Balkan Blackmail: You Bought My House, Now Buy My Land Or I Will Block You

Total Croatia News

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June 23, 2020 – Welcome to Balkan Blackmail, and why one of Hvar’s best advertisements to the Scandinavian market will be closed this summer, perhaps forever. Bravo, Majstori!

It is one of the great hidden gems of Hvar that few people on the island even know about. 

And yet, in certain sports around the world, it is internationally famous.  Meet Lost Villa, idyllically located in an isolated waterfront plot in a bay south of Gdinj on eastern Hvar. 

In the words of Swedish owner, Per:

We have a fitness villa and bring mostly Swedish crossfit and weightlifters to work out in the sun and enjoy Croatia! We have had some of the world’s best athletes in these sports, and in Sweden, we are very famous with our destination. 

During Spring and Fall, we organize training weeks, so our guests live in the apartments and villas in the bay and come and work out at Lost Villa. During the summer we rent out the villa on Airbnb for private groups. This year I had bookings worth around 20 000 euro which I have now cancelled. 
We bought the villa 2015 and have been working full time since then to build up everything and promoting it to Swedish and international guests. 

A fabulous spot, a great business, and a wonderful promotion of the island of Hvar. 

But, as Per said, all bookings this year (and there were many) have been cancelled. Not because of corona, but because of Balkan Blackmail. 

Because of greed.  

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I have heard of many real estate horror stories of foreign purchases (as well as many success stories) during my time in Croatia, but few have been such a clinical example of Balkan blackmail as this one. I had my own real estate business, Hvar Property Services, many years ago, an experience which aged me and from which I am still not completely free some 16 years later. But let’s focus on Per’s story.

In 2015 we bought a villa, one of the sellers is also the owner of the plot next to our villa, and we need to pass her plot in order to get to our villa. 
Two years ago she wanted us to buy her plot. We were interested and asked some real estate agents to value to the plot. They said it was worth about 20 000 – 50 000 euro. Her price was 250 000 euro, so we said no. 

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She then built a wall blocking the road. 

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We removed this wall by hand. 

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Another time the same year she ordered a big truck with huge rocks, however we were able to stop this truck on the way to our villa and he turned around and drove away.  

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Last week we had enough, the stress this situation is causing us is too big. We feel that our house has been kidnaped, we can’t use it, we can’t get water to the tank, and if there is an emergency no help can reach us. 
So we decided to accept the latest price we have received for the adjacent plot which was 165 000 euro – this was the price on 22 October 2019. In 2019 we turned down this price because we did an investigation and understood that we are not allowed to rebuild the ruins as the seller told us. So the plot is not worth that much money, nothing can be built there, and we only need the road to access our house in peace.
Anyway, last week on June 9 we sent an offer of 165 000 euro. We need an end to all of this!
But on 13 June we received a counter-offer and now the price for the plot is 250 000 euro. 
We will not accept this new offer.

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For us it is very clear that she is blackmailing us. She knows the legal process to open up the road is very slow, and during this time she is pushing our limits. And now with corona we can’t even go to Croatia to do anything about the big walls she has built blocking our house. We have guests booked for our house this summer, we can’t ask them to climb big walls in order to get to the house. 

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No comment required from the author of this article.  

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