Apartment ownership of foreign natural persons in Croatia – practical issues
According to the positive regulations, foreign natural persons who are the apartment owners in Croatia still cannot categorise their apartments, neither rent them and pay tax for it.
Therefore, foreign natural persons often use their apartments to host either their real friends or fictive friends, and that way illegally earn their weekly rent in cash.
At the same time, one should bear in mind that a house owner can host his friends in apartment under condition of registering them with the tourist board or the police within 24 hours after the arrival and signing of within 24 hours after the departure as well the payment of the visitor’s tax.
The article 32. of the Act on the catering industry defines a stay of more than 15 people who are not narrow family members in apartments and vacation houses, in tourist places, where the main season includes a period from 15th June until 15th September, as a provision of catering services in household. Therefore, if foreign natural persons host in their apartment more than 15 friends, the same not being narrow family members, during tourist season, they can count on liability for offence in case of an inspection.
According to the Act on visitors’ tax narrow family members are: spouse, direct relatives and their spouses, brothers and sisters with their children and their spouses, parents’ brothers and sisters and their children with spouses, adoptive parents and adopted children and their children with spouses, foster child, stepmother and stepfather.
Furthermore, the Act on visitors’ tax defines that the vacation house owner or the apartment owner with all the people spending the night in this house or apartment, shall pay the visitor’s tax for every night. The owner and his family members pay the visitor’s tax reduced for 70%.
Conclusively, a foreign natural person as an owner of the apartment can legally host up to 15 of his friends, who are not narrow family members, within the period from 15th June until 15th September, under condition of registering them with the tourist board or the police within 24 hours after the arrival and signing them of within 24 hours after the departure as well the payment of the visitor’s tax.
If a foreign natural person as an owner of the facility, charges a fee (either money or some other fee) for the stay of his friends in the apartment, it would be considered as a provision of accommodation services in household – which for foreign natural person is held as illegal.
On the other hand, there are no limitation for a foreign natural person as an owner of the apartment or house to close down a lease contract regarding the same apartment or house with a third party, for the period of a few months.