Minister of Justice Rein Lang replied to the interpellation concerning the sale of places in notaries’ queues.
Mr. Lang explained that last December the Chamber of Notaries organised an opinion poll among notaries to investigate possible sale of notaries’ appointments. The results of the poll show that the notaries had so far noted only isolated cases and fought such phenomena as much as possible. “Notaries’ involvement in the sale of appointments was not established,” Minister of Justice affirmed. In the poll notaries referred to banks forwarding notaries’ appointments to enterprises as well as private persons. Real estate bureaus were also mentioned. Occasionally one real estate bureau books an appointment, but another real estate firm shows up with materials concerning immovable property transactions.
According to the Minister, the prohibition of reservation of fixed appointments would not be the right solution, because the majority of immovable property transactions are carried out with financing from credit institutions. Since all parties must be present in the notary’s office to certify a contract, purchase of an apartment usually requires the presence of five to six persons: the purchaser and the seller with spouses, representatives of a bank and the real estate bureau, which means that it would be much more complicated to find a suitable time for all those people without the reserved appointments of the banks and other parties, who use the notaries’ services repeatedly.
Mr. Lang introduced the introduced and planned steps. Minister thinks that a solution could be the propagation of the so-called waiting lists, whereby a client is registered, but can also request to be added to the waiting list in case an appointment becomes earlier available and it is possible to be informed of it one or two days in advance. According to Mr. Lang, more information concerning notaries’ activities should be given, including the fact that the amendment to the Act that entered into force this year gives notaries’ the right to consult clients beyond the authentication proceeding. People wishing to perform immovable property transactions, should be the first to take advantage of the possibility.
Minister stressed that the most important measure would be the improvement of accessibility of notaries’ services. The measures applied at the end of last year, primarily the propagation of waiting lists, the countermeasures to the speculation with appointments and setting up new notaries to the most overloaded regions, has contributed to shortening of queues, especially in Tallinn, where at the end of the year six new notaries went into practise. On the first week of May seven candidates will take notaries’ examination. Mr. Lang announced that during the second half of the present year could see the launch of the e-notaries’ system that would speed up the work of the notary’s offices’ and as well as different registrations and register procedures. The data between the notary’s offices and the state institutions, which would eliminate double input, would move electronically, Minister of Justice explained.
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On the motion of the Legal Affairs Committee the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Electronic Communications Act, Information Society Services Act, Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and Code of Misdemeanour Procedure (800 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was excluded from the agenda for the working week.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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