How to find property ownership records in Croatia

White stone houses with terra cotta roofs in Omiš, Croatia
Houses in Omiš, Croatia

UPDATED: 28.11.2023.

Before diving into purchasing a property in Croatia, you might want to check out some basic information about a house or apartment first. For example, some properties in Croatia have 23 owners or more, which is a mess most don’t want to get anywhere near with good reason. It’s also vital to know if there are any burdens against the land, as the seller may not disclose that information in good faith.

In this article, we learn exactly how to find out the ownership and characteristic information on a property and what it all means.

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

How to find property ownership records in Croatia

How you can find out information about a property

There are two ways:

  • Katastar
  • Uređena Zemlja (Land Registry)


Katastar is a state agency that holds the official data connected to a property such as:

  • Katastarska čestica – Parcel number, which serves as an ID for the property.
  • Size in square meters
  • Purpose of the property – This is the type of property such as a residential building, area for livestock grazing, arable land, field, vineyard, garage, elementary school, to name a few examples.
  • Person who holds the land – This is usually inaccurate and will not match the land registry. In most cases, the “holder” of the land in Katastar was determined in the 1990s when government representatives would manually ask neighbors who owned the land. Only the land registry can confirm the true owner.

How to search for a property in Katastar

You may look up a property in Katastar here using the parcel number. That link will take you to the English version of their site. Even though it is English, we will provide both the English and Croatian references below.

find katastar number

Once you land on the site, click on “Find cadastral parcel” to search properties (“Pronađi katastarsku česticu” if searching on the Croatian version of the site).

You’ll need to enter the following information into the form:

  • Područni ured za katastar – District cadastral office
  • Odjel/Ispostava – Office/branch
  • Katarska općina – Cadastral municipality
  • Broj katastarske cestice – Cadastral parcel number
  • Broj posjedovnog lista – Property deed number

Items #1 through #3 have pre-populated drop-down menus you can select from.

search katastar

What if I don’t have the parcel number?

You can look up the parcel number using this interactive map. Zoom in on the map until you locate the property. You’ll see the parcel number laid on top of the map, like in the image below.

Once you have this number, you can perform a search on Katastar’s site.

geo map scaled

Can I use the parcel number from Katastar to find a property in the land registry?

Not always. The parcel number from the Katastar is only the same as the land registry number in about 40% of cases.

If you only have the parcel number from Katastar and it does not match the land registry, you must go to Katastar in person to request the Zemljišnoknjižna čestica (Land registry parcel number), which is the identification number used in the land registry.

You can find the closest Katastar office by going here and clicking on “Places of interest” and then “Cadastral offices”. There is no direct link to their directory.

“I was looking for information and advice about buying property in Croatia. I contacted Expat in Croatia and the team was really helpful and responsive. They also directed me to a lawyer whom we used. Everything went smoothly and it was reassuring to have received advice from local expats.” – Maryjane, France

Uređena Zemlja (Land Registry)

The land registry holds all the records of ownership including:

  • Zemljišnoknjižna čestica – Land registry parcel number
  • Owner name(s)
  • Owner OIB(s) – On listings older than 5 years, OIBs may not be included in the land registry record
  • Owner address(es) – Where they are registered
  • Burdens on land

Zemljišnoknjižna čestica

Properties in the land registry have their own ID number called “Zemljišnoknjižna čestica” meaning “land registry parcel”, which is different than the Katastar parcel number in most cases.

Even though these numbers can be different, in 40% of cases the parcel number in Katastar and the land registry are the same, meaning you can use the Katastar number to look up a property in the land registry.

Burdens on land

The land registry record notes any burdens on the land. A burden might be a mortgage or when someone has a right to live on the property but does not have a right to ownership. It is critical that you know about any burdens on a property BEFORE entering into a purchase contract so that you don’t end up taking on those burdens.

Let’s cover some examples, to further explain situations that constitute a burden.

Example A: A husband dies and leaves his house to his living children. Even though he left the property ownership to his children, he has noted in his will that his widowed wife has the right to live there until she passes.

Example B: You get a mortgage from a bank to purchase a property. The bank will inform the land registry of this mortgage. The total amount of the mortgage will then be noted under burdens. Once the mortgage is paid off, you request a statement from the bank showing that the loan was paid in full so it can be filed with the land registry. Once filed, the burden will be removed from the land registry record.

Example C: Two brothers purchased a plot of land together. We’ll call them Josip and Damir. They split the land down the middle. To reach Damir’s part of the land, Damir has to pass through Josip’s land. Damir’s right to pass through Josip’s part of the land is recorded in the land registry as a burden.

If it is not visible in the land registry, then it does not exist. If no burdens are listed in the land registry, then that means it is free of any burden or legal right.

Regardless, it would be best if you had a real estate lawyer check out a property before you make the move to buy it so they can 100% confirm it is free of any burdens, which can save you money and headaches later. If you’d like a referral, just contact us.

How to search for a property in the land registry

Once you have the parcel number for the land registry, you can look up the property here. It is not possible to search the land registry online if all you have is the address.

Screenshot 2023 11 28 at 11.15.37

To search for a property, you’ll need to provide:

  • Općinski sud / ZK odjel – Municipal court / Land Registry office
  • Glavna knjiga – Main book
  • Knjiga položenih ugovora – Book of deposited contracts
  • Broj kat. Čestice – Cadastral parcel number
  • Broj ZK uloška – LR form number / BDC subform number

Items #1, #2, and #3 have a pre-populated drop-down menu you can select from. You can also select “Historical review” or “Special extract” when generating the extract.

Now that you have this information, you can feel more confident about your decision to purchase (or not purchase) a property in Croatia.

How to get help investigating or purchasing a property

If you need help researching or purchasing a property, our real estate lawyer network can help! We have expat-vetted lawyers across Croatia who can:

  • Answer all of your property questions
  • Find all Katastar and land registry records for properties of interest
  • Clean property titles
  • Help you purchase a property
  • Ensure you are not taken advantage of by property sellers
  • Prepare and review contracts
  • Request Ministry of Justice permission to buy a property (for non-EU/EEA citizens)
  • Change ownership records with the land registry after the purchase

They can also represent you at a notary’s office as well as with the property seller to coordinate and translate on your behalf.

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Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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