Want to buy land in Serbia? Don't miss to check these 5 things!


Want to buy land in Serbia? Don't miss to check these 5 things!

In recent years, suburban and weekend settlements have become increasingly popular due to the trend of urban expansion, making land purchases an attractive option for many. If you're considering buying land, there are several key things to check, specific to this type of property.

Land is often purchased for future construction projects, so it's crucial to first determine the type of land and its purpose to determine if construction is possible in the desired location.

Identification of the parcel number in the Cadastre

When interested in a property, whether it's developed or vacant land, the first step is to search for publicly available data about it. In the Real Estate Cadastre, you can electronically access all necessary information about the ownership, type of land, plot size and other characteristics of each property registered in Serbia.

The initial step is to find out the parcel number or address. If you don't know either, visit the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (GeoSerbia) website, select the "Cadastre" option in the bottom left corner, and zoom in on the area where the land is located on the map. This will display all parcel boundaries and any existing objects on them. Select the desired area on the map to reveal the address, building number, and information about the cadastral municipality to which the land belongs.

Verify ownership and property type on eCadastre

For further examination of the land you're interested in, you can use another digital service – eCadastre. Find the property by searching for the street or parcel number obtained in the previous step.

After entering the data, you'll access the Cadastre document with comprehensive information about the desired land. This document will provide details about the owner, exact area, any encumbrances on the parcel, and most importantly, the land type, whether it is designated as residential, agricultural, or something else. The land classification determines the conditions for land use and, crucially, whether it aligns with your intended purpose.

A change in land use can be achieved through a specific procedure and fee. The landowner that is registered in the Cadastre submits a request to the local government authority to change the land's purpose. The process typically takes around 30 days, and the fee is 50% of the tax base.

Urban planning in the area

The complexity of purchasing land can be significantly influenced by the city administration's plan for the specific land. If you're buying land for construction, it's crucial to consult the Secretariat for urban planning and construction responsible for the relevant municipality among your first steps.

This is vital because only this authority can inform you about the feasibility and scope of future construction. It's not uncommon for cities to plan changes, such as road construction, in certain neighborhoods, potentially affecting parts of the land.

Proof of non-use of the pre-emptive right of purchase

The owner of agricultural land that is intending to sell must first offer the land to the owner of neighboring land. If there are multiple owners of neighboring parcels bordering the seller's land, priority is given to the owner of the largest contiguous parcel. If multiple owners have parcels with equal boundaries, the one with the largest overall area takes precedence.

In line with this, when deciding to purchase agricultural land, documentation must include statements of waiver of pre-emption rights from all owners of adjacent parcels.

If any of them decide to exercise this right, an external buyer cannot acquire the land. If all owners waive this right, their statements must be complete, notarized, and timely.

Foreign citizens and restrictions on land purchase in Serbia

In recent years, there has been an increasing demand for properties by foreign citizens in Serbia. Property transactions are legally allowed if there is reciprocity between Serbia and the foreigner's home country, but there is one limitation for purchasing agricultural land.

The Law on Agricultural Land prohibits foreign individuals from directly owning agricultural land exceeding 50 acres in Serbia. However, there are alternative ways to acquire such property. One option is to establish a company in Serbia, treated as a domestic legal entity, allowing it to buy land under the same conditions as Serbian citizens. Additionally, a foreign citizen can purchase an existing Serbian company that owns the desired land, becoming its owner.

After carefully checking the chosen property and aligning all aspects with professional advisors, only the final stage of the purchase remains. While the path to acquiring land can be challenging (and often is), the future weekend retreat or mountain cabin you dream of is undoubtedly worth it. We hope that this process will go smoothly for you, and now you are fully informed about all the key aspects to pay attention to.

Ana Dajević
Ana Dajević
Not all who wander are lost.
Buy apartment in Belgrade