Five million illegally constructed buildings in Serbia

The number of illegally constructed buildings in our country is growing day-on-day, and the latest estimates of the State Geodetic Authority show that the number of such facilities jumped to an incredible five million.

“So far, we believed that the number of illegally built facilities is about a million and a half, and the State Geodetic Authority, with the help of the satellite imagery of Serbia, is working on putting together a register of illegally built facilities. We can already say that this number will be about five million. This is a huge dead capital that cannot be mortgaged, nor can it be invested in startup businesses and the like”, says Borko Draskovic, the Director of the State Geodetic Authority (RGZ).

The satellite imagery system was introduced primarily for the purpose of implementation of the project ‘Mass Estimation of Real Estate Value’, but it is also used in the process of legalization of illegally built facilities.

“Based on the data processed on 60% of the territory, we have noticed that the number of objects that are not registered in the real estate cadastre or have been significantly altered in relation to the registered data is approximately equal to the number of facilities that are properly registered in the real estate cadastre. Bearing in mind that there are currently about 4.75 million buildings registered in the real estate cadastre, the conclusion that we came to is that there are about five million objects that are not registered”, the RGZ says.

Director of the RGZ points out that, within two months, since the introduction of a new system of real estate registration that now involves public notaries, over 42,000 registration requests have been received.

“The Ministry of Construction had drafted a rather bold law that proved to be very usable. Our work is much easier now, as we managed to solve almost all cases within the legal deadline. We have noticed certain problems in a few dozen of them, and these will be rectified”, Draskovic is optimistic.

Asked to comment on this new data collated by the RGZ, Aca Popovic, a special advisor at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, said that the figure should be taken with reservations.

“In statistical databases, you can often find cases that are double registered or the cases where the facility has been upgraded and small interventions were done on it. We should have a detailed insight into the documentation in order to know more precisely what we are talking about”, Popovic said.

Most problems usually stem from collective residential housing construction.

“The quality of the construction is of key importance because we had examples where a terrace or a balcony collapsed, damaging some other part of the illegally built facility. Also, there is a serious threat from the earthquake. Namely, each building has a certain static, but also a dynamic load that it can sustain. Often, real estate developers are not mindful of this, and if an earthquake does happen, there will be severe human casualties. There are also numerous incidental problems, such connections to the infrastructure grid or lack of parking spaces because 99 per cent of illegally constructed buildings have no garages, which directly threatens the quality of housing in that region”, Popovic adds.

The PKS advisor acknowledges that the number of applications for legalization is huge and that the RGZ doesn’t have enough staff to handle this.

The highest number of illegally constructed buildings is in Cacak

“Based on the statistical data processed thus far, the municipality of Cacak has the highest number of unregistered buildings (out of 44,950 facilities registered in the land books, 17,367 do not even exist, and 95,326 objects have not been registered with the cadastre or have been significantly changed relative the original documentation). Similar trends are noticed in the municipalities of Kraljevo, Subotica, Valjevo, Sabac, Zrenjanin and Loznica. Interestingly, for Belgrade municipalities Stari Grad and Vracar do not show the same trend since, in these municipalities, there are very few facilities that are not registered in the real estate cadastre (for example, out of 5,276 buildings registered in the municipality of Stari Grad, 317 objects do not exist, and only 352 objects are not registered with the cadastre or have been significantly changed relative to the original documentation”, the RGZ states.

(Blic, 06.09.2018)

Photo credits: Oliver Bunic / RAS Srbija

This post is also available in: Italiano

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