Croatia is a Central European and Mediterranean country, bordering Slovenia in the west, Hungary in the north, Serbia in the east and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the south; the country also has a long maritime border with Italy in the Adriatic Sea.
These borders total 2,028 km altogether. Croatia has an unusual shape (similar to a croissant) that is unlike any other country in the world, which comes as a result of five centuries of expansion by the Ottoman (Turkish) empire towards Central Europe (although Croatia was never conquered by the Turks).
Most of Croatia has a moderately warm and rainy continental climate as defined by the Köppen climate classification. Mean monthly temperature ranges between −3 °C (27 °F) (in January) and 18 °C (64 °F) (in July).
The coldest parts of the country are Lika and Gorski Kotar where snowy forested climate is found at elevations above 1,200 metres (3,900 feet). The warmest areas of Croatia are at the Adriatic coast and especially in its immediate hinterland characterised by the Mediterranean climate, as the temperature highs are moderated by the sea.
Any EU foreigners can buy without permission but anyone outside the EU will have to get pre approval from the authorities
Most importantly, take professional advice and only deal with established and reputable agents. This means they are registered as a "Nekretnine", under a name ending with the symbol “d.o.o”.
Their charges for viewing and sales commission should be readily available; typically these range from 3-6%. They should invest time in checking the title of properties before listing them and they should have a track record of having successfully sold to non-Croatians.Ensure you have your own lawyer and are not sharing the vendor’s advisor. More often than not Estate Agents will come with their own solicitor.
WARNING Sometimes you will find that the same solicitor is acting for you and the vendor, which can lead to a conflict of interest. Budget for total professional fees (Agent, Lawyer, Surveyor) of between 7-10% due to the complications involved in an emerging market. Property Type-Complications can occur with older property where title may be unclear but as long as you take independent professional advice then the process is getting easier all the time.
Land Purchases The GUP (General Urbanistic Plans) and DUP (Detailed Urbanistic Plans) are still not approved for the Dubrovnik Region and for many other areas in Croatia. As it stands, any land offered for sale can be re-zoned with out any consultation with the owners of that land. This can and does cause problems. Ensure the property has a clean title. Particularly with older properties the records are often out-of-date and inconsistent, with poor linkages between the property registers (usually located in the first instance in courts) and the cadastral (Land registry).
Property was often sold by simple contracts among local people and consequently never recorded in the Land Registry. This means the deceased can still show as owning the property in the Land Registry! Was planning permission gained? Provided no neighbour objected at the time, a surprising amount of buildings and extensions go up in Croatia, without the benefit of planning permission. Usually no one says anything, but as a foreigner you will need to produce correct documentation for the Foreign Ministry permission.
Also, you should obtain a full Land and Property survey. The purchasing method The key decision is whether to buy as a private individual or as Croatian Company. Obtain the best advice available for this decision. (Read our article “Choosing the purchase method” for more detailed information). Permission As a foreigner you have to apply for a permission to own. For Brits and most EU countries this is automatic. However, the time for this to arrive depends on the purchase method: 8-12 weeks with a company, 12-30 months privately. Ensure that your solicitor puts a clause in the contract saying that if you do not get permission you can sell the property (possibly to your own company) and keep the money received. Satisfy yourself that the solicitor has sent your application promptly - you could ask to see proof of posting.
Any delay may suggest problems. Tax When you are the legal owner you will pay 5% Real Estate Transfer Tax.
For properties built after 31/12/97 then VAT is payable, but is usually quoted in the total sales price
5% Real Estate Transfer Tax and Potentially up to 4% to the Agent for commission
There isn't any rent control in Croatia, so rents are freely agreed between you and your landlord. The same happens with the duration of the contract, although usually contracts are a year long. After the contract expires it is automatically renewed for the same amount of time, unless you or the landlord notify in writing 30 days before.
You cannot make changes to the house/flat, common areas and devices without previous consent of your landlord. You must also inform the landlord of any necessary reforms or mending in the house/flat and common rooms, and he must pay for those reforms. In Croatia, there isn't a maximum deposit.
Landlords usually ask for a one or two month's deposit. If the contract is a long term contract, landlords may ask you to pay for up to three months' rent in advance.
Agents ask in the region of one months rent