Complete Guide to Property Registration in Serbia: Steps, Documentation, and Tips

Registering property ownership in the cadastre is a critical legal process that can often be complex and time-consuming. Understanding the necessary steps and preparing the appropriate documentation are essential to ensure a smooth and successful registration. This guide outlines the key procedures and requirements for registering property ownership in Serbia, providing a comprehensive roadmap to help you navigate the process efficiently.

Property Registration – Registering Ownership in the Cadastre

Registering property ownership in the cadastre can often be a lengthy process. To help streamline this procedure, we will provide you with the key guidelines essential for property registration.

Registering Property Ownership in the Cadastre: A Step-by-Step Guide

Registering property ownership in the cadastre can be a complex and lengthy process. To simplify this procedure, we present the key guidelines essential for successful property registration.

Key Steps for Property Registration:

  1. Determine the Competent Cadastre Service First, you need to determine which cadastre service is responsible for your municipality. You can find details on the official website of the Republic Geodetic Authority (RGA).
  2. Verify the Legal Status of the Property in the Cadastre Check the current legal status of your property in the cadastre. This can be done by issuing a property list or directly inspecting the RGA records.
  3. Prepare the Necessary Documentation The documentation required depends on the specific situation of your property. Always have original or certified copies of necessary documents, such as contracts, personal identification, construction permits, and other relevant papers.
  4. Pay the Fees Be prepared to pay the administrative fees required for submitting the application and for RGA services. Attach the original payment slips or other proof of payment to the documentation.
  5. Draft the Registration Application Your registration application must include all necessary information, including the name of the competent RGA service, details about the applicant and the subject of the application, and signatures of authorized persons.
  6. Submit the Application with Documentation to the RGA Once everything is prepared, submit your application along with the accompanying documentation to the competent RGA service. There is also the option to submit the application electronically via the RGA’s online service.

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the key steps for property registration in the cadastre, helping you navigate through this important legal process more easily and efficiently.

So,

1) Determine the Competent Cadastre Service for Registration

The competent service is the one that covers the municipality where the property is located. You can find a list of all cadastre services with contact details on the RGA’s website at http://www.rgz.gov.rs.

2) Verify the Legal Status of the Property in the Cadastre

The possibilities and method of registering rights on a particular property primarily depend on its legal status, i.e., the state of registration in the property cadastre. Therefore, in the second step, verify this status by reviewing the state in the property cadastre, which can be achieved by issuing a property list or directly inspecting the records and obtaining oral information and explanations from RGA officials.

3) Prepare the Documentation

Once you have determined the legal status of the property in the cadastre, it is necessary to prepare the appropriate documentation. Here are some typical scenarios:

a) Registration of Ownership Based on a Sales Contract, If the Seller is Registered as the Property Owner

You need to prepare the following:

  • Sales contract:
    • with signatures of the contracting parties certified by the competent authority,
    • in original or a copy certified to be true to the original (in court or municipality),
    • with the explicit and unconditional consent of the seller that the buyer can register ownership rights (clausula intabulandi) – if not included in the contract, provide consent in a separate written statement from the seller, with the seller’s signature certified in court;
  • Copy of the buyer’s ID card.
  • If the buyer is a legal entity, an excerpt from the Serbian Business Registers Agency is required, in original or a copy certified to be true to the original (in court or municipality).

b) Registration of Ownership Based on a Sales Contract, If the Seller is Not Registered as the Property Owner

If the seller from the concluded sales contract is not registered as the property owner and another person is registered, in addition to the documents listed under a), it is necessary to provide documents based on which the seller derives their rights from the registered holder, proving an unbroken chain of acquisition rights (legal continuity). This means that if the property has been subject to multiple ownership transfers but is still registered to the original owner, the last acquirer must provide documents for all these transfers. For these documents, all conditions mentioned for the sales contract apply.

For contracts on the purchase of apartments in social ownership, there is an exception to the obligation of proving the entire chain of acquisition. If a different social legal entity is registered on the apartment than the one that provided the apartment for purchase, there is no need to obtain documents on the legal connection between those legal entities.

c) Registration of Ownership Based on a Sales Contract, If the Subject of the Sale is a Building or Part of a Building (Apartment, Business Space, Garage)

If the building is registered in the property cadastre without construction and usage permits, in addition to the documents listed under a) or b), you need to provide:

  • Construction and usage permits:
    • in original or a copy certified to be true to the original (in court or municipality),
    • with a final clause (stamp of the decision-maker confirming when the decision became final).

If the land is not registered to the investor from the permits, it is necessary to obtain documents proving the investor’s right to the land.

If the building is not registered in the property cadastre, in addition to the documents listed under a) or b), you need to provide:

  • Geodetic works report made by an authorized geodetic organization.
  • Document proving the builder acquired ownership, co-ownership, or joint ownership of the parcel:
    • in original or a copy certified to be true to the original (in court or municipality).
  • Consent of all other co-owners or joint owners for construction (certified in court), if the builder is registered in the property cadastre as a co-owner or joint owner of the parcel.
  • Document proving the builder acquired another appropriate real right on the parcel if a construction permit was issued for the building or if the building was constructed when a construction permit was not required for construction:
    • in original or a copy certified to be true to the original (in court or municipality).
  • Construction and usage permits:
    • in original or a copy certified to be true to the original (in court or municipality),
    • with a final clause (stamp of the decision-maker confirming when the decision became final).

d) Conversion of Usage Rights to Ownership Rights on Construction Land with Compensation

You need to prepare the following:

  • Decision of the competent authority of the local self-government unit (on whose territory the subject construction land is located) determining the right of the business entity and other legal entities to convert usage rights to ownership rights and the amount of compensation for this:
    • in original or a copy certified to be true to the original (in court or municipality),
    • with a final clause (stamp of the decision-maker confirming when the decision became final);
  • Contract concluded between the entity to whom the conversion right was determined and the competent authority or organization regulating mutual relations regarding the payment of compensation for the conversion:
    • in original or a copy certified to be true to the original (in court or municipality).

e) Mortgage Registration

If ownership rights of the pledgor are registered on the property being mortgaged:

You need to prepare one of the following documents as the basis for the mortgage:

  • Mortgage contract:
    • with signatures of the contracting parties certified by the competent authority,
    • in original or a copy certified to be true to the original (in court or municipality),
    • with the explicit and unconditional consent of the owner that the creditor can register a mortgage on their property (clausula intabulandi).

The mortgage contract can be a separate contract or part of a contract regulating the debt (loan, credit, etc.).

  • Pledge statement;

Everything stated for the mortgage contract applies to the pledge statement. The pledge statement is given by the owner of the property being mortgaged.

  • Decision of the competent court accepting the agreement of the parties on securing claims by establishing a mortgage, according to the Law on Enforcement and Security (“Official Gazette of RS”, Nos. 31/11 and 99/11).

If the building, or part of the building, is under construction:

In this case, the mortgage can be registered based on the mortgage contract or pledge statement, along with:

  • Construction permit:
    • in original or a copy certified to be true to the original (in court or municipality),
    • with a final clause (stamp of the decision-maker confirming when the decision became final).

f) Mortgage Deletion Registration

To delete a mortgage, you need to provide:

  • Written statement of the creditor agreeing to the deletion:
    • in original or a copy certified to be true to the original (in court or municipality).

If the claim has not been settled, the creditor’s signature on the statement must be certified in court.

4) Pay the Fees

In addition to the prepared documentation, it is necessary to pay the republic administrative fee for the request and the appropriate fee for the RGA’s service. As proof of payments, submit the original payment slips or other proof of payment to the competent RGA service.

5) Draft the Registration Application

The registration application must include the following elements:

  • Name of the competent RGA service to which the application is addressed;
  • Details of the subject (content) of the application;
  • Details of the applicant (name and surname, or name, JMBG, or MB and address of the applicant, as well as their representative or proxy – if any);
  • Signature of the applicant, or authorized person.

Examples of application forms can be found on the RGA’s website at http://www.rgz.gov.rs. If the application is submitted by a representative or proxy, attach the appropriate proof of representation, or power of attorney.

The mortgage registration application can be submitted by the property owner, debtor, or creditor.

6) Submit the Registration Application with Accompanying Documentation to the Competent RGA Service

The mortgage registration application can also be submitted electronically through the online application service. Information about this service can be found on the RGA’s website at http://www.rgz.gov.rs.

Successfully registering property ownership in the cadastre requires careful attention to detail and adherence to legal procedures. By following the outlined steps and ensuring all necessary documentation is prepared and submitted correctly, you can significantly streamline the registration process. Whether you are dealing with property purchases, mortgages, or conversions, this guide serves as a valuable resource to help you achieve a seamless and legally compliant property registration.

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