Croatia

URBANISATION

CARTE CROATIE

History of towns – Heritage

“The country is engaged in a vast program of reconstruction. In four years, half of the already destroyed parks were reconstructed without the help of the international bodies.

Source : Croatia Ambassy

Urban Habitat

Rural Habitat

 

LEGAL ASPECTS

Right to Loddging

Yugoslavia: from the early days lodging security to Croatia and its nightmare of expulsions.

 Today, to better understand the rights to lodging in Croatia, we should not forget that this stems from the ancient ex law in Yugoslavia. So it is very important to bring out a brief history on the subject. “In ancient day Yugoslavia, the right of occupation/habitation covered all associated rights to the owner: the rights to possession, the right to freely use, totally or partial of a home, the rights to having a lodging at his disposal as well as the rights to participate in decision makings of the building, but the sale of the building was the only restriction given to the tenant or occupant.” (1)

“Concerning the rights related to sharing and ownership, the occupant is liable to 9/10th of ownership of the property and the proprietor 1/10th. It acts as a right to ownership as confirmed by court order from the Constitutional court in Bosnia-Herzegovina which under the jurisdiction of the European Union, declared that the rights of occupation were identical to ownership rights.” (1)

“In 1996, the parliament in Croatia adopted the house law that prevented the inhabitants of lodgings that were privatised, placed under the regime of private property, their rights to perpetually occupy. Since 1945 this right could be inherited and in the long run recognised by a law. A 1996 law was coming to an end in cases where the private proprietors desired to occupy their apartments; they had the obligation to provide replacement lodgings to their tenants and their family.  The parliament of Croatia adopted the law of 1998. The constructional court of the Republic of Croatia aligned themselves with the constitution but wiped out that which placed an obligation on the proprietors to provide descent lodgings to the tenants. In consequence, families who had invested on generations since many ago and took care of lodgings which they thought they could own forever were evicted, found themselves on the road with their belongings and their personal effects, without a replacement lodging being attributed to neither them nor being compensated.

In other words and to easy understand, the law on the contract of habitation did abolish the rights to the possession of private lodgings so as to introduce the classification landlord/tenant. According to this law the state confirms that the proprietor owns 10% of property rights but does not make any allusions to the 90% fraction that was left for the tenants in the ancient regime. Infact the state has the right to nationalise the property belonging to the old occupants and as such commit the art of stealing on them. The law on the housing contract questions the fundamental rights on the protection of lodging and of the family. The old tenants now live under the fear of an expulsion and find themselves in this law that puts them in a very terrible condition socially wise. Expulsions: over 40 000 persons are victims and it is more and more frequent. We have lack of financial assistance from the state and after being evicted, the old are usually put in retirement homes with the rents debited from their pensions,” (1)

“Rents for private lodging witnessed a 60% increase because of a clause that came to force in the first of November 2005 (this does not concern social lodgings.) This has brought a high level of discrimination. Infact since the majority of these lodgings are owned by the poor and the elderly, the rents is very often more than their means .As soon as a tenant is incapable of paying his or her rents, he or she faces the threats of expulsion.” (1)

Source AIH: Croatie: Le droit des locataires à la sécurité du logement doit être rétabli

Forced Expulsions

Expulsions favored by the law of habitation.

The law of habitation obliges the tenants to ask for authorization to have children, a new partner and investment. If the authorization was not given, the tenant can be kicked out. The proprietor thus has a great say on the future of his tenant this because he can either decide to grant this authorization or not. This has created inequality between the tenant and the proprietor… (1)

“The law on the contract on habitation imposes on couples wishing to build a family and to widows wishing to remarry to get an authorization from the proprietor. The proprietor can willingly accept or refuse to grant the authorization. When a family has a child, (unless they went for the solution of abortion) or one couple remarries, failure to have the authorisation can lead to expulsion. In the same registrar, the children of the tenant cannot live in the same apartment with their wives and children when they are building a family.” (1)

In addition these expulsions are done without warning or a warrant. This leaves the tenant with a small time to get himself transferred thereby worsening the bad state that he was already in. (1)

Land Right

Article 48 of the 1990 Constitution of Croatia, globally provides for private ownership and rights to inherit. In Croatia, the rights to ownership remains a problem because of displacements caused by wars. Because actual law does not sanction the discriminative distribution of lands, some minority people from Serbia still living in Croatia are incapable of getting back their lands and houses owned before the war. Commissions have been put in place to facilitate the redistribution of these lands and the property owned before the war. But in this practice, this commission are doing less to remove the already settled people of Croatia off their property. Problematic, a law on the zones of particular national interest is still running and after a period of 10 years, issues complete rights of possession to occupants (2)

In Croatia, private agriculture represents about 60% of the total agricultural land. In 2000, about 83% of lands were used as private property for agriculture and for private use. Not privatised, the remaining land enterprises for the social sector were transferred to social property for the state in 1991. For the next 6 years, the government did not have the right to privatise this land and some efforts were taken for that to be the case. Of course the war contributed to the absence of progress. In 1997 the law on agricultural lands did encourage the notion of giving out these lands for rent or the sales of only 10% of government owned lands. This is highly blamed to the lack of action on the parts of regional commissions who were in charge of giving out these lands. In the quest to this privatization procedure, the World Bank called the government to rent out state owned land that are clearly claimed or having issues and then sell the rest. In order to create a necessary legal framework, the bank equally called on a new law on ownership and rights and the modifications on land laws and the identification of these lands. (2)

Croatia has a cadastral system and a land identification process that are incomplete. The law on navigation, that of cadastre and the law on land right controlled the two systems respectively… The files to land rights give legal rights and existent guaranteed loans but the two documents bring out a number of incoherencies in the rights or land titles. Land identification was principally administered in the regional levels and as from as from 1998 it was still done manually on paper. In 1997, the annual transfer of lands was estimated at 70.000 and 15.000 legally registered and numbered. (2)

In Croatia there are no clear cut laws on the rights to ownership and the lack of these laws did slow down the development of the operating public market. The rights to ownership remains not clear reasons being the lack of new public laws. There is no coherence between the different networks of land survey. The continuous ethnic problems to land issues has also slowed down the actions of the government or modernizing the laws on  lands for farming and also to concentrate more on agricultural productivity. (2)

Source: FAO, les pays des Balkans de l’Albanie et de l’ex-Yougoslavie
Source : FAO, The Balkan Countries of Albania and the Former Yugoslavia

Land Grabbing

Vulnerable Groups

  • Homelessness
  • Joungpeople
  • Old people
  • Women

Some Interesting Practices

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ASPECTS

Housing Market

Quality of Housing

Informal Housing / Slums / Homeless

ROLE OF PUBLIC AUTHORITIES

Social – Public Housing

ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS

Bibliography & Sitography

  1. AIH : Croatia:The right of tenants to security of tenure must be restored
  2. FAO, The Balkan Countries of Albania and the Former Yugoslavia

HABITAT AND CIVIL SOCIETY

Major Problems

Video of the association “La Chaîne” : “European Coalition of Housing Rights and the Right to the City in ATHENS 21 and 22 June 2015” (Part 3)

Major Claims

Civil Society Actors

  • MOST NGO = Non Governmental Organization that conducts a series of actions mainly for these two target audiences: youth and the homeless. Among the actions include a shelter for the homeless, a space community reintegration. In addition, the association plays an informal role federation of networks for the homeless in Croatia. Information via FEANTSA websitewebsitecontact
  • SUSH = the Federation of tenants’ rights in Croatia. She counts among her independent tenants and tenant associations. It conducts lobbying by organizing demonstrations in major cities of Croatia. She claims the protection of tenants and homeless. These include the issue of right of occupancy and the holders of former occupancy rights – Informations FEANTSA websitecontact.

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