Real Estate Cadastre: How can I register my property?


Real Estate Cadastre: How can I register my property?

The Real Estate Cadastre is a public registry containing all relevant data about properties in Serbia. Although often a mystery for citizens and a cause of headaches, this registry and the accompanying laws are organized to establish and maintain accurate records of real estate for the security of legal transactions.

The management of the Cadastre falls under the jurisdiction of the Republic Geodetic Authority and local offices organized by city municipalities. The Authority records various types of changes within its scope, such as changes due to construction, extension, or demolition of structures; changes in land due to parceling or re-parceling; registration of ownership and other real rights, pre-notations, and annotations of facts about properties.

Almost every citizen needs this knowledge at some point in their life when dealing with property registration, buying and selling, inheritance proceedings, mortgages, and the like. If you need to make certain changes in the Cadastre, this text will help you familiarize yourself with the process in detail. City Expert real estate agency is at your disposal if you plan to buy, sell, or rent a property. With minimal commissions for owners and no hidden costs for buyers, we offer the best conditions for real estate transactions, a vast market selection, and expert support throughout the entire buying and selling process.

Changes in the property registration process during sale

In 2018, the Real Estate Cadastre underwent a significant modernization with the introduction of electronic submission of registration requests. If you are buying or selling property, the digitization of this registry has greatly facilitated the registration process. This means that citizens no longer have to visit counters multiple times to register a property; instead, it is now handled by a notary public responsible for the municipality where the property is located. You only physically go to an authorized notary, who is then responsible for carrying out all subsequent registration steps via the "e-counter."

Buying real estate: how to register in the Cadastre?

For easier navigation, we have prepared all the steps you need to know to formalize your property ownership based on a sales contract.

Find the notary public

On the Ministry of Justice website, find a notary public corresponding to the municipality where the property is located. Prepare all the documentation listed below and electronically send it to the notary public for verification.

Documentation required for submitting a request:

  • ID card or passport;
  • draft of the real estate transaction agreement;
  • filled-out forms for property tax and transfer of absolute rights;
  • additional documentation depending on the specific case (notarized power of attorney, evidence of legal continuity of ownership, notarized spousal consent, etc.), for which you will receive clear instructions from the notary public.

Visit the notary public

After sending the documentation and scheduling a meeting at the notary office, it's time to notarize the sales contract, based on which the notary will independently register ownership in the Cadastre. You need to bring the originals of all documents, and the presence of both the buyer and the seller, as well as their potential spouses, is mandatory. If everything is in order, the notary public notarizes the sales contract. You then go to the bank to pay the purchase price, and then return to the notary, who will notarize the seller's consent (Clausula intabulandi) for the buyer to be registered as the new owner. After this step, you have completed your part, and the notary public takes care of all the remaining tasks related to registration in the Cadastre.

Receipt of the registration decision

When the Cadastre processes the request, within the legally prescribed deadline of five working days, you will receive the registration decision at your home address. Find Republic Geodetic Authority fees for requests and property registration on the RGZ website. After payment, the registration is complete, and you can always check the current data online.

Registration decision in the Real Estate Cadastre includes, among other things: data on the type of registration, type of right, property designation, data on the person in whose favor the registration is made, data on the registered predecessor, basis of registration, and information on the amount of the fee.

E-counter: Latest changes in the law and terminology

With the amendment to the Law on the Procedure of Registration in the Real Estate Cadastre, it is stated that from November 4, 2023, citizens can submit changes to the Cadastre exclusively online, with the support of lawyers and geodetic organizations.

If you have a sales contract notarized before July 1, 2018, for a property that has not yet been registered, or if you are submitting other specific requests such as a change in the type of right, pre-notations for a building under construction, appeals against decisions, etc., you will use the online counter instead of going to the Republic Geodetic Authority. This does not apply to new real estate transactions, as explained in detail in the text, because in those cases, citizens do not visit the Geodetic Authority, only the notary public.

Since requests are now submitted exclusively online, new costs arise. The Cadastre itself does not charge for using the online counter, but the services of lawyers and geodetic organizations are charged, and the amount varies case by case, proportional to the extent of assistance provided.

There is no doubt that the law changes have brought us closer to more advanced digitization of administrative processes. Paper documents have been replaced by digital extracts, and the term "real estate record" has been changed to "extract from the real estate cadastre database" due to the tendency to access data in digital format. Each property will now have a unique personal identification number (JMBN) that will replace previous methods of identification. This will facilitate searches and reduce the possibility of errors in Cadastre work. Electronic forms will be a step further in establishing a completely digital environment in cadastral affairs.

The law from 2018 already anticipated electronic registration in the Cadastre, but the final transition to the digital system was postponed for several years due to the pandemic. According to the Republic Geodetic Authority, these reforms are a way to prevent manipulation and put an end to endless paperwork. This tendency certainly reflects modern trends, and how it will be implemented in practice and whether it will improve existing procedures remains to be seen.

Ana Dajević
Ana Dajević
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