The transfer of property is generally governed by the Rights in Rem Act in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of F BiH no 66/13 and 100/13) and Rights in Rem Act in the Republika Srpska (Official Gazette of RS” 124/08 and 58/09).
The rights of foreign investors are set out in the Law on Foreign Direct Investment Policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazettes of FBiH 4/98, 17/98 and 13/03).
Other applicable laws regarding the acquisition of real estate are as follows:
The Law on Spatial Planning and Use of Land of the FBiH (Official Gazette of the FBiH nos. 2/06 and 72/07)
The Law on Spatial Planning of the RS (Official Gazette of the RS nos. 84/02, 112/06 and 53/07)
The Law on the Protection of Environment of the FBiH (Official Gazette of the FBiH no. 33/03 and 38/09)
The Law on the Protection of Environment of the RS (Official Gazette of RS no. 28/07 revised text)
The Law on Expropriation applied in the FBiH (Official Gazette of the FBiH no. 70/07, 36/10, and 27/12)
The RS Law on Expropriation (Official Gazette of the RS nos. 112/06, 37/07 and 110/08
The Law on VAT of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazettes of FBiH nos. 9/05, 35/05, and 100/08)
The Law on Spatial Planning and Construction in the RS (Official Gazette of RS no. 40/13).
Real estate ownership and property rights are registered in land books which are maintained by the municipal courts in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the 'FBiH') and by the basic courts in the Republika Srpska (the 'RS').
According to the legislation governing land registers, the following rights are subject to registration:
ownership rights, part ownership and joint ownership
attachments and pledges
long-term leasehold, pre-emption and resale rights
land debt (as to which see the answer to "Types of security: what sort of security is typically created or entered into by an investor who is borrowing to acquire or develop real estate?" under the Real Estate Finance topic for Bosnia and Herzegovina
rights of use.
Land registers are accessible to the public in the relevant courts and in the presence of an official employed by the land registry.
In addition to the land registers, municipalities within Bosnia and Herzegovina maintain cadastres, i.e. property registers.
Are transfers of title recorded in this country?
Yes, transfers of title to real estate are registered in the land register.
The land registry record contains three sections:
a description of the real estate in section A
the registration of ownership in section B, together with any restrictions on the owner's rights of disposal and notes on ownership, and
details of encumbrances and restrictions in section C.
Purchase agreements are recorded.
Does title insurance exist in this country?
Foreign insurance companies can insure property in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the 'FBiH') but such insurance is not common.
Investors should carry out legal due diligence on title, building permits, leases and contracts relating to the property and technical due diligence on the condition of the buildings.
Due diligence is conducted before completion of the contract. It is possible for the buyer to agree with the seller an exclusive right to buy the property subject to the results of the due diligence.
Legislation of Bosnia and Herzegovina