Has your property been illegally built? What to do
The much awaited new Greek Property Legalization Law was recently voted in. As of November 3, 2017, the Greek government has established a new grace period for compliance which allows owners to legalize their property violations. Favorable incentives such as lenient fines, extended installment payments and increased energy grants are among the incentives offered when declaring within the first 6 months.
Let's recap what this law means and how it affects all owners of Greek property:
What are ILLEGAL STRUCTURES?
Illegal structures (αυθαίρετες κατασκευές/aftheretes kataskeves) on Greek property are any enclosed areas, built structures and/or use of buildings that do not comply with what has been declared on the lawful building permits and drawings filed with the City Planning Office (Πολεοδομία/Poleodomia).
How do I know if I own ILLEGAL PROPERTY?
Do a "legal check"! Appoint an Architect-Engineer to conduct an on-site inspection to verify if all built structures comply with what has been declared on your permit in surface/dimensions and use. Common examples of property violations are enclosed verandas, basement and garage space turned into living space as well as swimming pools and pergolas without permits.
Since 2011, all owners of Greek property are required to submit a "Certificate - Declaration of Legality" (Βεβαίωση Μηχανικού/Vevaiosi Michanikou) when selling or transferring buildings and/or land. Once issued, this certificate is official proof that your property is in compliance with what you have registered with the Greek authorities.
The reality is that this certificate is the most important and one of the many certificates required for the "Electronic Building ID Code" (Ηλεκτρονική Ταυτότητα Κτιρίου/Ilektroniki Taftotita Ktiriou), a new fast-tracking property law soon to be implemented. Information registered on property tax forms, building permits, the Hellenic Cadastre, energy performance certificates and utility bills will all be recorded and linked electronically.
*Katerina Sirouni was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and based in Athens, Greece. She received her degree from the National Technical University of Athens in Greece and is a licensed architect (ksirouni.com).