owners pay the price
News 13 June 2008
Millions of homeowners across the country will be forced to dig deep
into their pockets this summer, paying the price for the country's
long-awaited and grossly mismanaged land registry project that was
embarrassingly stripped of European Union funding back in 2001.
Some three million Greek and expat property owners in 107 municipalities
nationwide have between June 17 and September 30 to register their
title deeds with the Ktimatologio AE, the state-owned company in charge
of compiling the countrywide land registry. Property owners residing
abroad will have until the end of this year to register their title
The land registry would have been free for property owners if Greece
had spent millions of euros in European Union funds more efficiently
about a decade ago. In December 2001, the EU's directorate general
for regional policy had discovered that although the 140 million euros
in Brussels funds earmarked for the project was spent by Greece, the
country's land registry was still not operational. Greece was forced
to return 100 million euros as a penalty.
That is why, according to Environment, Public Works and Town Planning
Minister George Souflias, property owners are now required to pay for
the land registry themselves.
"The cost of the land registry is estimated at 1.5 billion euros," Souflias
said on June 10. "As you all know, the EU refuses to fund the project.
In order to address this problem, we are financing it ourselves through
a realistic and fair land registry fee."
As announced by the Ktimatologio, property owners, including joint
owners, must each pay a fee of 35 euros to register their home, apartment,
building, shop and/or plot of land. An additional 20 euros will be
charged for each parking space or storage room.
This is the first phase of the land registry process. The second phase,
which will be completed by 2012, involves a 0.1 percent charge on the
property's objective value (the official estimate fixed by the finance
ministry) minus 20,000 euros.
The good news is that this fee cannot exceed 900 euros and owners of
property with an objective value of 20,000 euros or less will not be
required to pay the 0.1 percent charge.
The first step is for property owners to head for their nearest bank
to pay the initial land registry fee. The Ktimatologio has commissioned
the services of 13 banks: Alpha Bank, Eurobank, Marfin-Egnatia Bank,
Pro Bank, ATE, Attiki Bank, Geniki Bank, Ethniki Bank, Emporiki Bank,
Bank of Cyprus, Piraeus Bank, Dodecanese Bank and the Bank of Hania.
The next step for property owners is to go to their local branch of
the Ktimatologio to register their property. Note: They must register
the property in the municipality in which the property is located.
This means that the owner of an apartment in Aigaleo and a patch of
land in Kozani must register the apartment in Aigaleo and then travel
to Kozani to register the land.
To register property, the owners must fill in a three-page application
form (available from the Ktimatologio branch offices) and provide a
photocopy of their title deed, as well as a bank receipt showing they
have paid the registration fee.
A list of the Ktimatologio branch offices is available online (www.ktimatologio.gr).
Property owners, however, may avert the queues by registering by mail
or online by visiting the website www.ktimatologio.gr. If they register
by mail, their application must be postmarked by the September 30 cutoff
date. To register online, property owners will have to pay the registration
fee by credit card and scan their title deed so that they may send
it as an attachment.
Those who fail to meet the September 30 deadline will be subject to
a fee that ranges between 50 and 1,500 euros.
Property owners residing abroad may apply by proxy if they cannot come
to Greece by the end of this year.
- For more information, visit www.ktimatologio.gr or ring the special
- Greece, along with Albania, is the only European country without
a land registry.
- If all goes to plan, some 300,000 hectares of land in 107 municipalities
nationwide will be registered this year. This means two-thirds of the
country's real estate will have been registered with the Ktimatologio.
- A list of all the 107 municipalities and Ktimatologio branch offices
is available online (www.ktimatologio.gr)
The owner of a new 200m2 apartment and 10m2 storage room in Kifissia,
a 50m2 summer home on the island of Samos and a small plot of land
inherited from her grandmother in Larissa will have to pay a total
of 125 euros (35 euros for the apartment, 20 euros for the storage
room, 35 euros for the summer home and another 35 euros for the land
on Samos) to register the properties.
In the second phase (by 2012), the owner will be called to pay 780
euros (= 800,000-20,000/1,000) just for the home in Kifissia, the objective
value of which is currently fixed at 800,000 euros. But even though
the summer home on Samos and the land in Larissa may have driven up
the fee to several thousand euros, she will only be called to pay 900
euros (the maximum).
A husband and wife jointly own their home (a one-storey house with
a closed parking space worth 100,000 euros) in Aigaleo. They will each
pay 55 euros (35+20 euros). By 2012, each of them will have paid an
additional 80 euros ( = 100,000-20,000/1,000) or a total of 190 euros
to the Ktimatologio.
If the husband and wife in example #2 had transferred their property
to their 10-year-old daughter, but still hold on to the majority stake
of the property, all three of them will each have to pay 55 euros to
register with the Ktimatologio. And by 2012, the family will have been
called to pay 240 euros ( = 80x3).