1. May a contract be entered into based on a verified land registration file copy downloaded from the official Ministry of Justice web site?
For the time being, this cannot be done because, according to the current regulation, the data obtained in this way still has no probative force of a public document. Only the land registration excerpts issued and certified by a municipal court in the Republic of Croatia, irrespective of its local jurisdiction, enjoy the public trust and probative force of a public document. Furthermore, the same force rests with the land registration excerpts issued and certified by a lawyer or public notary or the excerpts that the citizens obtain through their user accounts in the e-Citizens system.
2. How and where can I obtain a land registration excerpt?
Official excerpts from the land registers (land registration or LRO excerpts) are issued by the municipal courts in the Republic of Croatia (land registry offices or land registries), irrespective of their local jurisdiction or the cadastral municipality containing the plot for which the excerpt is being requested. Land registration excerpts may also be obtained from a lawyer or public notary who has applied for this option and obtained it from the Ministry of Justice as well as the excerpts that the citizens obtain through their user accounts in the e-Citizens system. To obtain an excerpt you need to know the plot number and the cadastral municipality where the plot/parcel in question is located. If you do not know the plot number, you can obtain it by searching the alphabetic directory of owners in the land registry office or the governing cadastral office which keeps records of plot owners as well as of the location of plots on a cadastral map. If the property is located in a cadastral municipality where the land registry data and the cadastral data regarding the plot number do not match, and you only have the cadastral number, then you need to request plot identification from the cadastral office. The fee for issuing excerpts at a land registry office is 20 kuna per excerpt whereas the fee for other modes of issuing extracts is governed by the Rules and Regulations on Technical and Other Conditions of Electronic Business Operations at Land Registry Offices (Official Gazette no. 119/15).
3. What is the purpose of a land registration excerpt?
A land registration excerpt shows the factual and legal status of a property at the time of its issue. It is the only proof of ownership over a real property. All legal real estate transactions are carried out on the basis of a land registration excerpt (bequest, purchase, sale and mortgage contracts) but excerpts are also necessary as evidence in some other procedures (i.e. registering permanent or temporary residence, or effectuating another legal right).
4. Can I get a land registration excerpt for a plot which I do not own?
Yes, you can. Land registers are public registers and anyone can request access to them as well as obtain excerpts.
5. What is an application number (plomba)?
The application number indicates a received but pending case which serves as the basis for carrying out registration in the land register. The Ministry of Justice website only shows whether a land registration excerpt contains an application number (the so-called active application number), but not what this number refers to. When requesting a land registration court to issue an excerpt, it is possible to request an excerpt containing the application numbers showing who has submitted a registration application as well as the nature of the application.
6. Who may submit an application for land registration?
The Land Registration Act regulates the right to submit an application. In the case of a land registration application or pre-registration of a title, the application may be submitted by the person acquiring, modifying or relinquishing the land registration title. For example, in case of a sale or purchase, this is the buyer and the seller; in case of bequest, it is the donor and the recipient. When a registration application signifies a notation (for example, notation of litigation on land titles) the application may be submitted by a person who has a legal interest in the notation taking effect. The application for notation may be submitted by the person entitled to it under a special regulation (e.g. social aid centers in cases regulated by specific regulations - for complete or partial removal of the land registration holder's capacity to manage his/her own affairs or to record an extension of parental right; the governing state administration body to e.g. initiate proceedings of alienating the property and the like).
7. Who may represent the party in a land registration case?
The party in a land registration procedure may be represented by a lawyer, someone who has a business relationship to the party if the former is capable of managing his or her own affairs, and a direct relative such as brother, sister or spouse if they are capable managing his or her own affairs and not involved in any unauthorized legal aid representation. Exceptionally, the party may be represented by a public notary provided the application is directly related to a deed drafted by that public notary. When the application is submitted through a representative, it should be accompanied by a duly drafted power-of-attorney.
8. I have entered into a land purchase contract based on the possessor title certificate. May I register such a contract at the land registry?
Such a contract may be recorded in the land register only if the data in the contract fully match the data about the real property and title holder (seller) recorded in the land register. However, it often happens that, for example, a real property is bought based on the real property cadastre (possessor title certificate) or on some previously drafted public or private deeds (purchase or sale agreements, inheritance decisions, etc.), and then the purchase contract cannot be recorded in the land register. It is possible that the possessor and the owner of a plot are two different persons; it is also possible that the land data regarding the plot number or land area differ. Given that the proceedings in front of a land registration court are strictly formal, the court is obliged to pay due attention (inter alia) that the data about the real property and its owner, stated in such a contract, are identical to those in the land register and, if the data do not match, that the application for title registration based on such a contract can be rejected. In order to safeguard legal transactions, it is necessary that all legal transactions be made based solely on the data and the owner recorded in the land register.
9. What has to be kept in mind when drafting a contract transferring titles to a property?
When drafting a contract, one has to keep in mind that a) the data on the land title holder (recorded in the section marked on the excerpt with capital "B"-proprietorship section) be identical to the data stated in the seller's ID (for a natural person), or with the data recorded in the court register excerpt (for a legal entity) i.e. name, surname, domicile or seat of a legal entity. When a legal entity is the seller, it is obligatory to have a court register excerpt in order to ascertain who is authorized to sign the contract if the authorization has not been ascertained by a public notary pursuant to the stipulations of the Public Notary Act. If the data on the owner (seller, donor) are not identical to the ones from the personal ID or the court register, it is necessary to harmonize them before signing the contract. Furthermore, the data on the person acquiring the title (seller, recipient) must be stated correctly (according to a personal ID or the court register data). In order to avoid erroneous identification, it is recommended to state the date of birth for both parties, or the company ID for the legal entity. b) The real property data must be identical to land registration data (in the land registration excerpt, this is the section marked with a capital "A" - property section). The contract must contain the name of the cadastral municipality, the number of the land registration file, the land registration plot number, the land use and the exact plot area. Since a great number of cadastral municipalities in the RoC (for example, the area within the City of Zagreb) contain cadastral and land registration data that do not match, in the contract it is recommended to mention separately the land registration data and the real property cadastre data. If it is impossible to identify which land registration plot corresponds to the cadastral plot, it is necessary to carry out a data harmonization procedure. The identification data is issued by the body in charge of the real property cadastre. c) In the land registration excerpt, the section marked with a capital "C" - the encumbrances section - contains data on encumbrances of a real property. When drafting a contract for a real property with encumbrances, it is recommended to mention that the person acquiring the title is informed about the encumbrances registered.
10. How to change the data regarding the title holder's residence (address) in the land register?
If a natural person has changed residence since the time of the land registration, he/she needs to procure a confirmation from the governing police department about the change of residence, from which this change will be evident. A historical excerpt from the court register, issued by the governing commercial court, is binding for legal entities. If there the street changed its name based on a municipal or city decision published in the Official Gazette or through other means provided by the law, the land registration court will record the change based on such a municipal or city decision, but only at the party's request. A fee of 50 kuna is charged for the application for changing the residence.
11. How to change the data regarding the name and/or surname or the name of the legal entity?
The data regarding the name/surname of a natural person may be changed based on the birth certificate issued by the governing birth registry. The birth certificate contains all relevant data about the person (date of birth, parents' names, marital status). If the legal entity has changed its name or structure, it is necessary to submit a historical excerpt from the governing commercial court register. A fee in the amount of 50 kuna is charged for the application to change the name, surname or the name of the company.
12. I bought a 200 m2 house, but a 400 m2 plowfield is registered in the land register. How to register in the land register if the data in the cadastre and the land register do not match?
If the land register and cadastre contain non-harmonized data on the property, it is necessary to carry out the harmonization procedure for the cadastral and land registration status. It is necessary to submit the Application Report for the land register, forwarded by the governing cadastral office to the land registry (the parties usually refer to the Application Report as the "harmonization draft"). First, it's necessary to go to the cadastre in order to obtain the Application Report for the land register and after implementing the Application Report in the land register and harmonizing the status of land registration and of the cadastre, the land registration court decides on acquiring titles to a property subject to the purchase contract. The land registration court can allow the transfer of property only for the real property which is registered in the land register.
13. LDB (Land Database)
Land Database (LDB) consists of cadastral data on the name of the cadastral municipality, cadastral parcel number, shape, surface area, degree of development and land use as well as land registry data on title holders, legal facts and personal relations. In Land Database, cadastral data are under the jurisdiction of bodies in charge of the cadastre, while land registration courts are responsible for data on title holders, legal facts and personal relations.
14. SLR (Special Legal Regimes)
Special Legal Regimes (SLR) are data established on the cadastral parcel and recorded as a special data layer based on official documents.
15. DS (Cadastral Map Detailed Sheet) is a component of the cadastral map created as a result of its systematic division into sheets, usually of the same format.
An analogue cadastral map of the cadastral municipality is created by dividing the whole cadastral municipality area into a number of cadastral map sheets (DS) of certain dimension, i.e. certain format, as a regular grid of rectangles covering the whole cadastral municipality area (or part of it), and by applying a continuous 1 to n numbering of all sheets produced in that area
(usually starting from the northwest).