ECHR: Croatia has Violated Rights of Flat Owners with Protected Lessees

By 24 June 2022
ECHR: Croatia has Violated Rights of Flat Owners with Protected Lessees

ZAGREB, 24 June 2022 - The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) published two verdicts in which it found that Croatia had violated the right of owners to use their flats that were occupied by protected lessees, and in one of the verdicts, compensation of over more than €100,000 was awarded.

The applicants brought a civil action before the Croatian courts seeking the eviction of the protected lessees from their flats in Split and Zagreb. The Croatian courts dismissed their claims, a Croatian government agent before the Strasbourg court reported.

The ECHR reiterated that the violation of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms stems from Croatian legislation itself, as has already been established in several judgments in relation to Croatia.

The applicants therefore could not effectively collect the amount of the protected rent or regain possession of their flat.

The Strasbourg court noted that Croatian courts have developed the practice that flat owners can claim payment of the difference between the amount of market and protected rent in civil proceedings before Croatian courts. However, the new case law became established only after the applicants had lodged a claim with the European Court and did not benefit them.

Therefore, ECHR jointly awarded the owners of the apartment in Split, who sought compensation for pecuniary damage with an amount of €106,200 in respect of the difference between the protected and the corresponding rent, as well as €13,340 in respect of non-pecuniary damages and costs.

The owner of the Zagreb flat was awarded compensation for non-pecuniary damage in the amount of €5,000. Both verdicts are final.