If someone wishes to purchase real estate property in Greece, this market is governed by the Civil Code. A Notary’s deed, the registration of the title with the Land Title’s office or services and its declaration with the Hellenic National Land Registry services is required.
Contract of Purchase
Greek property transactions are affected by the completion of a notarized, specifically worded contract of sale. The object of purchase is to be described accurately, the sale price and when it is due stated, the right to revoke the contract and contractual penalties are in effect, in the event of late payment and/or revoking of the contract of sale stipulated, as is implemented by the contract for at transfer of title to be registered with the Land Registry.
Land Register in Greece
According to the Greek Civil Code change of title is effective upon registration with the Land Registry having jurisdiction over real estate. Payment of the sale price or the residual sale price takes place at the same time as the notary’s record is drawn up and is established in the notarised documentation. Payment of land transfer tax is a prerequisite for transfer of title, which is usually carried out by lawyers.
Register of titles in Greece
The Land Registry (Greek: Ipothikofilakio or the National Land Registry Services) has jurisdiction over specific municipalities. Greek Land Registers have been, however, and to a certain extent are still maintained by individual (Ipothikofilakio) rather than plot. When searching the Land Register, an entry is therefore verified in terms of the potential owner’s name, if in reality and when he/she became the owner and by virtue of the legal deed, whether encumbrances, easements, legal disputes, have been registered, etc. A decision has been reached to update Greek Land Register practices in order to alleviate the difficulties arising when verifying ownership status. Restructuring in Greece has been summed up under the term “Ktimatologio”.
Ktimatologio / Land Register in Greece
The Greek Land Register operates according to plots and not owners, public faith in what is entered under the plot, etc., which has been under construction for some time, has already been accomplished and is force in numerous Greek regions.
The Greek Land Register/Ktimatologio has so far been implemented in two stages.
Mandatory representation by lawyers for property sale contracts in Greece
In Greece representation by lawyers is mandatory when notarizing most contracts of sale. The lawyer carries out the Land Register searches, draws up the contract and also preliminarily signs the contract of sale. Statutory contributions must be paid to the local branch of the Law Society for the lawyer’s assistance with the notarised contract of sale.
According to Greek Law, when a right belongs jointly to more than one person, there is a “society of rights”. The members of the society, i.e. the beneficiaries of the co-owned interest shares, are the share-holders. Each share consists of a separate right, which can be freely conveyed and interpreted to a respective share on the entire property (undivided interest shares). A case of society of rights is the joint ownership on real estate properties in Greece.
The society of rights on real estate properties creates rights and obligations to joint ownership in Greece, which are regulated by the Greek real estate law. With regard to the joint ownership rights, each co-owner has the right to freely use the jointly owned property, provided that the said use does not exclude the rights of the other co-owners. Therefore, each co-owner has the right to use the joint property in Greece freely, as long as the other co-owners are not prohibited from using the property. Each co-owner has also the right to convey his/her share on the joint ownership in Greece, without requiring the consent of the other co-owners.
The administration of the joint real estate property in Greece, belongs to all the joint owners. The law provides that co-owners are liable to each other for any fault performed with regard to the administration of the properties. However, in case of danger, each co-owner is allowed to take any necessary actions, without waiting for the other co-owners’ consent or approval.
A lawyer who will have a received “authorization” from you, is necessary. In giving him / her this authorization, he / she will have the power to legally represent you and to sign all required documents in your absence. This is called an agreement in ‘proxy’.
Documents required for its publication are as follows:
- A photocopy of the passport
- Completion of a document including personal information which is required for the legal process.
The Proxy or Power of Attorney
This document must be completed during your stay in Greece. The actual process is very simple without complications. During your absence from Greece, this document must be signed by The Greek Consulate of your country.
If there is no Greek Consulate in your area, the proxy can be signed at a local Notary’s Office. Furthermore, in such a situation and in moving forward, the document must also be authorized. Your lawyer will send you a plan, a copy of the Proxy document in which you will have to complete your representative’s name and personal information. Upon completion of these documents, they will need to be signed and authorized by the Consulate or the local Notary’s office.
The authorized lawyer will undertake on your behalf:
- Open a Greek bank account in your name.
- Have a Greek Taxation number issued for you.
- To investigate any possible restrictions or limitations on the property.
- Examine all registered contracts relative to the ownership.
- Examine technical blue prints of the property
- Make payments on your behalf.
- Present the contract to the Public Notary Services.
- Sign the final copy of the Contract of Purchase on your behalf if necessary.
Greek legislation requires all buyers to obtain their own lawyer for any purchase exceeding 80,000 € which guarantees that all proper and necessary procedures will be adhered to and followed.