Correction of a land's borders in practice

23 January 2008 - Comments (0) Procedures

Correction of a land's borders in practice The correction of a land's border is a procedure that usually occurs on former agricultural land. It is when you need to get small additional plots of land belonging to the State of Serbia, in order to form one or more buildable plots with your land. In general, those small plots are simply necessary to get access to common infrastructure such as roads. It is a complex procedure that is better avoided if possible and that you likely won't see described anywhere else. Read on to see what to expect...

What is that?

A great part of the buildable land in Belgrade's suburbs used to be agricultural. Some of that land was spontaneously urbanized by informal settlements while some other parts formally changed purpose to allow further expansion of the ever growing Belgrade city.

It is the Master Plan of Belgrade and the numerous detailed regulation plans, which organize that conversion and lay down the network of common infrastructure. In that process of creating the common infrastructure (such as roads), the State of Serbia has to take land from the owners to allocate it for the infrastructure. While the parcelisation of the land is the result of years of ownership transfer through sales and inheritances, the creation of the infrastructure is done in a rational way that optimizes access and organization. This, result in the infrastructure cutting randomly through existing parcels as you can see on the figure below.

Infrastructure cutting through existing parcels

Infrastructure cutting through existing parcels (extracted from a detailed regulation plan).

So it is very common, on former agricultural land that has been urbanized, to find small pieces of parcels, positioned between roads and other lands. They are the left over of the land the State of Serbia took for the creation of the infrastructure.

When you want to conduct the development of a given land that is surrounded by one or more of those remaining pieces of parcels, you will be forced to make an urban project and to join those small pieces to your land in order to get access to the road. Of course, you will need to buy those pieces from the State of Serbia. The procedure to do that is what is called correction of the borders.

A word of warning

The best way to deal with the correction of a land's borders is to avoid it. This procedure is so long, complex and twisted that it is just better to stay away from it. In order words, if a land is candidate for a correction of the borders, it could be just better to walk away and look for another land. If that is not possible, or if you bought the land before knowing anything on that particular aspect (which is what happened to us) read on to see what to expect.

Urban project

From the urban project, the plots concerned by the correction of the land's borders will be clearly identified. You can see below the example of our land. We had 5 plots of land we needed to get, in order to get complete access to the road. Each one of these plot is from 15 to 30m².

Correction of the border for Amadeo's land

Correction of the borders for Amadeo's land. The constructible plots merge the land we bought and the land from the state of Serbia that we had to buy.

The first step is to request the right of lease for those plots in the municipal office.

The procedure

Request for the lease in the municipal office

In the municipal office of the municipality your land is located, you first need to submit a request for the 99 years-lease on the plot(s) you need. The request will be examined by a commission that meets only few times a year, in order to approve or disapprove the lease. You may be lucky and get an answer in 2/3 months time, but it may take much longer depending of the backlog of requests and when the commission meets.

Once your request has been approved by the commission in the municipal office, you get a written decision like the one below.

Decision of the municipal office commission for the lease of the plots involved in the correction of Amadeo's land borders

Decision of the municipal office commission for the lease of the plots involved in the correction of Amadeo's land borders (source Beodom).

Request to the Belgrade Land Development Agency

Once the lease is approved, you must submit a request to the Belgrade Land Development Agency to formally get that lease. For that, you need to provide:

  • the decision from the municipal office (that decision is valid just 1 month)
  • the excerpt/act on urban conditions on your land
  • the ownership paper on your (investor's) name for your land
  • the report on the formation of the buildable plot(s) (from the Geodetic Authority)
  • the copy of the plan of the plot
  • a copy of your id

Count 1-2 months for the processing of your request.

Signing the contract with the Belgrade Land Development Agency

Once your request is processed, you will be called by the Land Development Agency to sign the lease contract. Before the agency signs the contract on their side, you need to pay for the land your are getting the lease for. The cost is split in 2. A fixed amount that represents the market value of the land you are getting (proportional to the square meters) and a lease amount that is calculated monthly and that you can pay in advance for few years.

Once you bring back the proof that you paid (i.e. bank statement), you will get the contract signed by the Agency.

Request for certification in the Belgrade Land Development Agency

You may think that you are done at this point. Not quite. You need to submit, in the same agency, a request for certification of the contract by the Court. Again, you will be called by the Agency to come on a specified date with the originals of the contract to get the contract certified by a mandated person from the Court. Count about 2 weeks for that.

Request for the tax on the transfer of property rights

With your certified contract, you need to go back to the municipal office to fill a request for the payment of the tax on the transfer of property rights. You will get a stamp on the back of your contract as a proof that the tax is payed. Count again about 2 weeks for this one.

Last, getting ownership paper on the plot(s)

The final stop of this agony will take place in the Second Municipality Court. With the originals of the certified, stamped, contract and the decision from the municipal office, you will submit there a request for the registration of the right of use on the plot(s). The processing of this request can take time (from several weeks to few months).

Last, once the request has been processed, you can ask for the ownership paper on the plot(s).


From the day you submit the first request to the municipal office to the moment you get the ownership paper from the court it may take anything from 6 months to 1 year. This is certainly one of the most complex and boring procedure out there. As we said, it is best avoided if possible. If not, it can be done with time and patience.

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