Only every third woman in Serbia owns a flat, a house or business premises.
Most of the property and assets are usually registered to men. Even the data about 34% of female property owners seems unrealistic once the relevant statistical data is analyzed in detail. The percentage is actually the result of better statistics in the north of the country because in northernmost Serbian towns, like Subotica, 58% of property owners are women.
The situation is completely different in Tutin, for instance, where only 13% of property is registered to women, while in Sjenica or Prijepolje this percentage stands at 19.
In order to rectify this situation, the State Geodetic Office has been implementing stimulating measures since January this year, particularly in terms of reducing their fees.
“The fee for registration of joint property between spouses and people in common-in-law marriages has been reduced to symbolic 300 dinars. It seems that the awareness about this issue has been growing, because we are now having interest in this measure. We see this measure as contributing to gender equality. In Vojvodina, for example, the percentage of female property owners is quite high, and we can conclude that this is a result of the implementation of various projects in which only women with farms registered to their name could participate”, says Vasilija Zivanovic, a legal expert from the Geodetic Office.
She also says that women property owners usually renounce their right to owning real estate in favour of their male relatives, and this is especially true for rural areas.
Higher availability of loans to women, as well as them voicing their opinion in terms of decision making and combating domestic violence are some of the desired results that the Geodetic Office wants to accomplish with its measures.
The issue of real estate ownership should not be taken lightly. For instance, if only one spouse is registered as the owner, he or she can sell the property without informing the other or needing his or hers permission. This often happens when spouses are about to divorce, or have a detrimental relationship.
(Gde Investirati, 31.10.2017)