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The allodial rights act

Husmannsplass (Copyright: Oskar Puschmann, Skog og landskap)

Allodial right to a property is an old Norwegian legal tradition. Unlike other countries inheritance rights, Norwegian allodial right is a right to reclaim, not to inherit.

  • Several sets of rules

    An owner of an allodial property can sell or give the property to whom he or she wishes. Those with allodial rights cannot stop the sale. Allodial rights only give them a right to reclaim the property from the new owner.

    When an allodial property is sold, those with allodial rights can lay claim to the property through the court. The court will try the case and establish whether allodial rights can be used. The court will also decide the cost of reclaiming the property.

    The Allodial Rights Act has several sets of rules:

    • which properties can become allodial properties
    • who has allodial rights and how to rank them in order of priority
    • when and how to claim allodial rights
    • offering a property for sale – the only rule to establish before a sale whether allodial rights will be used
    • rules for surviving spouses/partners
    • procedure for claiming rights
    • rules for when the allodial rights are to be terminated

     

  • How does a property become an allodial property?

    There are two conditions that must be met. The property must be large enough, and a person must have owned it for a certain period of time.

    Only properties with at least 35 000 m2 cultivated land or at least 500 000 m2 productive forest can be allodial properties. If the cultivated land area or productive forest is too small, then it cannot be defined as an allodial property.

    In addition – one person in the family must have owned the property for 20 years. This will probably have been the case a generation or two ago and this condition must only be met once.

    The first person to own the property for 20 years, establishes allodial rights for him-/herself and his/her descendants.

     

  • Who has allodial rights?

    If the current owner has allodial rights, the children of the owner also have allodial rights. The grandchildren of the current owner may also have allodial rights. Siblings of the current owner may also have allodial rights. Nephews and nieces of the current owner do not have allodial rights. 

    There is no official registry for these rights. Among those with allodial rights there are rules of priority. Among the owner’s children, the eldest and his/her children have first priority, then the second eldest with his/her children and so on. Among siblings the elder will have higher priority than the younger.

     

  • How do you claim an allodial property?

    As explained, allodial right is a right to reclaim. It is only when the property changes owner that those with better allodial rights can claim the property.

    To do so, the claimant must file a law-suit at the district court against the new owner. The law-suit must be filed within 6 months of the date of the new owner’s registration at the Norwegian Mapping Authority. If the law-suit is filed too late then the property cannot be claimed.

    A law-suit can be filed earlier since not all new owners register. If there is no registration date, a law-suit can be filed up to 20 years from the date that the property changed owner.

  • Buying an allodial property – a few tips

    You can buy an allodial property but you should be aware that those with allodial rights have 6 months after your registration as the owner to reclaim the property.

    Since the cost of reclaiming the property is set by the court, this may lead to a loss for you. When buying, you should discuss options for limiting such a loss with the seller and the estate agent.

    The regulation: “On Offering to Sell” is a specific rule to establish before a sale whether allodial rights will be used. You should ask the estate agent if this rule has been used. If it has then there will be fewer with allodial rights that can claim the property.

  • How can I get more information?

    The Norwegian Agricultural Agency can answer general questions about the law. For instance we can explain the rules and procedures. The law has many exceptions. Sometimes older rules will apply as well. We can explain rules that apply for siblings, spouses, older exceptions etc.

    If you are in a conflict concerning allodial rights, you should seek legal advice. The Norwegian Agricultural Agency cannot help with specific cases.

  • When wondering about allodial rights…

    … there are three things about the property you should know:

    1. How much cultivated land and/or productive forest does it have? Ask the municipality if you are unsure.
    2. Who belongs to the current owners family? Make a family tree.
    3. Who has owned the property and when did they become owners. Go a few owners back and make notes of names and dates.

    This information will be helpful if you need to ask about specific rules for your case.

  • If someone use allodial rights to claim your property

    The Norwegian Agricultural Agency cannot help with specific cases. If you want to use allodial rights or if someone is presenting you with an allodial rights claim, we advise you to contact a lawyer.

    Formal procedures for an allodial rights claim will be through the courts. That is why we recommend that you contact a lawyer or a legal advisor if you find yourself in an allodial rights conflict.

    As a government agency we do not recommend specific lawyers. The Norwegian Bar Association has a page where you can search for lawyers by area of specification. This page is only in Norwegian: www.advokatenhjelperdeg.no