As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, there are three conditions for co-financing post-earthquake reconstruction in Zagreb – ownership, residence and whether or not the property is the place you actually live in, which will be proven through neighbours and who bills are addressed to if necessary. According to the State Secretary at the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State, Zeljko Uhlir, those who meet those conditions are to participate in the Zagreb earthquake reconstruction costs of their own properties in the amount of 20 percent. For others, the amount is a significantly higher 50 percent.
The same goes for owners of different types of property: for the first ”section” which has been mentioned above, they participate with 20 percent, for the others the participation amount stands at 50 percent, but if someone sold their apartment, then the new owner must participate with 50 percent of the renovation costs, and in the case that someone sells their renovated apartment, they will need to return the invested funds or the costs and those associated with it will be passed on to the new owner.
What, in turn, is the difference between Zagreb earthquake reconstruction done yourself and renovation done through the appropriate fund? Can co-owners who don’t want that sort of reconstruction be forced to accept it, and how will all of this be affected by the lack of workers, engineers and the rise in price of construction materials? These are all very pressing questions which obviously demand clear answers.
Then there is the question of how non-detached buildings will be dealt with? There are also questions surrounding older owners who aren’t accustomed to using the internet and the whole procedure might become too complicated for them to understand. In the framework of the dialogue that has been going on for a long time now, among experts on the topic of reconstruction of buildings after the earthquake, in addition to the above questions, there are a number of those to which representatives of the profession are still looking for answers.
However, as confirmed by a recently held presentation on the basics of Zagreb earthquake reconstruction for members of the Chamber Association of Property, what there is no doubt about is that the renovation process will affect the capital’s real estate market in the long run.
It will significantly affect the markets, but mostly people’s lives, and therefore it should be approached in an organised manner at all levels. That was the central message of Dubravko Ranilovic.
According to Uhlir, only in the Zagreb area will the rehabilitation of buildings cost as much as the construction of motorways. The primary goal, he claims, is to ensure mechanical resistance and stability with the aim of protecting human health and life, while the secondary point is the urban renewal of the City of Zagreb and its surroundings, and the regeneration of the overall area. Recalling the rule that the EU doesn’t provide funds for private property – the owners, in fact, must take care of it themselves, according to him it is malicious to make accusations and lie blame with the owners of old buildings when it comes to maintenance as most were not designed or built to withstand seismic loads, and therefore their restoration is extremely a complex job in which the profession must play a major role.
On the other hand, co-owners can organise and finance the Zagreb earthquake renovation process which refer to their properties themselves, and then demand a refund of the justifiably spent funds, which means that in this case the process may go much more quickly and smoothly, but Uhlir warned that they must pay attention to all of the documentation and that everything goes according to the rules and can be looked back at.
“Of course, the problem lies with the harmonisation of the the position of the co-owners, but it’s possible to act legally if there’s indeed a threat to life at play. A completely new law in building management is coming soon,” said Uhlir, adding that the law was made according to the best experiences to date, but unfortunately we still don’t have a single contract with a designer, let alone a contractor, ie there are a very limited number of people who understand this sort of construction and who have real life experience in it,” he added.
The good news that the Secretary of State also put forward is that the deadlines for submitting applications have been moved to the period from 2021 to 2025 so that everyone will be able to submit them, but in conclusion it is worth emphasising his appeal to all not to attempt to fix any earthquake damage yourself, but be sure to contact authorised professionals for your own safety and for that of the buildings.
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