The good news is that there is a lot of quality affordable property available throughout the country that can generate long-term passive income for you.
Besides, owning a property in the country would allow you to extend your stay, especially if you plan to get a PR card or EU citizenship.
In this guide, we are going to give you the step-by-step process on how you can purchase property in Croatia as a Foreigner [Third country nationals and EU citizen].
Who can buy property according to Croatian law?
All foreign citizens can buy real estate in Croatia, but different procedures apply to citizens from the EU and third-country nationals.
EU citizens can purchase the property the same way as Croatians. Foreign nationals from the EU enjoy the same rights and undergo the same process used by the country’s citizens when acquiring real estate. This procedure also extends to Brexit and UK citizens living in Croatia.
Before you gain a complete transfer of ownership, the property purchase must be vetted and approved by the Croatian Ministry of Justice. The process can take up to five months, but without their permission, you cannot claim ownership of the property.
Once your purchase is approved by the Ministry of Justice, the acquisition can be completed, registered, and complete the transfer of ownership.
Third-country nationals and foreigners that come from a country outside the European Union would have to purchase real estate under the principle of reciprocity and permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The principle of reciprocity is an agreement between Croatia and other countries outside the EU to regulate property purchases. If your home country has signed a reciprocity agreement with Croatia, you can buy the property.
Third-country nationals that own land can live in Croatia for up to 9 months in a calendar year. An important thing you should keep in mind is that only Croatian citizens can purchase and acquire agricultural land and forests. Foreign residents cannot acquire agricultural land until 2023.
If you encounter any problem while purchasing property in Croatian like disapproval from the Croatian Ministry of Justice or the absence of a reciprocity agreement with your home country, you should establish a company and purchase the property as the company.
Croatian companies possess the same rights enjoyed by Croatian legal entities regardless of the founder/owner nationality.
Foreigners are allowed to purchase some types of real estate property, which allows. However, limitations and additional requirements depend on where you are from.
How to buy residential real estate in Croatia
Now that you know that you can purchase property, the next step is to find a property you like. You can reach out to your friends living in Croatia, use online listings like Njuškalo, or find a vetted real estate agent in your chosen location. If you want a more personalized search, shoot us a mail to get a quote.
We have a long list of properties available for personal and commercial use. Once you’ve found a property you like, here are the steps you need to follow to legally acquire it.
1 Validate it using property records
The first and most important thing you must do first before you’ve to purchase real estate is to check the records to get essential details like:
- Owner Name(s)
- Owner OIB(s)
- Size in square meters
- Purpose of the property
- Owner registered address(s)
- Any burdens or rights to the real estate
- Check if the property is zoned as residential or agricultural
2. Prepare the pre-contract
Once everything concerning the property looks fine on the public records, you should proceed to draft a contract. There are two major types of contracts used in the country: pre-contract and full contract.
The pre-contract is like a formal letter that outlines your intending while the buying contract outlines details and conditions for the purchase to be completed.
You should make at least three notarized copies of every contract you draft: one for the seller, the buyer, and the government. Once everything is in order, you can proceed to pay for the real estate.
3. Request permission to buy from the Ministry of Justice [Ministarstvo Pravosuđa]
Before foreigners can acquire real estate, they must get a file and register their intention with the Ministry of Justice. This process is important because it allows the government to check for existing reciprocity agreements and vet the buyer before releasing the property to him/her. The procedure cost about 35 Kuna.
The ministry will use 60 days to review your application and have the right to either approve or deny it. You’ll need to file your application with the following documents.
- Proof of the citizenship of buyer (ID card or international passport)
- Certificate from the land registry
- Original certification from Upravni odjel za graditeljstvo i prostorno uređenje
- Notarized copy of the pre-contract or full contract
4. Register purchase with land registry [Uređena Zemlja]
Within 60 days of getting approval and certification from the Ministarstvo pravosuđa, you must register the purchase with the land registry and file your property taxes.
You need to pay 250 Kuna to register your property with this agency. If you fail to register the land registry after 60 days, the fee would increase to 1.050 Kuna.
When registering the purchase with the Croatian land registry, you must provide the following documents:
- Proof of the citizenship of buyer (ID card or passport)
- Full notarized contract
- Decision on approval to buy from Ministarstvo pravosuđa
- Certification from Upravni odjel za graditeljstvo i prostorno uređenje
- The original power of a Croatian attorney can receive your mails if you do not live in Croatia.
Once your application has been approved by the land registry, you will be listed as the new owner of the land and can request a copy of the certificate of ownership.
Whether or not you are a foreigner, you should always involve an experienced real estate lawyer when buying property in Croatia to avoid being swindled or violating a law. You can contact us for a referral.