Whether you are selling or buying real estate in Slovenia, you might be interested in the issue of the right of pre-emption.

Pre-emptive right (see: right of first refusal: The seller is under an obligation to inform the pre-emptive right holder of an intended sale to a particular person and of the conditions of the intended sale and to offer to him its sale under the same conditions.

I’ve tried to put it as simply and concisely as possible and list the various legal bases of pre-emptive rights in real estate under the Slovenian legislation. In any case, if the pre-emptive right is established contractually and is not statutory, it must be entered into the land register.

Code of Obligations (Obligacijski zakonik)

    A pre-emptive right can be statutory (Art. 513) or established with a contract (Art. 507). It cannot be enforced in case of a compulsory public auction, but a holder of the pre-emptive right can request cancellation of such auction if he does not receive a due invitation.

Law of Property Code (Stvarnopravni zakonik) awards pre-emptive right to:

  • Any co-owner (Art. 66)
  • Other condominium / sectional title holders if there are two or more owners and fewer than six individual parts (Art. 124)

Housing Act (Stanovanjski zakon)

  • A Lessee/holder of a right of occupancy with a lease contract for an indefinite period has a pre-emptive right to the apartment if such right is not exercised by its co-owner.
  • (Next in line are the sectional tile holders under the Law of Property Code, the Municipality under the Spatial Planning Act and the The Housing Fund of the Republic of Slovenia – if the apartment was built by the Fund and is sold in less than 5 years from original purchase.)

Agricultural Land Act (Zakon o kmetijskih zemljiščih)

If purchasing agricultural land, forest or farm and other laws do not provide otherwise, the following order or precedence applies (Art.23):

  1. Co-owner;
  2. A farmer who owns property bordering on the land being sold;
  3. The tenant of the and being sold;
  4. Another farmer;
  5. Agricultural organisation or a sole proprietor who require the land or farm for the purpose of an agricultural or forestry activity;
  6. The Farmland and Forest Fund of the Republic of Slovenia
    If none of the holders of the pre-emptive right exercises his right of pre-emption, the seller can sell agricultural land to any other person.

Spatial Planning Act (Zakon o urejanju prostora)

  • Municipality (Art. 85) – in all populated areas decreed as areas in which the municipality has a pre-emptive right and in the areas of existing and planned infrastructure network and facilities beyond populated areas
  • However, the municipality cannot exercise its pre-emptive right in the case of a sale or gift to a spouse, a lineal relative, adopter or adoptee or in case of a sale to the state or a state-founded legal person of public law, a provider of state public service or an infrastructure investor under Article 91.

So, if you are buying real estate in Slovenia, you may want to know whether another person (natural or legal) holds a statutory (based on laws and regulations) or contractual (check the land register record) right of pre-emption to the property in question.

If you are selling your property, you will need to offer it to any pre-emptive right holders before the transaction with the interested person can go through.