FEATURE STORY

Securing Property Rights and Improving Lives in Bosnia and Herzegovina

December 15, 2015

World Bank Group

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Real Estate Registration Project is working with land registry and cadastre offices around the country to develop a sustainable real estate registration system.
  • The project is expected to help 1.68 million people across nearly 500 cadastral municipalities by linking cadastre and registry data, and updating this information to reflect the reality on the ground.
  • The project is also providing support to purchase and renovate land registration and cadastre offices across the country to offer improved facilities for citizens to secure their land rights in the most efficient manner possible.

A well-functioning land registration system is fundamental for economic growth and sustainable development. Secure property rights allow governments to function more efficiently and effectively, promote growth and investment in the private sector, and protect individuals’ real property rights.

In recognition of these benefits, the governments of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been working closely with the World Bank and other international development partners to develop a sustainable real estate registration system. Building on the earlier successful initiatives such as the Land Registration Project (2006-2012) the country is focusing on improving land registry and cadastre data as well as improving working conditions and infrastructure for real estate registration.

The Real Estate Registration Project, which is expected to be completed by July 2018, is working with land registry and cadastre offices around Bosnia and Herzegovina to help support the development of a sustainable real estate registration system. The project was designed to promote investment and strengthen citizens’ real property rights.

In the Republika Srpska, the project focuses on the establishment of the Real Estate Cadastre, which links cadastre and land registry data.


World Bank Group

" I submitted my request, I believe on a Thursday, and by Monday it was all done. They told me you can go home it is all completed now. "

Salih Pindžić

Resident, Gračanica

World Bank Group

“The most significant problems [in the past] related to an outdated real estate registry,” notes Radovan Bobić, a resident of Klašnice.

“Inefficiencies meant that one could not comply – one could not obtain construction permits, get a mortgage on property. It was even a barrier to the development of agriculture.”

All in all, the project is expected to help 1.68 million people across nearly 500 cadastral municipalities.

“Now with the improvement of this system and the moving to an electronic registry, it is faster,” says Bobić.

The same development is happening in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina – where the emphasis is being placed on the harmonization of cadastre and land registry data.

In Gračanica, these improvements have meant that records at the land registry and cadastre offices have been synced, greatly improving the ability of these offices to serve the public. The land registry office in the city is also one of the 37 offices that are being renovated to further improve the quality of the services it provides.

“I am surprised by the speed of this work - especially now with the harmonization,” says Salih Pindžić, a resident of Gračanica who recently transfered property titles to his two children.

“I submitted my request I believe on a Thursday and by Monday it was all done. They told me you can go home it is all completed now.”

These improvements in the land registration system are expected to have positive and lasting impacts across sectors in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Rights to own, lease, and use real properties are legally protect. Therefore, businesses can invest more and use real properties as collateral to credit. Governments can also use online access to accurate spatial information to increase revenues and inform decision making.

Collectively, these benefits can help spur growth and investment in Bosnia and Herzegovina as it continues down the path toward integration into the European Union. Individually, these changes mean that citizens like Salih Pindžić feel more secure about their rights and save time transfering property titles to his family members – spending it instead with his son and daughter.