The Cadastar

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The Cadastar (Croatian Katastar) is the administrative office which holds details of all the property plots in Croatia, including ground plans and, in recent years, aerial mapping.

Although the Cadastar is separate from the Land Register, the two systems act in parallel, and are closely interconnected. The Justice Ministry provides an excellent information website (in Croatian) explaining the workings of each.

There are some 112 Cadastar offices throughout Croatia. As they are not part of the judicial system, they are not necessarily in the same building as the Land Registry offices. In Supetar on Brač the Cadastar office is within the Court building, conveniently sited near the ferry port and the town's main centre. On Hvar there are two Cadastar offices, one in Hvar Town, and the other on the outskirts of Stari Grad.

From the Cadastar office one can obtain land maps of local areas showing plot numbers and locations; possession documents for properties of all kinds; confirmatory documents showing that a building existed before 1968 0r 1911 - these are needed, for instance, in respect of building permits, or applications to legalize buildings constructed without permits. The Cadastar also issues house numbers for new buildings and for older buuildings whose numbers were no longer in use, as was the case for most of Hvar until a few years ago.

The Cadastar, like the Land Register, has been in the process of digitalization since 2003. Its website provides maps and information (in Croatian) about the Cadastar offices round the country. Information about property plots and their possession can be obtained online, as can localized maps based on specific plots. To start, open the Justice Minsitry's homepage, click on 'Državna geodetska uprava' in the top bar (3rd from left), and choose 'Pregled čestica' ('View plot numbers') which is second in the drop-down menu. This opens the page where you choose the place you are looking for. If you know which Cadastar office you need for your search enter it, or even the first part of its name (eg 'star' for Stari Grad) and click on the magnifying glass. Otherwise click on the magnifying glass to the right of the box and scroll down to find the right office. Similarly, enter the place of interest into the second field marked 'Katarska općina': if you enter part of the name, click on the magnifying glass to complete the name; alternatively you can click on the magnifying glass, scroll to the place you want and click 'izaberi' ('choose').

You then have to fill in the plot number in the third box. The main number goes in the field marked 'Broj kat.čestice' (Cadastar plot number). If it has a subsidiary numnber, that goes into the second field marked 'podbroj'. For instance, if the plot number is 300/3, 300 is the main number, 3 the subsidiary. Then click 'Traži' (Seek) to the right of the plot numbers boxes.

 Before you can find the plot details, you have to fill in the anti-robot security code, then click 'Potvrdi' (Confirm):

If you have entered the correct code, the page opens up to show the plot details:

 

The page shows details of any plots listed under the number you entered. The first line of headings shows 'Grafika' (Ground Plans), 'PL' (Posjedovni list = possession document), and 'Pregledaj ZKU' (Look up the Land Registry entry). The second line of headings gives basic information about the plot number you entered. As in the example above, there may be two plots under the same number, but of different types, in this case one is agricultural and theother residential.  Buildings are marked with an asterisk under the heading 'Zgr' (Zgrada = building). The largest field, fifth from the left, gives the address or location of the plot, and describes its use. For instance, this might be a house, a well, a vineyard, orchard or olive grove. Next to the description is the area belonging to the plot (Površina). The final box shows whether building is permitted on the plot ('Pravo građenja')

As digitalization is not yet complete, it is not always possible to follow up all the information promised on the page. For instance, the link to the Land Registry entry is often absent. However, the information relating directly to the Cadastar is most often readily accessible. For instance, if you click on 'Grafika' on the upper heading line, you will open a map showing the location of the plot. To find who is registered as being in possession, click on 'Pregledaj PL/BZP'. If there is more than one PL number listed on the page, highlight the one you want, then click on 'Pregledaj PL/BZP.

That will bring up another security code, and you click 'Potvrdi' (Confirm) after entering it into the box.

The Possession Document will open up in front of the open page:

Anyone registered as possessor of the property is listed in the first section of the document, while the second section ('Podaci o katarskim česticama') shows the details of the plot. If there is more than one possessor, as in the example given above, each has a percentage of the whole property.

The Possession Document is not proof of ownership. It should tally with the Land Registry entry, which is proof of ownership, but often does not. If you buy a property in Croatia, you should register your possession as soon as your ownership is accepted and inscribed in the Land Registry. Lawyers do not always do this step automatically, so you may have to ask for it to be done, unless you can do it for yourself.

© Vivian Grisogono 2016, updated 2019.

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