Croatia

  1. Issues regarding the building itself
    1. a. Requirements under public building law regarding energy efficiency.
    2. b. Do the regulations applicable under a) only affect new buildings or have all the buildings be provided with energy efficiency facilities?
    3. c. Does the market pay any attention to energy certificates?
    4. d. How popular is certification of buildings (LEED, BREEAM, etc.)?
  2. Issues regarding the use of the building
    1. a. Can the landlord push on the operating costs (mainly for electricity, water, heating) to the tenant following consumption or does that need to be established by the lease? Is there a distinction drawn between different types of buildings (e.g. residential, office, commercial, etc.)?
    2. b. Does a landlord have the right to perform construction measures to improve the energy efficiency of a building (also against the intention of the tenant). Is there a distinction drawn between different types of buildings (e.g. residential, office, commercial etc.)?
    3. c. Does a landlord have the right to receive a reimbursement of the costs for the measures under b)? Is there a distinction drawn between different types of buildings (e.g. residential, office, commercial, etc.)?
    4. d. If the respective rights mentioned in b) and c) do not exist by statute, but need to be established by the lease contract: Does a standard for such regulations exist (and what is its content)? Please give examples of typical regulations.
    5. e. Which other obligations regarding sustainability (building materials, energy efficiency, waste management etc.) exist? If they need to be imposed by the lease agreement: does a standard for such regulations exist (and what is its content)? Please give examples of typical regulations.
  3. Allocation of costs; incentives to improve sustainability of buildings or its use.

1. Issues regarding the building itself

a. Requirements under public building law regarding energy efficiency.

According to Art. 15 of the Spatial Planning and Building Act (Croatian: “Zakono prostornom uređenju i gradnji”; Official Gazette “Narodne Novine” 76/07, 38/09, 55/11 and 90/11) (the “SPB Act”) every building needs to fulfil certain energy efficiency requirements and has to be designed, constructed and maintained in a manner that allows the preservation of the required energy efficiency requirements during the term of its use.

The energy efficiency requirements to be met by a building have been determined by means of the By-Laws on Energy Certification of Buildings (Croatian: “Pravilnik o energetskom certificiranju zgrada”; Official Gazette “Narodne Novine” 36/10) (the “By-Laws”).

The SPB Act also determines the requirements needed to obtain an energy certificate (Croatian: “certifikat o energetskim svojstvima zgrade”) prior to obtaining a use permit and prior to the change of ownership or lease of the building.

b. Do the regulations applicable under a) only affect new buildings or have all the buildings be provided with energy efficiency facilities?

According to By-Laws every newly constructed building needs to obtain an energy certificate. The above obligation also refers to existing buildings being sold; rented or obtained on the basis of a leasing (such buildings need to obtain the certificate before the Republic of Croatia becomes a member of the European Union). The By-Laws allow for a number of exceptions (e.g. buildings sold or rented to a spouse or close family members, buildings with surface area of less than 50 square metres, buildings constructed for a two years period of use or less, and buildings of religious significance etc.).

c. Does the market pay any attention to energy certificates?

No, so far not at all.

According to information received from the Green Building Council of Croatia, not a single building in Croatia has obtained either one of the internationally recognized certificates of energy efficiency, but there are a couple of buildings in the process of obtaining these certificates.

2. Issues regarding the use of the building

a. Can the landlord push on the operating costs (mainly for electricity, water, heating) to the tenant following consumption or does that need to be established by the lease? Is there a distinction drawn between different types of buildings (e.g. residential, office, commercial, etc.)?

There is no explicit provision in the Croatian Law providing that the landlord has to charge operating costs. This is usually agreed in the lease contract (along with rent and other matters).

b. Does a landlord have the right to perform construction measures to improve the energy efficiency of a building (also against the intention of the tenant). Is there a distinction drawn between different types of buildings (e.g. residential, office, commercial etc.)?

The Croatian Obligations Act (Croatian: “Zakon o obveznim odnosima”; Official Gazette “Narodne Novine” 35/05 and 41/08) refers to residential premises, however, does not explicitly mention any repairs concerning energy efficiency. However the SPB Act requires the maintenance of a building in a manner that allows for the preservation of energy efficiency, therefore the following general provision of the Obligations Act may be applied and the landlord is obliged to keep the premises in such state as appropriate for its agreed use and for that purpose the tenant needs to allow repairs. However the landlord is not allowed to make repairs which are not required for the use of the without the consent of the tenant should this obstruct the use of the premises.

In the case of a lease of offices (defined in the Act on Lease and Sale of Office Space (Croatian: “Zakon o zakupu i prodaji poslovnog prostora”; Official Gazette “Narodne Novine” 91/96, 124/97, 174/04 and 38/09)) the lessor has the right to make repairs for the purpose of lowering energy costs. Three months prior to commencing the repairs, the lessor has to notify the lessee in writing of the repairs and of any change in rent. The lessee is entitled to terminate the lease contract within two months from the day of receiving the notification.

c. Does a landlord have the right to receive a reimbursement of the costs for the measures under b)? Is there a distinction drawn between different types of buildings (e.g. residential, office, commercial, etc.)?

As stated above, the Obligation Act does not explicitly mention any repairs concerning energy efficiency therefore any reimbursement would have to be contractually agreed.

In the case of offices and commercial spaces if the lessor/landlord has carried out energy efficiency repairs he only has the right to increase the rent and no reimbursement is possible (unless already agreed).

d. If the respective rights mentioned in b) and c) do not exist by statute, but need to be established by the lease contract: Does a standard for such regulations exist (and what is its content)? Please give examples of typical regulations.

No standard for such regulations exists.

e. Which other obligations regarding sustainability (building materials, energy efficiency, waste management etc.) exist? If they need to be imposed by the lease agreement: does a standard for such regulations exist (and what is its content)? Please give examples of typical regulations.

Art. 14 of the SPB Act provides for only a general rule on the substantial requirements which need to be fulfilled during the planning and construction of a building, which include among other things the saving of energy and thermal protection.

No standard for such regulations exists in Croatia.

3. Allocation of costs; incentives to improve sustainability of buildings or its use.

Allocation of costs and incentives to improve sustainability of buildings should be regulated in the underlying lease contract.