The Technicalities of buying in Slovenia by Tomas Piber of Trg Bled d.o.o.
Posted on 10 October 2004
This article provides a useful guide to purchasing a property in Slovenia. Tomas helps to run a family estate agency in Bled. The agency is easy to find as it is just at the foot of the hill on the road leading from Lake Bled up to the castle. If you wish to contact his firm, their email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
He describes what the normal procedure is for the purchaser where there are no legal complications. If you have any doubts, consult a lawyer. One thing worth adding is to investigate your bank payment method and the time it will take for the money to reach the country well in advance. There is usually a delay between signing the contract and the arrival of the cash from the UK. (And you want to ensure that you use a method involving the fewest charges and the best rate of exchange. Be careful that you do not get involved in a 2 stage exchange - from sterling to euros and from euros to tolars.)
It is easy to purchase a property in Slovenia when the estate agent has prepared all the paperwork and all the legal aspects are in order. The agent needs to have prepared the following:
1. A new copy of the land registry entry,
2. Community confirmation of the building and that a community right doesn't exist,
3. An official evaluation of the property. This is not necessarily the same as the selling price. It is used to estimate the 2% property sales tax, which is usually paid by the vendor.
In these cases it is not always necessary for the purchaser to have an independent lawyer, the decision is his. In Slovenia the usual practice is to work with the public notary who acts for both sides.
When the contract is signed there must be a legally binding translation. Once the contract is signed. the normal practice is for the purchaser to pay a deposit of 10% of the purchase price.
If all the legal requirements on both the side of the vendor and the purchaser are met the final completion takes about a further 7 days.
The buyer will also have to pay 2% of the property price plus ATV (the Slovene form of VAT) as the agent's fee.
In the case of foreigners it usually takes an extra three days in order to obtain a tax number and an ID or Emso number which is an ID number (similar to a social security number) that Slovenes are given at birth.
Experience of buying a House in Slovenia by Tom, Carol and Nigel Blandford
After some research on the internet, we found SlovenianProperties.com, together with a few other websites. We found we didn't get much response from estate agents by e-mail, so ended up using the telephone where possible. After an initial assessment we booked flights with RyanAir, for 25p each, and went out to Slovenia for a look. A few days were required to meet all the agents in the area that interested us, and to inspect a few properties. A hire-car is almost essential for this. We returned home and did a bit more research, before putting in an offer. After some negotiation, a price was agreed. The estate agent arranged all the forms and documentation for us, and applied for an EMSO number on our behalf.
The process of buying seems to be very easy in Slovenia. Almost all communication with the agent was by e-mail, and most Slovenes speak good English. Structural surveys are not usual in Slovenia, and we had a hard time finding a company that could do one. The best source of information we've found is the online Slovenian yellow pages (www.rumenestrani.com/Eng - using the categories rather than the search tool). We eventually settled on an architect who provided us with a short report, which was quickly translated by an agency in Wales (Dwyrain@aol.com).
In general, it may be necessary to take a bit more risk on structural issues than in UK. It helps if you, or someone you can take with you, knows a bit about house building. In our case, we were helped by the fact that the top floor of our chosen house is unfinished and we could see the construction plainly. In hindsight, we probably wouldn't have paid for a survey at all.
After paying a 10% deposit, the house was removed from the market, and the agent arranged for a contract to be drawn up and translated by a court translator. We didn't use a separate lawyer, but did pay extra to have the notary witness the signing by all parties. However, it's probably best to have the process overseen by your own lawyer, if you're not willing to use the vendor's solicitor. We did get a list of lawyers from the Chamber of Commerce, but we felt confident enough with all parties, and decided it wasn't necessary to employ our own.
There are various taxes and fees to be paid, and responsibility for these should be decided on before the contract is prepared. In our case, the buyer and seller paid half the estate agent's commission each (4% is normal in Slovenia). The vendor paid other government taxes, but we paid the land registration tax. We did have some confusion with the estate agent over costs, so it's important to check things over and agree everything in detail. Opening a bank account is easy, provided you have an EMSO number, and are willing to visit the bank in person. If transferring a large sum of money, it's a good idea to shop around for the best rate and to use a third party, other than a high street bank. We were able to pay in Euros, which helped. Tolar rates in Slovenia are much better than in UK, and the banks there accept credit in Sterling, which can then be converted.
We made a second visit to sign all the documentation and the contract. The whole process took about 3 months from our first visit. We now plan to spruce up one floor of the house this summer, and get it onto the holiday-let market for the ski season next winter.
Carol, Nigel and Tom Blandford.
The season for winter sport is with us! Intersport Bernik is the place in Kranjska Gora for ski hire,
all equipment requirements and every winter sporting need. Visit their web site at
Intersport Bernik to arrange your
winter sporting needs. If you have young children but wish to ski on you own you can leave them in the care of
Intersport's instructors/animators. They will keep them safe and entertained and they can also organise lunch for them.
This is available for children from age 3.
The Bled Shuttle is now meeting the later Whizz Air flights. Prices start at €13 per person to Bled. Visit the
Bled Shuttle web site for more information on timings and
destinations. Also read our latest Newsletter and find some reasons to be cheerful about buying in Slovenia now!
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