Once you have found your longterm rental in Split, and settled into your new home soon a lot of different monthly bills will start hitting your address, still, most often by post mail. In this article, I help you navigate how to pay the bills in Croatia as an expat since the majority of the services are still not English-friendly.
How to pay accommodation related bills in Croatia
Renting an apartment usually means you are responsible for paying monthly bills and utilities even if they are addressed to your Landlord. Some of them you receive each month, and others in bulk, usually for 6 months in advance. The main bills will include electricity, heating (if applicable), water, building maintenance, garbage collection, and RTV subscription. On top of this, your apartment might already come with internet access, cable tv, and some other additional services that are best for you to ask your landlord in advance. Let's take a look at each one of them and explain how to pay bills in Croatia.
Electricity - The electricity company HEP will send you invoices six months in advance, based on the average usage of the previous six months. So they will create an average, flat cost for a month in six months period. You do not have to pay in advance of course, but one bill each month. At the end of six months, they will calculate once again and according to your electricity consumption, the bills for the next six months will be bigger or smaller, or maybe the same. If it happens you overpaid, the amount will be deducted from one or more of the following 6 bills you receive at the start of the new billing period.
Heating - Gas heating is widely spread in the northern part of Croatia, but there are expectations in the coastal towns as well. If you happen to have central heating in your apartment, bills come in a similar fashion as for electricity but in this case every 3 months. Also, it might happen that an official representative will come to your apartment to "read" the consumption meter within your apartment. In other cases, you can directly report your current numbers following the information that the company will remind you of every 3 months.
Water - Depending on the city you live in, paying bills for water can vary. In general, consumption will be monitored automatically. However many buildings still have the old fashion way of paying for the water consumption which is paying your part of the total building water consumption. Think of it this way, every household contributes the same percentage to the
Building maintenance - each building has a different system that is in the calculation. For example, in some buildings, even water is part of this bill, for example, in cases when each household pays the same share of the total cost. Usually expect to receive a monthly bill in your mailbox.
Garbage collection - this service is provided by the town's public service company, and each city has a different calculation. In some cities expect to pay the same amount regardless of how much garbage you consume, while in others you pay per estimated garbage consumption of your household.
RTV subscription - Every month you will also receive the bill for radio-television signal (RTV subscription, called "RTV pretplata"). You cannot avoid this "subscription" regardless if you have or don't have a TV or a radio at home. You are obligated to pay for it also in cases if you own a car with a radio, laptop, PC, mobile phone or any other device that receives radio or television signal.
Speaking of laptops and mobile phones, if your apartment has WiFi access this means you will also receive monthly bills for Internet access. In some cases, this cost can already be included with your rent, so check in advance with your landlord. Lastly, living in Split, you also have to pay the city tax. The city of Split will also send you the invoices six months in advance and you pay a flat rate each month.
Where to pay bills in Croatia
Now that we know how to pay bills in Croatia, now let's see where to pay them. If you do not own a Croatian bank account, then going to the Croatian postal office ("Pošta") is a very convenient way to pay bills. There are several postal offices in the town, so see which one is closest to you and take your invoices with you. They will charge you a fee of for each invoice, about €0.70.
If your bill has a scannable code, you can also pay your bills at the "Tisak" kiosk or even in bigger supermarkets like Konzum. You can find kiosks at almost every public transport station or in shopping centers. Your bills will be scanned and you can pay with cash and selected credit cards.
Another way to pay the bills is going to FINA (Croatian financial agency), but there is usually one per city, like in Split on Mažuranićevo šetalište Street.
Of course, the most convenient way to pay the bills is through a Croatian bank account. You can go directly to the bank, pay through the bank's mobile application or you can log in to your bank account through a web browser. Each bank has its own mobile app, which allows you to scan the barcode, which is certainly one of the most convenient ways to pay your bills.
Lastly, a very popular option these days is the digital service KEKS Pay. The app allows you to import almost every type of bill you receive and manage your incoming invoices and payments within the application. As the service is still very fresh on the Croatian market, each month expect new companies to be added to Keks payment system.
To conclude this article, I must highlight that customer services are mostly English-friendly, however, your bills and mobile apps won't be. I suggest you get familiar with some of the most often-used expressions that you will find in every app and on every bill.
Croatian words on bills and invoices translated into English
Datum dospijeća - date due
Ime i prezime - name and surname
Izdavanje slijedećeg računa - date of next bill
Korisnik - user of the service
Kupac - customer
Mjesto - place
Mjesto izdavanja - place of issue
Nalog - invoice
Objašnjenje računa - explanation of the bill
OIB - the identity number introduced for individuals and businesses in January 2009 - foreigners and Croatians alike need this for bill-paying and bank accounts
Opomena - Warning
Plati / Platiti - Pay
Podaci o kupcu - customer details
Porezni broj - tax number (ID number / JMBG for Croatian nationals)
Primatelj - a person or a business subject who receives the money
R-1 - only for legal subjects - a type of ID
Račun - Invoice (number)
Razdoblje - for the period of
Šifra - customer number or a code
Ulica i broj - street and number