land records - previously only in paper form - have now been digitized and are part of a centralized information system used in nine offices in the country.


Photo/World Bank
400,000
Albanians now get their property registered via a systematic registration process
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