Slovenia lies at the heart of Europe, where the Alps
and the Mediterranean meet the
Pannonian plains and the
In Slovenia, the sun shines approximately 2,000 hours per year. And
there is plenty of snow in winter. The average temperatures are -2°C in
January and 21°C in July.
Green is the dominant colour. There are many woods and forests in
Slovenia covering more than half of the country and numerous preserved
and protected plant and animal species. Mountains, lakes, waterfalls,
forests, caves, hills, plains, rivers and the sea, you name it, we've
got it on the 20.273 km2, as well as many natural and landscape parks.
As a small picturesque country,
Slovenia makes a great tourist destination. You can ski in the
morning and surrender yourself to the luxury of the
Adriatic Sea in the
The highest mountain is called
Triglav The name meaning "three-heads" and it is 2864m high. The
mountain is a true national symbol, featured on the national coat of
arms and the flag.
The country is also known for its great wines and delicious traditional
Slovenia in the EU includes links to Slovenian government sites and
joined the EU, foreigners trying to buy had to go through a long and
complicated process of obtaining permission from the Ministry of Justice
which could take as long as 5 months. Now all that has been swept away
and the real estate market is free of legal restrictions for EU
citizens. One caveat remains: Slovenia may resort to a general safeguard
clause provided for in Article 37 of the Accession Treaty for a period
of up to 7 years after the time of accession that would allow them to
reapply restrictions on purchases by non nationals.
estate agent here in Slovenia MUST be licensed, if not they are breaking
the law, simple as that. Buying through a licensed agent is crucial, for
a start you will pay what the locals would pay, prices cannot be
inflated for foreigners. Being regulated means agents can not take any short
cuts, critical for any buyer. They are also fully insured to conform to
Once you have made your choice, ask your lawyer to submit an offer in
euros based on what you can really afford taking into account all the
extras such as tax, translation costs, bank costs, currency transfer
costs and of course, furnishing and equipment. Generally speaking,
fittings in Slovenia are of a comparable cost to the UK but labour costs
(carpenters, electricians, etc) is relatively cheaper.
Once you have found
your property you will be required to pay a 10% deposit which if the
seller backs out for any reason will be returned to you - but doubled,
this is Slovenian law. If you back out then the seller will keep this
10%. So unlike the UK gazumping is virtually non-existent in
If the offer is
accepted, you must make an application for an EMSO number (a number that
Slovene citizens are given at birth) and a tax number and perform land
searches. Land registry searches in
Slovenia are a modern wonder and can
usually be provided within 2 working days. Where else in the world can
they be done at such speed?
You will need a copy
of your passport at this point. Your agent will then apply for a tax
number for you as well as an EMSO number, both of which are required to
complete a property transaction. This will only take around a week to
Now you can
talk to your bank in the UK about the different possibilities of moving
money across to Slovenia including using forward contracts in euros.
Transfers into Slovenia are becoming easier now that it is part of the
documents including the contract, the details from the Land Registry,
any management contracts and all insurance policies.
You will need
to open a bank account in
Slovenia for all those standing orders
(utilities, management charges, cable TV and so on)! A good relationship
with a Slovene bank will make all this very simple.
It is recommended that you use a
Lawyer to check all
paperwork, ownership details and contracts.
Now you can return home, with two options return to sign
all the papers in person and pay the final balance or give your agent or
your lawyer power of attorney and the sale can be completed for you.
once you and your
lawyer are satisfied sign the contract in both
languages and break open the champagne.
you are buying from an estate agent you will need to pay him a
percentage of the purchase price. In
Slovenia the agent works on behalf
of the seller and the purchaser of the property.
The typical charge for an agent is 4% +
DDV (VAT at 20%) and this is split equally between the buyer and the
Usually this price includes Zemljiška
Knjiga (Land Registry) searches and sometimes also the cost of drawing
up contracts although you will need to check this in advance.
As well as agents’ fees, there are costs
for translation of contracts and documents (sometimes by a certified
translator), legal costs (depending what is covered by agents’ fees.
Also if you want independent legal advice this needs to be factored into
Surveying is not commonly conducted in
Slovenia – however you may want to take advantage of this option, a
survey is not expensive and many overseas buyers like the comfort of
having one done.
You may be liable to certain taxes in
Slovenia, when you buy, whilst you
own the property and when you come to sell it. The taxes that you pay
whilst you own the property vary from region to region and may include
for example a tourist tax for non residents and a local community tax.
For a new build house for private use, 8.5% VAT is payable on the price
of the building; for a property built for commercial purposes (eg a
hotel, apartments to rent, etc) then the VAT payable is 20%. VAT is also
payable on the buyer's commission charged by the house agent. Tax may
also be payable when you come to sell depending on whether it is your
main property and how long you have owned it. We would advise that you
check carefully your current and future tax liabilities as part of the
At present there are only two banks that offer Mortgages to
the overseas investor.
The Austrian bank VOLKSBANK offers for overseas buyers to
take out 60% mortgages and on a case by case basis up to 70% (depending
on customer credit worthiness and type/location of the property). The
mortgage is secured on your property here not in the UK.
SKB Banka in
Slovenia offer 50% mortgages, although
recently they have been allowing 70% on renovation or
unfinished projects. The mortgage is secured on your property here not
in the UK.
Please remember your home or foreign property may be
repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. We
recommend you consult your financial and legal advisors before entering
into any mortgage contract.
When considering the
options for a mortgage on your intended property purchase there are a
couple of other choices to consider;
Do you raise the finance on one of your existing properties in the UK to
cover the whole cost of your purchase abroad? A good idea if the
interest rate in the country in question is a lot higher than it is here
in the UK as you will pay a lot less in monthly repayments.
Do you secure a mortgage against the property from a local bank in the
country of purchase? This can be a wise option especially if the
interest rate is lower than our current UK interest rate. Most overseas
mortgage / lenders will require up to 30% deposit on mortgages. However,
you will need to give some thought to how you will service your mortgage
payments each month especially if you are not living or earning in that
country as you may well lose out on exchanging money each time to cover
Rents can be set freely by agreement between landlord and tenant. There
is no rent control, except in the old state owned sector, which is now
must however by law not be ‘usurious’, i.e., not more than 50% higher
than average rents in the same local municipality. In practice, this is
not followed; landlords can draw contracts and change it as they wish.
Indexation of rent is permissible.
law imposes no limit on rental deposits.
contract can be for any period of time.
contract must be in written form. It must be registered with the local
and tax authorities.
the contract is for a definite period of time, the landlord has no
obligation to renew the contract. If there has been no renewal 30 days
before contract expiration, the tenant has to vacate the apartment at
the day of expiration.
tenant is always free to terminate a tenancy contract, without giving
grounds, by serving 90 days’ notice.