The Land Registry

Category Information

All Croatian properties are listed in the Land Registry, together with details of ownership and any legal actions or transactions which affect, or might affect property ownership.

The Land Registry is part of the judicial system, under the overall control of the Minstry of Justice (Ministarstvo pravosuđa), which has a very informative website (in Croatian) .Relevant questions relating to transactions involving the Land Registry can be found on the website (in Croatian), providing a complete explanation of how the Land Registry functions.

Each Land Registry office comes within a municipal or local Court, and lies under the jurisdiction of a district court. For instance on Hvar the Land Registry is under the Stari Grad Court, which in turn comes under the County Court in Split. The Ministry website carries a clear explanation (in Croatian) of the way the judicial courts are organized, with maps showing the area covered by each court.

The Land Registry system as it is today dates back to Austrian times (reference in Croatian), from a project initiated in the 1850s. Except where records have been destroyed by fire or through other causes, huge weighty leather-bound tomes line the Land Registry offices. They contain ownership and transaction information going back over more than 150 years, In recent years the system has been updated, and is being computerized. This has made it possible to check out properties and their ownership online, which is a valuable first step for any prospective buyer. It is also of continuing use to property owners, who can check that their ownership has not been compromised in any way over time. In theory that should not happen when ownership procedures have been properly conducted, but in my experience changes have appeared in ownership entries, for instance the owner's name might suddenly appear with a mis-spelling. This can happen, for instance, through clerical errors during computerization. Such mistakes need to be corrected immediately, as official duty (po službenoj dužnosti), otherwise later it will be necessary to prove that the mis-spelled person is the same as the real owner!


You need to know the district and place under which the property falls, so that you can identify the appropriate Land Registry office. It's best to have  the 'z.u.' number (zemljišnoknjižnji uložak), which is the registration number of the document in which individual properties are listed. The plot number alone may or may not be enough to access ownership information. The 'zu' document may contain just one plot number, or several registered to the same owner(s).

To open the Land Registry website and start the search for a property, click here. This is the search page, with the section 'Pregled glavne knjige' ('View the main book') highlighted. The quick way to access the registry office you want is to type the first few letters if the name into the first box, and click on the magnifying glass to the right to complete the entry. This should bring up the full name, and you can proceed to the second box.

Alternatively, you can use the list provided and find it by scrolling through. Click on the magnifying glass by the first blank field, labelled Općinski sud/ ZK Odjel (Council Area Court, Land Registry Department) A drop-down menu appears showing all the Land Registry offices. Scroll down to the one you need. Tip: to reach Stari Grad, the office covering Hvar Island, quickly, click on the end arrow under the list, then go back 2 pages.

 When you have highlighted the office you want, click 'Izaberi'' ('choose'), bottom right under the listing. 

This enters the Land Registry office into the top field. The second blank field is labelled 'Glavna knjiga' ('Main Book'). You can either enter the full name, or the first few letters of the place you are looking for and complete the entry by clicking on the magnifying glass, or  click on the magnifying glass to the right of the box to bring up the menu of the possible place-names. Click on the place name where the property is situated, then on 'Izaberi' ('Choose').

In the third box, enter the plot number.

Alternatively, if you know it, enter the zu number into the fourth blank field, labelled 'Broj ZK uloška' (Registry entry number).

The last box labelled 'povijesni pregled' ('view history') gives you the option of including the last transactions relating to the property. If this is not of interest, leave the box as is, otherwise change the setting to 'da'.

Click 'Pregledaj' ('Search'). A box appears in the centre of the form with an anti-robot security code, which you should enter into the box's blank field. Then click 'Potvrdi' ('Confirm').  The ownership document you are looking for will open up, unless it has not yet been entered into the computerized records. If the plot number you are looking for is not on the document, it may have been changed to come under a different zu number. The ownership document as shown on the internet may show the property status accurately: if so, it states 'Verficiran ZK uložak' ('Confirmed entry') to the upper right of the document. However, it is not valid for legal purposes such as presentation in Court, which is why the document is headed 'NESLUŽBENA KOPIJA' (Unofficial copy) in the top right corner.

Example of ownership document on the internet

The format of the internet version is essentially the same as the official ownership document, which is obtained from the land Registry office. On the upper left side, under 'Katarska općina' (Local council area), are listed any recent orongoing legal transactions in respect of the property or properties in the document. Current legal actions are marked 'Aktivne plombe', and are shown as a number preceded by 'z'. In the examples shown above and below, there are no past or present cases listed on the documents.

If active cases are shown, you can check on them by clicking on the number beside ‘Aktivne plombe’. Under ZK Odjel Stari Grad, 'Stanje na dan' means 'Situation on the day', followed by the current date. Podnesak shows the case number. The box underneath gives the essential details.
Line one: Primljeno: gives the date when the case papers were received by the Court.
Line two: Vrsta isprave: is the basis of the case for change on the Land Registry entry. For instance it might be Ugovor o kupoprodaji (Sales Contract), or Rješenje o Naslijeđivanju (Probate for Inheritance).
Line three: Oznaka spisa: gives the initial case number, if any.
Line four: Vrsta upisa: the type of change requested on the Land Registry. Most often this is Uknjižba meaning Registration of Ownership.
Line five: Sadržaj prijedloga: identifies the property or properties involved in the case and the action(s) requested.
Line six: Bilj.o kretanju spisa: notes on the movement of the papers. Some cases are sent away for ratification, and the date they are returned to the Stari Grad Court is entered here.
Line seven: Način rješenja: outcome. ‘U radu’ means the case is still in Court. Udovoljeno means the applicant has succeeded, while Odbijeno means the application has been turned down.
Line eight: Datum rješenja: the date on which the decision was given.
Line nine: Datum provedbe: the date the Court’s decision was confirmed.
Line ten: Datum otpreme: the date the decision is implemented.

Part A on the ownership document gives the details of the property or properties, including the plot number(s). Part B identifies the owner(s), together with address(es) and identity number(s). Most often the Tax Identity Number (OIB) is given, but for an owner who does not have an OIB the passport number is used instead. Part C shows any charges against the properties, such as bank loans or claims by others laying claim to ownership, as well as restrictions such as public rights of way. 'Tereta nema' means that there are no limitations on the ownership as given on the document.

Example: official ownership document

The official Vlasnički list / ownership document issued by the Land Registry office is legal proof of ownership. It costs 20 kunas to obtain a certified copy of an ownership document from the Land Registry. The fee is payable in tax stamps (biljezi, or taksene marke), which can be bought at Post Offices or Tisak kiosks. When proof of ownership is required for official purposes, such as registering possession in the Cadastar or seeking a bank loan, the document has to be as recent as possible, certainly less than six months old.

The Land Registry office for Hvar is in Stari Grad, on the ground floor of the local Court building on the waterfront. Address: Nova Riva 3, 21460 Stari Grad. Tel. 021 778 280, fax 021 778 282. Client receiving hours are from 08:00 to 13:00, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with a break (pauza) from 11:00 to 11:30.

© Vivian Grisogono 2016

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