The easement in Croatian law

Die Grunddienstbarkeit im kroatischen Recht

In view of the fact that the Republic of Croatia has nowadays positioned itself not only as a tourist country but also as a land for investment in real estate, this article deals with a few important points about easement. When acquiring a property, it is important for the buyer that he buys an unladen property . An easement is justified especially when he has to cross someone else’s land to reach his new property.

The easement defines that the owner of a real estate can use the property of another person. It serves the better use of the dominant estate. The easement is established by the entry in the land register due to a private law contract. If the serving estate has multiple co-owners, all must give their permission for the entry of the right of way in the land register. The easement can also be justified by an adverse possesion. In this case, the owner acquires easement on the real estate if he possesses this  real estate for twenty years and he possesses it in good faith. He is entitled to obtain a title by the court by registering  the easement in the land register.

If the easement is entered in the land register, it is bound to the dominant estate and can not be split. When selling, the easement moves to the new owner, meaning that it remains untouched by an ownership change.

Often the easement is established as the right of way on a certain place of estate. In order to avoid disputes, it is advisable to formulate the content of the contract as precisely as possible. The owner of the serving estate is prohibited from performing certain activities at that particular location so that the owner of the dominant estate can freely  walk or drive. If the owner of the serving estate or a third party prevent this, there are certain remedies  available to the owner of the dominant estate. The owner of the serving estate may be ordered by the court to refrain from certain acts. On the other hand, the owner of the serving estate must not be unduly disadvantaged. In certain circumstances, easement may also be required at his request.

The easement can be terminated by an agreement, by the order of the court or by the statute of limitations. Due to an agreement, it can also be erased at any time from the land register. The owner of the serving estate may demand the removal by the court if the easement has lost its purpose, e.g. if an alternative, appropriate route is available. If the easement has not been used for twenty years, it succumbed to the statute of limitations.