Brief Background of Property Registration in Serbia

The first land registration data in Serbia date back to Medieval Serbian state. Many charters preserved in the monasteries are very significant documents on the state of Serbia development and the inception of awareness on the property records establishment. “The Deed of Prizren”, being the first document of that type, originates back to the period of the Emperor Dusan’s rule (1346 – 1355).

After the first Serbian constitution from 1835 has been passed at “National Assembly of Spasovdan” in 1837 in Kragujevac, Serbian prince Milos Obrenovic had opened the issue of land survey and classification, therefore 1837 may be considered the beginning of geodetic profession development in Serbia.

The Law on State Survey and Cadastre and Property Rights Registration (1988) had prescribed the establishment of the real estate cadastre for the first time in Serbia, as a unified register of land and constructions, along with the property rights pertaining to them. Prior to passing of this law, the Republic of Serbia was covered by land cadastre established pursuant to the state survey for the entire territory of the Republic of Serbia. Along with the land cadastre, the land registry was also established over the territory of the Republic of Serbia for 1.287  cadastral municipalities, making up 28 % of the total number of cadastral municipalities, along with books of deeds covering a minor share of municipalities in Serbia.

The real estate cadastre establishment had started in 1988 and completed in 2012, at which time the real estate cadastre has been established over the entire territory of the Republic of Serbia. Since 2004, the real estate cadastre establishment process has been supported by the World Bank under the “Real Estate Cadastre and Registration Project in Serbia”, which was successfully completed in 2012. At the time, the real estate cadastre was established over 100 % of the national territory. For more information, click here.(ICR2076 September 4th 2012 pages 6 & 53)


According to the rating that measures favorability of business environment, the Doing business list of the World Bank, the property issues are designated the key for the development of private sector, investments in infrastructure and successful access to financing, including accurate and up to date data in public registers of property and property rights holders, providing greater availability of property as a collateral.

Doing Business list of the World Bank, in the part Registering Property has been established in 2002, recording the progress of a country in the property rights registration processes compared to other countries world wide. According to this source, Serbia had achieved the following reforms since 2009:

DB2009: Serbia had decreased property conveyance cost by cutting property transfer tax

DB2012: Serbia had accelerated property rights transfer

DB2017: Serbia had simplified the process of property rights transfer by introducing time limits for governmental organs acting

DB2018: Serbia had improved reliability of land administration system by implementing geographic information system.


The new Law on Procedure of Registration in the Real Estate Cadastre and Utility Cadastre was promulgated in May 2018, and is being used since July 1st, 2018. After promulgation of the new legislation for registration in the cadastre, citizens and businesses are provided with the registration by a single visit to the notary public (single step) instead of visiting various organs in four different places.

Statistical data verify that the average property conveyance time for the change of property rights measured from July 1st, 2018 is registered within 4 (3.95) working days or 5 (4.73) calendar days for the City of Belgrade.