THE BAR ASSOCIATION OF HANIA
Court of Justice of Hania, GR-73134, HANIA
Tel. +30 28210 57171, 54529-41179
FAX: +30 28210 44675
File no. 221
1. All Lawyers of Hania
2. All Notaries Public of Hania
1. The Public Prosecutor of Hania
2. TECHNICAL CHAMBER OF WEST CRETE
3. COMPETENT TOWN PLANNING AUTHORITY OF THE PREFECTURE OF HANIA
SUBJECT: Conveyance of residences (apartments) in areas located outside the boundaries of residential areas or town plans as horizontal property ownerships on the basis of contracts establishing a horizontal property regime concealing vertical property ownerships.
It is commonly known that according to Act no. 1024/1971 in conjunction with articles 1002 and 1117 of the Civil Code, a vertical property regime can be established only on sites located within the town plan or residential area boundaries. The establishment of vertical property regimes on sites lying outside the town plan and residential area boundaries is invalid and illegal.
Furthermore, in accordance with the provisions of Act no. 3741/1929 in conjunction with articles 1002 and 1117 of the Civil Code regarding single buildings, which have been constructed under a legal construction permit or exist before the year 1977, it is possible to establish a horizontal property regime and specify the self-contained properties included within the single building.
Recently, we have been informed by members of our Bar Association that during the period of 2005-2006, construction permits have been granted to sites lying outside the boundaries of residential areas including two or more separate buildings, which under no circumstances can be regarded to form a single building, since their in-between distance ranges from 5 to 40 metres, while the only part that seems to connect them is a vertical small slice of airspace. Subsequently, by virtue of these construction permits, the legality of which is doubted, some Notaries Public of our Region proceed to the placement of contracts establishing a horizontal ownership regime and submit the separate buildings, which are totally disconnected from each other, to the provisions of articles 1002 and 1117 of the Civil Code and the provisions of Act no. 3741/1929. Nevertheless, the establishment of horizontal property regimes pertaining to real estates outside the town plan or residential area boundaries as described above and self-contained properties, which are not vertically connected, conceal in essence vertical property regimes that are invalid and void, since, as aforementioned, they are not vertically connected, which subsequently causes problems during the conveyance of these properties.
By virtue of the present letter, we would like to draw the attention of the Notaries Public, the Lawyers and the Engineers, who are involved in the drawing up of sale contracts for residences or apartments, for which a horizontal property regime had been established in the aforementioned way. We urge them to be particularly cautious and, if necessary, make sure that they obtain a certificate by the competent Town Planning Authority certifying that the construction to be sold constitutes a single building and is connected with the other self-contained constructions erected on the same site, so that the validity of the contracts signed is ensured and the contracting parties can avoid a potential involvement in legal proceedings regarding the contract invalidity. Otherwise, the drawing up of sale contracts for residences or apartments with a dubious horizontal property contract should be avoided, in case of a legal horizontal property ownership or an invalid contract establishing a vertical property regime.
It is also commonly known that in the event of a contract placement, which was made void and invalid as a result of establishing an invalid vertical property regime on a site outside the boundaries of the town plan or a residential area, both penalty and civil penalties shall be imposed against the implicated individuals (Notaries Public, Lawyers, Engineers). Therefore, the aforementioned cases should be treated with particular attention and care.