Any prospective buyer looking to buy character property in Croatia in a larger town center should be aware than many of those properties are located within the culture protected areas. Preemption rights exist, in the favor of town/municipality, county and state. Therefore, you can't conclude the sale-purchase agreement with the seller, unless he had already been denied by the formerly mentioned institutions.
The process is not complicated, but takes 60 days. If the institutions do not respond in the given period, it is considered that they resign the preemption rights. Any sale-purchase contract concluded before that deadline is invalid and may be disproved within 5 years from the day of conclusion. Another important thing is not to conclude the sale-purchase price on the open market equal or lower than the sum for which it had been offered to the institutions.
In reality, towns, municipalities, counties and state do not use these rights and do not buy heritage sites. The only exception was the city of Dubrovnik, but for a small number of properties that were of great culture importance.
We should probably ad that the culture and heritage sites are defined by the conservatory office. Sometimes, like in the case of Split and Dubrovnik, these zones may cover the entire inner city areas. In the past times, the law required for each property located within such zone to pass the preemption process. Nowadays, the process is held only if particular property is specifically registered as of culture importance. Other properties in the zone do not need to pass the process, but the land registry will ask you to submit a supporting statement from the conservatory office.
Right Property Croatia and its lawyers will make sure that the buying process meets legal requirements, if you decide to buy property within the culture protected area.