Real estate prices in Greece are currently booming. In tourist destinations, cities and even countryside interest to buy land and houses keeps rising. However, property transfer is still a complex procedure. Here is what you need to know:
1. Real estate is expensive.
If you own real estate property in Greece, it may cost you even if you don’ t receive any income of it. Real estate taxes, such as the “Uniform Real Estate Tax”, are being charged annually. If not paid on time, they are subject to monthly interest. There are many cases that property has not been properly declared (or declared at all) to tax authorities. In order to transfer it, all taxes of the last five years period need to be paid in advance. Separate taxes are also imposed by local municipalities. In these cases specialised a lawyer and accountant will need to collaborate.
2. Real estate ownership may be unclear.
Before buying real estate in Greece a deep researche to the land registry archives is needed. This is due to the probability of it being of unclear ownership. Ownership of a property may have legal burdens, morgages, confiscations and claims, all of which will be transfered along with the property itself. A specialised lawyer will need to make a research to all previous contracts and transfers.
3. Real estate may have “irregularities”.
Many buildings in Greece have been constructed or later converted to extent or uses without building permit or in contrast with current building regulations. This is in fact the case with most properties. In order to transfer such a property, all irregularities need to be settled and fines may need to be paid. In these cases specialised a lawyer and civil engineer will need to collaborate.
4. Contracts and registration.
Real estate property may only be transfered by signing a contract to a notary public and registering this contract to the competent land registry office. Contracts may have special terms for both sides, which need evaluation by a lawyer. Land registry registration is usually the last step of the property transfer.
Our law office and its highly specialised partners (accountants and engineers) offers full pack services for real estate sellings and acquisitions in Greece. We have the experience needed to resolve any issue and negotiate on your behalf the real estate transfer you indicate, from the beggining till the end.
For any further information, don’ t hesitate to contact us on: [email protected]