STATEMENT OF FACTS
The applicants, Mr Anton Lazarov and Ms Irena Lazarov, are Serbian nationals who were born in 1928 and 1929 respectively and live in Pancevo. They are represented before the Court by Ms M. Bosilj, a lawyer practising in Pancevo.
A. The circumstances of the case
The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicants, may be summarised as follows.
The applicants used to be owners of a house in Pancevo, measuring 78.41 sq m of surface.
On 14 October 1976 the applicants entered into an Agreement (sporazum) with the Municipality of Pancevo, whereby they agreed to the expropriation of their house and the adjacent plot of land, while the Municipality undertook an obligation to provide the applicants with an appropriate flat with two separate rooms (dvosoban komforan stan) in the “Tesla” neighbourhood in Pancevo, together with payment of the amount of 635,000 dinars. The amount of 555,000 dinars appears to have been paid immediately, while another 80,000 dinars were left to be paid after the Municipality took possession of the house.
On 14 December 1976 the Municipal Secretariat for Housing and Communal Affairs and Urbanism issued a decision expropriating the house, and transferring it into social ownership. This decision became final on 25 September 1978. The applicants have continued to live in the house, while the adjacent plot of land had been used for construction in the meanwhile.
As the Municipality had failed to provide the applicants with an appropriate flat, on 24 March 1979 the applicants filed a civil suit against the Municipality, requesting to be allocated an appropriate flat or to be paid compensation for their house.
By 1982 a housing complex had been built next to the applicants’ house. On an unspecified date in 1982 the Municipality offered the applicants a flat in the complex, with a surface of 52.25 sq m.
On 13 October 1982 an expert appointed by the Municipality found that the flat offered did not represent adequate compensation for the house expropriated.
The Municipality appears never to have suggested another form of compensation.
The applicants would appear to still live in the house, while the change of ownership has not yet been entered into the land registry.
The civil proceedings appear to be still pending at first instance.
The applicants complain under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention about the failure of the respondent Party to compensate for the expropriated property.
QUESTIONS TO THE PARTIES
1. Have the applicants exhausted all effective domestic remedies, as required by Article 35 § 1 of the Convention? In particular, is the civil suit lodged on 24 March 1979 a remedy which the applicants still need to pursue within the meaning of this provision in respect of their complaint under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1?
2. Have the applicants been deprived of their possessions in the public interest, and in accordance with the conditions provided for by law, within the meaning of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1, and is the respondent State responsible for finally providing the applicants with an adequate compensation for the expropriated property?
3. The Government are further invited to indicate an approximate value of the applicants’ house at the time of expropriation in 1976, and to comment on their understanding of the expression “an appropriate flat with two separate rooms (dvosoban komforan stan)”, as well as the average market price for such a flat in the “Tesla” neighbourhood in Pancevo.
 For more information on the concept of socially-owned property, see R. Kacapor and Others v. Serbia, nos. 2269/06, 3041/06, 3042/06, 3043/06, 3045/06 and 3046/06, §§ 71-73, 15 January 2008.