__Declaration of Legal Property Status
Do I own illegal property?
In many cases, owners of property in Greece are not aware of their “property status”, what they actually own that is. Unlike many countries, the common case in the Greek real estate market for decades now, is that most buildings are in violation of the building codes set by law. This is a concept especially unfamiliar to foreign owners who have bought property throughout the years and overseas Greek owners who have inherited property from family.
In view of this reality, the Greek Government in 2011 passed Law No. 4014/2011 which has been replaced by Law No. 4178/2013, effective as of August 2013 and up to September 23, 2017. This Law, grants a property owner with violations to legalize their illegal structures by filing a declaration paying either a lump-sum with a benefit discount or interest free installments. If the property is not declared, fines applicable by government are extremely high and require an annual fee for maintaining the “status” of the illegal construction.
Why legalize my property now?
According to the Greek Law, you cannot sell, transfer, rent or mortgage property that is illegal in structure or use. If you own land and/or buildings and want to proceed in any legal transaction, you must submit a “Declaration of Legal Property Status” signed by a certified architect confirming that the property is legal and in compliance with the legal building license issued.
In addition, the newly voted Law allows owners the option to benefit 50% of the total fine to be paid, should they decide to invest in the energy efficiency upgrading or the structural reinforcement of their building.
Furthermore, you will be ready to sell at any time since only “legally declared” constructions can be included in contracts and other documentation. False declarations by all parties involved, e.g.; architects, notaries and owners, will be faced with legal charges.
What can be legalized?
In general, all structures can be legally declared, except for those built on forestry land, protected areas, too close to beaches, riverbeds and roads. Examples of illegal constructions that can be declared are:
- Buildings and landscape structures such as swimming pools, pergolas and canopies without a license.
- Buildings and extensions on existing buildings that do not comply in dimensions and use or are situated differently on site than indicated on the authorized building drawings and license.
- Enclosed balconies and verandas, roofed terraces, garages, attics and basements converted into living space.
Where to start?
The first step in verifying the “legal status” of your property is for us to conduct an on-site inspection after gathering authorized building plans and licenses if issued.
If illegalities are determined, we can begin the initial phase of declaring the property without delay. Through the electronic system of the Technical Chamber of Greece, the owner will be given a unique application code of the declaration and the invoice of the initial lump-sum payment necessary to validate the process. Fines are determined depending on the extent in size and of the use of the structure, the frame time it was built and the area’s set tax value.
Fees for each declaration and completion of final documentation/property portfolio differ depending on the nature, size and complicity of each structure.
Feel free to contact us for further information concerning your property.
Related topics on Property Management