ECHR: Croatia Violated Property Rights in Cases of Special Protected Tenancy

By 11 June 2021
ECHR: Croatia Violated Property Rights in Cases of Special Protected Tenancy

ZAGREB, 11 June 2021 - The inability for owners of properties occupied by protected tenants to charge adequate rent for the lease of their flats represents a violation of their right to peacefully enjoy their property, the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) has concluded.

In its ruling in a case filed by two applicants from Croatia, the court found that the state had violated the right to peaceful enjoyment of properties occupied by protected tenants.

The applicants complained to the court in Strasbourg after they were unable to use flats they owned and were not able to charge rent from its occupants as they were protected tenants.

The ECHR rejected the state's arguments, ruling that the situation represented a continual violation of the applicants' property rights, Croatia's representative to the ECHR reported.

The court noted the amendments to the Lease of Flat Act which entered into force in 2018 and which the Constitutional Court abolished in September 2020.

The court ruled that these cases in no way differed to an already delivered ruling in the case of Statileo v Croatia considering that no legal changes had occurred with regard to property rights with protected tenancy, because the amendments that were introduced were void pursuant to the Constitutional Court ruling, the ECHR said in a press release.

The court added  that there was no reason to differ from its stance taken in the previous ruling and that in these two cases the violation of the peaceful enjoyment of one's property had also been violated.

The court ruled that the first applicant be compensated with an amount of €54,200 for material damages and €5,000 for non-material damages as well as €1,245 in court costs.

The second applicant was awarded €95,100 for material damages, €5,000 for non-material damages and €1,000 for court costs.

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