The position of foreigners in legal property transactions in the Republic of Croatia
As far as acquisition of real-estate in Croatia is concerned, we have to discern between two facts: whether the purchaser is a Croatian citizen or a foreigner. Croatian citizens are not limited in legal transactions relating to real-estate (exception is property of common good which is not intended for sale and purchase).
The manner and possibilities to acquire real-estate in Croatia by foreign citizens, natural and legal persons, depend on their origin, i.e. whether they are from the EU or not.
What is common for all foreign citizens, regardless of their country of origin, is that they cannot acquire:
Property on excluded locations in order to protect the interests of the Republic of Croatia
Protected parts of nature
Woods and woodland areas
Legal and natural persons originating from the EU member countries can acquire real-estate under the same conditions valid for the Croatian citizens and Croatian legal persons.
Other natural and legal persons can acquire real-estate on the Croatian territory only if the reciprocity principle is met and if the Croatian Minister of Legal Affairs gives his approval for the act. If Croatia and the country of the purchaser’s origin possess the reciprocity agreement, meaning that the Croatian citizens can acquire property in that country, the Minister’s agreement is basically a formality.
If, on the other hand, there is no such agreement between the two countries, the purchaser can establish a company with its seat in Croatia which can, subsequently, acquire real-estate in Croatia. The most common form of company in Croatia is the limited liability company which can be established by a single person, who can also be its sole member.
In any case, when someone wishes to acquire real-estate in Croatia he/she is to do so by signing a special contract – contract on sale-purchase of real-estate. Depending on the agreement between the vendor and the purchaser, it is possible to sign a pre-contract preceding the actual sale-purchase contract by means of which the two parties agree on the key issues, the time-frame and the conditions to be met prior to the signing of the actual contract. It is common for the purchaser to make a down payment (10-20% of the real-estate value).
The vendor has to have his signature validated by a notary public and, having received the total payment from the purchaser, has to authorize the latter to make an entry of his ownership into the Land Registry run by a competent municipal court.
When all the necessary steps are taken by both sides, pursuant to the sale-purchase contract, the suggestion for transfer of ownership to the purchaser’s name is drafted and sent to the land registry run by a competent municipal court.
These guidelines serve only as basic information for potential purchasers. Our Agency will turn to our legal team for all the detailed information and will be at our clients’ disposal. We offer complete service to our clients, from review of the property’s documentation, to entry of into the Land Register and transfer of ownership.
Years of experience have given our professional team deep insight into the real-estate transactions, which is a guarantee of quality solution in every situation and in the shortest possible time.