Parliament adopts law solving decades-old problem of protected tenants

Zagreb - Parliament on Thursday adopted a law on the enforcement of European Court of Human Rights' rulings in the Statitleo vs. Croatia group of cases and the Croatian Constitutional Court's decision which solves the decades-old problem of protected tenants and rectifies the injustice done to property owners.

Under the law, owners have the right to claim back their property and have the market price of the rent paid, while tenants have the right to acquire the right of ownership under favourable conditions.

The problem of protected tenants who have lived in private apartments is over 70 years old. They were given the right to live in privately-owned flats, and that right ceased to exist in 1996, when it was replaced with the institute of protected tenancy.

The dilemma as to who had ownership rights to the flats and if owners could be forced to sell the flats was solved on a number of occasions by the ECHR, ruling in their favour. The most important ruling was delivered in 2014 in the Statileo vs. Croatia case.

In 2018, the Croatian parliament amended the law on the renting of flats, offering a transitional period after which the protected tenants would have to leave the flats, but the law's contentious provisions were revoked by a Constitutional Court decision that the state should take on a bigger burden.

Under the new law, a register will be established with data on all flats occupied by protected tenants, to be followed by the adoption of a programme of measures for the enforcement of the ECHR rulings and the Constitutional Court decision.

Author: Hina