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Kosovo (2018)


The expropriation process of immovable property in Kosovo is governed by the Law on amending and supplementing the Law no. 03/L-139 for the expropriation of immovable property, namely the Law no. 03/L-205 approved by the Kosovo Assembly in 2001. The law guarantees that the expropriation of private property occurs for public interest only and within a fair compensation process.

If all applicable conditions specified in Article 4 of the Law no. 03/L-205, Law on Expropriation are present10, the concerned Expropriating Authority (may proceed to carry out the concerned expropriation in accordance with the applicable procedures and requirements further established by the law).

An expropriation procedure may be initiated by the responsible Expropriating Authority (as specified in the glossary it is Department for the Expropriation within Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning), as determined in accordance with Article 4 of the present law, on its own initiative or pursuant to an application submitted to the Expropriating Authority.

Applications may be submitted by a Public Authority (government agency) or a Publicly Owned Enterprise. 


If the Expropriating Authority is the Government, an application may also be submitted by:

- a Public-Private Partnership;

- a party to an Infrastructure Contract awarded by a Tendering Body; or

- any lawful heir, successor, assignee or transferee of such a Partnership or party.

If the Expropriating Authority is acting on its own initiative, it shall cause one or more of its members or officials to prepare and submit the application.


The Expropriation Authority is the Government of Kosovo, specifically the Department of Expropriation within Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning. The Ministry of Infrastructure is the applicant. It will apply for the Expropriation Procedure under the control of the Public Authority.


According to article 8 of expropriation law the application for expropriation contains the following information:

- The name and address of the Expropriating Authority and, if the Expropriating Authority (Expropriation Department at the ESP) is not acting on its own initiative, the name and address of the Applicant (here, the Applicant will be Ministry of Infrastructure - Implementing Agency).

- The name and address of each person who is, or who claims to be, an Owner or Interest Holder with respect to each and every concerned parcel of immovable property in so far as this information may be readily ascertained from the available cadastral and other official immovable property records in Kosovo, including the records of the Kosovo Property Agency and the most recent property tax records;

- The location and number of each and every concerned parcel of immovable property, and - if less than the entire area of any such parcel is to be expropriated and/or if less than all rights relating to any such parcel are to be expropriated - a specific description of the part and/or rights that are the subject of the application;

- For each such parcel, a description of any and all rights (whether confirmed or claimed) relating to such parcel that the Applicant is requesting to be expropriated.

- A detailed description of the public purpose for which the expropriation is being requested;

- Any significant documents demonstrating the legitimacy of the public purpose and/or the necessity of the applied for expropriation (or, if any such document is publicly available electronically, a clear indication of where such document may be obtained);

- Information on whether, and to what extent, the requested expropriation includes fixtures, accessory parts and/or fruits of the immovable property; and

- Detailed information, to the extent this is ascertainable from the records specified in item 1.2 of this paragraph, on any limitations on or disputes regarding the ownership or other rights or interests held or claimed to be held by Persons identified under item 1.2 of this paragraph.


The Expropriation Authority takes the final decision for approval or denial, in whole or in part of the application for expropriation. As long as a complaint is not resolved at the competent court, the Expropriation Authority does not approve the Final Decision on any concerned property or entitlement.


Expropriation Authority should carry out the Valuation of real estate (see § "valuation of assets" below). The law provides that the amount of compensation for expropriation specified in the final decision is paid in full within two (2) years from the date of entry into force of the decision.


An Expropriation procedure, or the relevant aspect thereof, shall be concluded or terminated when:

- Transfer of ownership cannot be passed without completion of the procedure and the payment of the compensation. The ownership right over the expropriated property is lawfully registered in the name of the Municipality (if the Expropriation was conducted by the Expropriating Authority of such Municipality) or the Republic of Kosovo (if the Government is the Expropriating Authority) after the conduct of the procedure and the payment of the compensation required by the present law;

- If the Expropriating Authority issues a decision that rejects, in whole or in part, the application for Expropriation:

upon the expiration of the time period during which the Applicant may file a complaint with the competent court challenging such decision, if the Applicant has not timely filed such a complaint, or

if the Applicant has timely filed such a complaint, the date on which a final non-appealable judgment has been issued by that court, or if applicable, an appellate court;

- Prior to the adoption of an Expropriation decision, the Applicant withdraws its application, in whole or in part; or

- A final non-appealable judgment of a competent court requires such conclusion or termination.


From the day the Expropriation becomes effective: all pre-existing ownership and possessory rights, security interests, servitudes, construction rights, pre-emption rights and any other rights in or to the property expropriated by the Expropriation decision shall be terminated.


Valuation of the assets

Valuation of real estate is managed through the Law no. 03/L-205 and Administrative Instruction (no.13 / 2011) for approval of technical evaluation methods and criteria that is used to calculate the amount of compensation for expropriated immovable property and damages relating to expropriation.

Property valuation is done by the Office of the Immovable Property Assessment at the Property Tax Department, exercising its responsibilities under law no. 03/L-139 on "Expropriation of Immovable Property". Office of Immovable Property Assessment evaluates the property and damages relating to expropriation, which requires information or data as requested at institutions such as Municipal Cadastre Offices, respective Courts, Kosovo Property Agency (KPA), Kosovo Cadastre Agency (KCA), Property Tax Department (PTD) within Ministry of Finance (MF), and in any other state institution which administers property or can give information about it. Officials of the Office of the Immovable Property Assessment receive additional information from real estate agencies, lawyers, and construction companies.

Office for Valuation of the Immovable Property within the Property Tax Department in the Ministry of Finance is the public competent authority for valuation and calculation of the compensation amount and damages relating to expropriation for the immovable property which is subject to the expropriation procedure by whatever Expropriation Body.


Buildings affected

Upon the valuation of the immovable property affected by the expropriation process, Office for the Valution of Immovable Property use one of methods of valuation according to the criteria set in the Instruction:

- Comparative selling method

- Cost method

- Income method.


Comparative selling method

Comparative selling method is the primary method for the valuation of immovable properties, if there are sufficient data, within a certain period of time, on the transactions that occurred in a certain region, where the expropriation is foreseen to occur for the public interest, as well as data for the market study. During the process of the valuation of the immovable property, only the transaction indicators or other realistic data are taken into account, which have occurred during the three year period, which precedes the date of the approval of decision for authorisation of the discharge of preparatory works or the date of submission of initial expropriation request.


Cost method

For buildings, parts of buildings or accessory parts for which the market information or transaction indicators is limited or is inexistent, the valuation is done through the use of the cost method, using as basis the price or the substitution cost, taking it from three construction companies which will provide for the cost of the value of buildings, part of buildings or accessory parts. The substitution cost may be expressed as value for the entire premises or per m2. Depreciation which includes physical deteriorations, functional and economic aging of premises is deducted from the substitution cost of building. The remaining durability of the premises is considered in the determination of depreciation of building, parts of buildings or accessory parts. In order to determine the overall property value, cost of buildings or accessory parts, the value of land is added, is such value exists.


Income method

The valuation method based on income is used for the property which has typically been leased or it means regular property income. The income method is used for the compensation of increased or decreased costs of income from one property unit due to expropriation. Income based valuation “capitalises” income which are received by the owner in order to achieve the market value. Capitalisation is achieved by dividing property income with the appropriate market rate or by multiplying income with a permanent capitalisation factor. The necessary information relating to rents, maintenance, operational costs and other necessary data are obtained from the Office of the Valuation of Immovable Property.


The criteria for determination of the value of agriculture land are:

  • Quality – classification of africulture land according to quality/solvency for the purposes of this Administrative Instruction will be based on the existing cadastre classification up to the moment of drafting classification maps of agriculture lands which are prepared and retained by relevant Ministry for Agriculture, in accordance with the legislation in force for agriculture land.

  • Vicinity to the dwelling place;

  • Access to infrastructure;

  • Size;

  • Form;

  • Irrigation;

  • Obliquity in degree.

  • and other criteria, such as environmental conditions, risk from flooding and erosion, biodiversity value, landscapes and other similar criteria, can be taken into account if they have a significant impact in the valuation of the agriculture land.


The criteria for determination of the value of forest land and forests are:

  • Solvency of forest lands;

  • Environmental and ecological value and the function of forest land, be it production,

  • preservation, tourist, protected area, and other similar values;

  • Geographical location, if the land is mountain or forest area;

  • The vicinity or the remoteness from the dwelling areas, depending on the function;

  • The vicinity or the remoteness from the tourist and recreational centres;

  • Wood volume;

  • Value of wood and non-wood material, unused medical, ether and tannin plants;

  • Investment level and access to infrastructure; and

  • Transport conditions where upon the determination of transport conditions it takes into

  • account the obliquity of terrain and relief, structure of area and coordination conditions.

  • Environmental conditions if have a significant impact in the valuation of forest land.

Compensation for the expropriation of forest in the stage of complete maturity presents the value of wood assortments and other forest productions set forth according to the market price in truck (way) or some other cargo or decreased storage for the price of cutting down and transport.

Compensation for the expropriation of new forest is set forth by the cost of expenditures for cultivation of such forests, adding the growing factor up to the stage of complete maturity.


The criteria in the determination of the value of fruits in agricultural land to be expropriated are:

  • Types of cultures;

  • Age of cultures and multiyear wood;


For fruit tree plants (orchard) or vineyards, the valuation will be done taking into account

the investment made and maintenance expenditures, for planting and maintenance of fruit tree plants (orchard) or vineyards. The factual investments executed are taken as the basis in the valuation, as well as the entirety of expenditures, thus reflecting annual depreciation values, health depreciation and other indicators.

If the fruit tree plant (orchard) or vineyard has become mature at the time of expropriation, the loss of net income in production will be added to the value of factual investments executed, as well as the entirety of maintenance expenditures, taking into account the expected production, valued with the market price, for as long as it is necessary that the seedling of the same fruit tree plant (orchard) or new vineyard becomes completely mature.

If the necessary time needed for a seedling of the same fruit tree plant (orchard) or vineyard to become completely mature is longer than the remaining time of maturity of the fruit tree plant (orchard) or vineyard expropriated, the loss of net income in production will be added to the value of factual investments, executed, as well as the entirety of maintenance expenditures, taking into account the expected production, valued with the market price, for the remaining time of maturity of fruit tree plant (orchard) or vineyard.

Seed plot, small trees, decoration trees or other plants which do not give fruits, the valuation will be done taking into account the investment done and maintenance expenditures, invested for their planting and maintenance. The factual investments, executed, as well as the entirety of maintenance expenditures are taken into account, thus reflecting annual depreciation values, health depreciation and other indicators. Valuation for fruit tree pants, vineyards, decorative trees, small trees and orchard is carried out per seedling. Valuation for one-year plants during the period of vegetation is calculated as loss of net income in production, taking into account the expected production, valued with the market price


Consultation with persons affected with expropriation

  • The Kosovar Law no. 03/L-139 for the expropriation of immovable property stipulates, notably in its article 9, conditions in which public hearing and public consultations shall be conducted. Main steps of these legal consultations are resumed below.

  • Within ten (10) Business Days after adopting an application for expropriation a Decision accepting an application for further processing is made. The Expropriating Authority shall publish this Decision in the Official Gazette and in a newspaper enjoying wide circulation in Kosovo. Within same period the Expropriation Authority informs affected persons for the decision and convenes public hearing with the affected persons in each municipality where expropriation is needed.

  • Beginning on the date of that publication requirement, there shall be a thirty (30) calendar day period during which any interested Person shall have the right to submit to the Expropriating Authority written comments on the requested Expropriation.

  • Immediately following the conclusion of the written comment period specified above, there shall be a fifteen (15) calendar day period during which the Expropriating Authority shall hold a public hearing on the requested expropriation in each Municipality where concerned property is located. Any Person who is a public official of the Municipality where such a hearing is being held, or an Owner or Interest Holder with respect to concerned property lying within the Municipality where the hearing is being held, or the lawful attorney or representative of any such Person, shall have the right to attend such hearing. Each such Person shall be given a reasonable opportunity to orally provide his/her views on the applied for expropriation.


Gaps between Kosovo and EBRD


1. Eligibility and formality/informality

In the legislative framework of Kosovo, expropriation is undertaken only for immovable property and building structures on private immovable property and not for property and facilities built illegally or encroaching on public property. Under Kosovo legislation the expropriation process applies only to facilities that are legalized or have been able to be legalized under applicable laws in Kosovo on the date of issuance of the final decision on expropriation. The law provides that the costs of the evaluation procedure shall be paid by the Expropriation Authority. If a facility or other building structure illegally constructed is able to be legalized, but is not legalized, compensation for the loss of this facility or the building structure will be limited only to the documented costs for its construction. The law also provides compensation in case of termination of the tenancy contract and temporary housing.

This is not in accordance with the principles of suggested value of expropriation in Performance Standards for Land Acquisition, Involuntary Resettlement and Economic Displacement further mentioned as Performance Standard 5. The EBRD Performance Standards includes principles that the lack of documentation of ownership does not disqualify from the eligibility for assistance any contender or pretender holders of property, while under the legislation of Kosovo, discrepancies with this principle are highlighted. The practice is that immovable properties are to be compensated regardless of their location on private or public land. Informal land users affected by loss of assets and/or improvements to land will receive compensation at full replacement cost.

2. Baseline and surveys

Kosovar legislation requires inventory of lost assets. It does not necessarily require socio - economic surveys for identifying all the impacts, including lost livelihood. EBRD policy though requires a socio- economic assessment of the impacts from the land takes.

For the Project public hearings and social surveys have been carried out (see Annex 3). The recently completed socioeconomic survey (September 2018) helps to understand the nature of impacts, thus enabling the development of appropriate compensation measures, including any special assistance required. The baseline survey also provides information for the monitoring of land acquisition and resettlement to assure that affected people are not left worse off as a result of the project.

3. Grievance

The Law on Expropriation enables grievance during two stages of the expropriation process. During the first stage owners can dispute the need for expropriation and the legality of the process. During the second stage, the affected persons can challenge the size of the compensation package. Existing law does not recognize any informal consultation processes outside the above-described two-stage grievance mechanism, however in practice such informal consultation takes place as a means of dispute resolution.

As per EBRD PR5, it is required to establish affordable and accessible procedures for third-party settlement of disputes arising from resettlement; such grievance mechanisms should take into account the availability of judicial recourse and community and traditional dispute settlement mechanisms. In such cases the project will offer an additional step of effort to solve a potential dispute in addition to existing formal judiciary mechanisms.

4. Public Consultation

Kosovar legislation requires formal public consultation with the affected persons. As per the Kosovar framework, the first consultation centres around the expropriation process and the delineation of areas of public interest, while the second consultation concerns the compensation determined by the Office of Immovable Property Assessment.

As per Performance Requirements 5 and 10 the consultation is an on-going process. In addition to the project affected people, also the broader community is informed about the project and the related impacts and consulted with meaningfully and in an appropriate way. Within the land acquisition and resettlement context, it is required that the affected people are consulted with regarding entitlements, compensation and mitigation measures, and fully informed about the resettlement and land acquisition processes, including their rights and redress mechanisms.

For the Project several public consultations have been carried out (see Annex 3). The recent social survey for the Project took place on 19-28 September 2018.

5. Cut-off Date

The Cut-Off Date is the date after which persons found to settle in the Project area are not eligible to Project compensation or other resettlement benefits, while similarly immoveable assets or crops established after the Cut-Off Date are not to be compensated.

he Kosovo Law on Expropriation provides that compensation will not be paid for the cost or value for any improvements to the property after the date on which the decision accepting an application for further processing of expropriation is published in the Official Gazette, or for any changes in the market value of the property, after either the date of adoption of the decision authorizing preparatory activities or the date of the initial submission of the application for expropriation, whichever comes first. The cut-off date applies to formal or recognizable legal rights to property (category 1 and 2 of eligibility).

As per EBRD policy requirements the date of completion of the census and assets inventory represents the cut-off date for eligibility. Individuals who move into the project affected area after the cut-off date will not be eligible for compensation and other types of assistance. Information regarding the cut-off date will be well-documented and disseminated throughout the project area.

For the under-study project, the cut-off date is considered the 29 July 2019, when the additional field social surveyswith landownersand users of affected parcels were completed.

6. Compensation and transfer of property rights

Kosovo Legislation specifies that the transfer of property ownership can take place only upon completion of the expropriation process and the payment of the compensation. The compensation should be completed within two years from the adoption of the Decision for Expropriation.

Similarly, per EBRD performance requirements the project can take possession of the property after compensation and other assistance is provided to the affected persons.

7. Compensation

While Kosovo’s Legislation provides a detailed methodology for the valuation of lost assets, it does not provide any specific guidelines in such cases where livelihood restoration is needed. The framework developed to address land expropriation does include land improvements such as crops and land preparation.

The Project will impact livelihoods through the acquisition of agriculturally cultivated land. In cases where the acquired land is cultivated, the compensation will include both value of the land and compensation for crops and preparation of the land. Additional assistance will be provided as necessary.

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