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Our Legalization Service

In accordance with the new law on the Legalization of Illegal Buildings
10 August 2011 our office is able to provide a complete set of services in the legalization of buildings in the city of Zadar and its surroundings, from the development of technical documentation to final issuance of the decision on the as-is built state as a condition for the legalization of the building and the ability to automatically obtain a use permit.

The initial step in legalization is to define whether the object can be legalised in accordance with existing law, and if the conditions are met the preparation of technical documentation (architectural shots, geodesic study, evidence of mechanical resistance).

When the legalizaton is possible it is necessary to pay, depending on the area's fee calculation,  a) municipal contribution b) water contribution c) charges for legalization (a fee for keeping the illegally constructed buildings in the area).

The City of Zadar as of the final decision in October 2011th has three zones for the calculation of municipal contribution based on area within the region:  135 kn / m³ for the first zone, 128,25 kn / m³ for the second and 81 kn / m³ for the third zone, and water contribution in Zone A  of 22.5 kn / m³ for residential buildings up to 400m².

Zadar City Council in accordance with the new law allowed the legalization of three storeys outside the spatial plan of which one is an attic, and one more, or with the consent of the Council, two underground floors.

Zadar City Council also introduced Charges for Legalization fees based prices of properties (NP) based on building use and whether in building zone, business zone, outside building zone or forest, or protected sea zone and are defined as follows: Zone I = 20kn, Zone II = 10kn and Zone  III = 3kn.   Without going into too much detail an example of a Zone I property is a first row to sea property within the 70m mark of the sea line.    

However, there are a few points to note:

The normal
municipal contribution costs have been reduced by reducing the coefficiency of your total cubic meterage by 50% up to 600m3. However if you elect, when submitting the legalization paperwork that you will pay in installments you fee will increase by 50%.  And should you fail to make 2 consequtive installments the full amount (including the increased 50% is due immediately).  A further incentive reduction was made in 2012 to the coefficiency of 75%, if payment is made within 15 days of receiving your legalization bill from the county office.  So in Zadar you can get a reduction of 75%. 

For instance, my house had a location permit but not a building permit ... (I trusted someone when I had it built ... I was naive at the time) and its 800 cubic meters, which includes a larger than average attic space that given its height could be converted to a living area so is included in the 800m3, and I am in the first regional zone and Valuation Zone (NP) zone II.  

So if I pay within the 15 days my

Munipal contribtution will be
(800 x 75% = 600m3) therefore 0,50 of 135kn = 600m3 x 67,5kn  = 40.500kn.  

My water contribution will be 800m3 x 22,5kn = 18.000kn.

My charge for Legalization will be 800m3 x 10kn = 8.000kn.

So I expect my total to pay immediately to come to 66,500kn.
The Request for the Ruling on an as-is built state (Form for Legalization) for the city of Zadar, together with the technical documentation shall be submitted to:

Upravni odjel za provedbu doku­me­nata pros­tornog ure­đenja i građenja 

Nar­o­dni trg 1, 23 000 Zadar

Branch of the Zadar County: Benkovac
(Trg hrvatske mladeži 5b), Biograd na moru (Kralja Tvrtka 1), Gračac (Trg Sv. Jurja 1), Obrovac (Stjepana Radića 17), Pag (Kolu­draška 13).

It is important to note that requests must be submitted by 1.7.2018. and the legalization of a building provides the ability to sell, inherit, or register a trade or to get a categorization for tourist rentals. 

We are at your disposal for any further information regarding your specific case about the procedure and the cost of legalization.

How to legalize a home in Croatia

Here is the key information you need to know to legalize a home in Croatia:

What can and what can not be legalized, required documentation, legal procedures, how much it all costs, which are the legal effects of an illegal building, and what are the parameters for determining costs.

What can not be legalized?

- Buildings that are built illegally in the protected coastal area in the zone to 70 meters of sea line (note: the 70m zone applies to certain villages) other than illegal buildings used for living, agricultural or are part of a family run business, such as agricultural activities or activities related to the provision of catering and tourist services, if they were in use before 30 November 2009.

- Buildings outside the buildable zone in national parks, nature parks or regional parks, with the exception of traditional settlements, or are in a protected area within the category of national reserve, special reserve or forest park

- Buildings constructed in planned or corridors being explored and required for transport, energy and water works

- Buildings in isolated area outside a settlement where the Regional Plan intended for other purposes of public and general interest, or tourist and hospitality, or manufacturing applications

- Buildings built on agricultural land, in particular categories of valuable arable (P1) and valuable arable (P2) land except for agricultural buildings and family run businesses that include agricultural activities for the provision of catering and tourist services

- Buildings built in economic and protective forest areas and forests with a special purpose

- Structures on areas being explored as an archaeological site or area, or are of historical and architectural value, or registered in the World Heritage List or registered or recorded as an individual cultural property

- Structures on areas under special protection of waters, within the zone of sanitary protection of drinking water

- Structures in exploitation fields of mineral raw materials

- Buildings constructed on areas reserved for public use, sea or water public boundaries

- Building built of material that does not ensure durability and safety of use (eg huts)

- Structures that are not built (eg. campers, containers ... i.e. those objects that not permanently connected to the ground)

What can be legalized?

- Buildings built without a building permit, or built in contravention of the Building Plan and Regulations, or a subsequently built or upgraded part of the existing building constructed without a building permit, or in contravention Building Plan and Regulations, which are recorded on a digital orthophoto map (DOF5) at a scale of 1: 5000 by the State Geodetic Administration and drawn based on aerial photogrammetric recordings of the Republic of Croatia, completed on 30 November 2009. 

- Illegal buildings that in terms of purpose, size, and placement are built on a parcel in accordance with the area's building plan and regulations

- Illegal buildings that in terms of purpose, size and placement are not built in accordance with the area's building plan and regulations

What you should submit to apply for legalization?

- A geodetic plan that records the buildings and certified by competent cadastral offices (obtainable from the cadastral office)

- Three copies of the architectural plan - floor plans, sections and elevations - of the illegal building in the scale of 1:100 or 1:50, which was done by a licensed architect

- At least four photos in color or black and white, the minimum size of 150x100 mm, showing the building from the street and all the adjacent sides

- Opinion of a certified civil engineer that the building meets the essential requirements of mechanical resistance and stability

- Proof of residence

- Excerpt from the Land Registry

- Evidence of the time of construction


- Procedure for legalising the as-is built state shall be initiated at the request of the applicant to the competent administrative body

- The application must be made no later than 31 December 2012. year, after this period applications may not be submitted

- Requests submitted after the stipulated deadline will be discarded

- Illegal buildings are legalized by getting approval of the as-is built state

- Approvals are given by the Governing Body of the local (regional) and local self-government under a special law by issuing regulations for its implementation in their Building Plan and Regulations

- An integral part of the documentation is the architectural plan of the illegal buildings and geodesic study that records data about the buildings and must be noted and certified by the signature and stamp of the official issuing the documents.

- An appeal against thedecision refusing or rejecting a submission shall be to the central State authority responsible for Physical Planning and Construction

- Approval on as-is built status may not be issued until
utility fees and a fee in accordance with this special regulation are paid, or until the first installment of the fees are paid in the case of installation payments.

The Approval of the current as-is built state includes:

- Approval that the building is legalised

- The designation of one or more cadastral parcels on which the building is built

- a brief description of the building (construction methods, purpose for which the building is used and number of units)

- A marked geodetic survey recording the buildings and the architectural plansl of the as-built illegal buildings, which are an integral part of the original submission.
Payment of Fees:

- Payable in whole within 30 days of the decision concerning the calculation of fees

- Can be paid in installments, if so requested by the applicant

- Amount of first installment can not be less than 30 percent of fee, payable within 8 days of the decision concerning the calculation of fees

- The rest is paid in equal monthly installments

- The amount of the second and the other installments is increased by the interest that is in effect by the Croatian National Bank and valid on the day the
decision concerning the calculation of fees

- Term installment payment may not exceed two years

- If the applicant fails to pay the installment fees, payments will be executed by the peremptory manner and procedure set forth by the enforced collection of tax debts.

The legal effects of the illegal construction:

- Illegal buildings and other buildings constructed without a building permit on the land on which it is built or land with such a building can not be alienated or acquired by inheritance until such a building is removed

- The building approval on the as-is built state has no legal effect on the property or other proprietary rights in the building for which it was granted or on the land on which this building was built

- A building or part of a building for which a building approval on as-is state can be used in part as completed, to connect to the municipal water structures on the grid and other infrastructures, and for doing business in the building may be issued under a special law

- Cadastral office records the building or its reconstructed part in the cadastral records if for the building if the current as-is state has been legalised

- the court when entering a building or its reconstructed portion in th Land and Property Register records the legalization of the as-is built state by specifying the name and id of the determination.

The parameters for the determination of compensation:

- The position of the illegal building in relation to the area's building plan and regulations

- The relationship of the developed plot to the maximum permitted by the building plan and regulations

- Relevance and value of the premises

- Type of construction

- Purpose of the illegal buildings

- State of completion of the illegal buildings

- Ratio of gross building area of the ​​illegal building to the maximum permitted by the building plan and regulations

- Compliance of the illegal building to the building plan and regulations

- Values ​​of points and coefficients for assessing the impact of illegal buildings in the area and unit costs dependant on building zones for calculating the fees will be prescribed by a government regulation.

Other Interesting Notes

Illegal Buildings Amnesty- Deadline Dec 2012
« Thread Started on Aug 26, 2011, 12:21pm »

Copied from VisitCroatia.proboards.com forum


Below is our understanding of the law regarding legalisation of illegally built properties; eg all of those with no building permit;

Effective from 15th July 2011
Klasa; 011-01/11-01/165
Urbroj; 71-05-03/1-11-2
(Also see narodne novine no 90/11)

The law states that all property sales, lease or transfer contracts (basically any property deal) must include copies of the building permit and habitation (usage) permits; any sales contracts without these included will be INVALID.





In the past many people have obtained these permits themselves after they have bought the property, but the govt is cracking down on illegally built properties, so buyers beware.

The new "amnesty" law gives people until the 31st December 2012 to request legalisation of their property, after that IT WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE-EVER! This applies to any property built before the 21st June 2011.

If you have a sale going through at the moment and don’t have these permits already in place, then be aware and check things out with your own agency and lawyers to make sure that an application has been made.


This has huge implications for anyone who does not have a building permit for their property after 31st Dec 2012; in that they will not be able to legally sell their property.

As usual in Croatia, most people will probably leave it until the last minute and there will be a huge backlog, but we are told that it will be implemented; there is a huge windfall in this for the Government.


So you can effectively write off 95% of real estate sales for the foreseeable future. No more 5 % TAX for the Govt as of today!

Well theres a surprise! Yet another example of Croatian law makers writting a completely idiotic piece of legislation that effectively pulls the rug out from under the feet of an already struggling industry.  

Challenges are already being discussed to put before the constitutional courts, but how many months will that take?

I am sure they wrote this legislation with very good intentions in trying to legalise all real estate in Croatia, to which we are in full agreement. But to stop the real estate industry in its tracks overnight ........ makes me want to cry.  

Thankfully from our point of view, properties built before 1968 and clean land plots are exempt from the new law.


Armed with a katastar plan and Application for Legalization form you can check if your property has a building permit at your local space planning/gruntovnica office. Properties built before 1968 are exempt.

The new law does allow properties built on agricultural land to be legalised, so if you have a barn, wine house, outbuilding etc (but not a house for living in) you can still get a building permit.

It might not be essential now, but anyone thinking about converting buildings for tourism at some point in the future might want to do so.

It can get expensive though as building permits are only issued after payment of the building taxes; which are based on cubic metres and not square metres, so barns can be huge!


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