Traditional beliefs and inherited habits
We recently published a series of videos demystifying some common misconceptions and misunderstandings concerning construction and real estate ownership in Croatia.
Almost five decades of socialist Yugoslavia left some deep traces in land management practices and ways how people managed building their living spaces.
Due to rigid bureaucracy and numerous limitations on ownership, many family houses and even larger buildings were, in the past decades, built illegally.
In 2012. Croatia brought a new law that allowed legalization of most of such buildings, built before June 2011.
Although this introduced better order into the state of affairs, but there still exist some misconceptions on housing, construction, and land management, stemming from the ancient system.
Some of the issues and misbeliefs that arose from the “do it yourself” approach are presented in the videos down below.
Although the videos are in Croatian, a short description of each topic is given in English.
– building in Croatia is almost exclusively allowed on building land. There are some exceptions for the agricultural land that has to be larger than 20 hectares to allow for building a house. All projects must be in accordance with spatial plans, which include the height of the building, distance from the road and from the neighboring buildings, the percentage of greenery, parking lots etc.
– there is a common belief that wooden or prefabricated houses do not require a building permit. No matter how the house is built, if it is intended for living it must be built in accordance with the spatial plan and building code. No matter if it is made of bricks, wood, concrete or 3D printed.
– this is another common fallacy. During some extended periods in the past, it was possible to register the house in cadastre and land registry even when it was built without appropriate documents. It was even possible to connect an illegal house to communal infrastructure. This is one of the reasons why in 2016. about 40% of the entries in the public registries were inaccurate or in discordance with the factual state. The best proof of the legality of the building is the existence of the building permit and the fact that the building is built according to that permit and corresponding project.
– in 2012. Croatian Government passed a law that allowed legalization of most of the illegal buildings that had been built before June 21. 2011. and were visible on orthophoto map DOF5. This law soon became very popular, and hundreds of thousands of people benefited from it. Some still think that to build first and legalize second is a very common and acceptable thing to do. This video shows how difficult it is to legalize a house built after 2011.
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