The Serbian Parliament has adopted the Law on Amendments to the Law on Planning and Construction.
The most significant amendment concerns the abolition of the conversion of the right of use into the right of ownership with a fee. With the entry into force of these amendments, the Law on the Conversion of the Right of Use into the Right of Ownership Subject to Payment of a Fee will cease to be valid. Over the past 12 years, as long as this law was in force, the value of the income generated on the basis of the fee amounted to approximately EUR 30 million. Despite the implementation of this law, more than 98% of the conversions were carried out without a fee. The conversion procedures carried out in accordance with this law took up to 10 years each, and it is estimated that these delayed investments in about 5,000 locations (15,000,000 m2) and resulted in the loss of income generated by investments, income from contributions for building land, VAT or real estate tax. With the repeal of this law, it is expected that a significant area of building land will be released for construction and new investments will be possible, largely resolving the decades-old issue of the conversion of land into social property.
The adopted amendments provide that the title to a cadastral land plot is registered in favour of the legal entity that is registered as the owner of the object located on the land plot, i.e. the person who is registered as the holder of the right to use the cadastral land plot for unbuilt construction, regardless of the previous status of a given person (whether it was privatised or not), i.e. the reason for which the person acquired the right to use the land plot. Exceptions to this rule concern entities whose position is determined by the law on sports, as well as associations, agricultural and housing organisations and social enterprises. The registration of property rights is carried out ex officio by the authority responsible for surveying and the cadastre.
The establishment of the Agency for Regional Planning and Urbanisation of the Republic of Serbia is expected to relieve the state authorities by creating the conditions for effective implementation and improvement of planning and territorial development policy, while the institutes of the Republic and provincial urban planners will contribute to the restoration of order in the field of regional planning and urbanisation.