Goes Everywhere in Greece!
Iliopoulos, 17 June 2008
The Ktimatologio Public Registry for real estate properties was introduced
in 1996 and already covers about 6.3 million property rights in many
places of Greece. From 17 June 2008 a new wave of Ktimatologio offices
is sweeping through the country, in Athens, Thessaloniki and the capital
towns of every Prefecture in Greece. This new program of property registrations
will cover about 6.7 million property rights.
The time limits for the new declarations, which must be submitted by
property owners, are very tight. All property owners, (Greek or foreign
citizens), who reside in Greece, must submit their title until 30 September
2008. Property owners, (Greek or foreign citizens), who permanently
reside outside of Greece, must submit their title until 31 December
After these time limits expire, property owners who failed to file
their real estate property titles will still be able to do it, but
through the courts, a more lengthy and costly procedure.
It is noteworthy that failure to declare the property to the Ktimatologio
office means that the owner cannot sell, donate, transfer in any other
way, build or develop the property.
What all Greek real estate property owners must know is that, those
who reside in Greece and failed to declare their properties within
eight (8) years from the start of the Ktimatologio office in their
area, will lose their property for good! The ownership of the non-declared
property will automatically go to the government and the only consolation
for the property owner who lost his/her property will be a compensation
claim against the government. Such compensations, knowing the Greek
law and practice, will probably not be equal to the true, market value
of the lost property.
Property owners, who permanently reside outside of Greece and failed
to declare their titles to Ktimatologio for a period of ten (10) years
after the start of the Ktimatologio office in their area, will also
lose their properties. They, too, will be left with a compensation
right against the government.
The declaration of the property to Ktimatologio is done by filling
out a form with the owner’s data and the description of the property.
In addition to that, a photocopy of the title by which the owner obtained
ownership of the property must also be filed. A topographic plan (survey)
always helps, especially if the property is a land in a rural area.
The owner must also declare his/her Greek Tax Number (AFM) and documents
which prove it, (deeds where the AFM is stated, electricity or other
bills in the name of the owner, tax documents with AFM printed, etc).
In many cases property titles, especially in Greece, are not very easily
described and other documents may also be needed for a proper Ktimatologio
declaration. Such additional documents, depending on the type of the
ownership right declared, may be proof of adverse possession by which
the applicant became owner of the property, lease agreements which
recognize the applicant as owner - landlord of the property, mortgage
documents, lawsuit actions, inheritance documents etc.
In any case, those who own property in Greece and have not settled
their cases for various reasons, must do it now. A large number of
Greeks who reside outside of the country are entitled to inheritance
shares. Now is the time to administer the inheritances by sorting out
who are the heirs, what is their share, which and where are the properties
inherited, what is their tax and market value and how the heirs will
officially obtain title over the inherited property.
An inheritance is usually administered in Greece either through a legal
procedure which is finalized with a deed signed at a notary public
or through a court decision, which recognizes the heirs and their share.
Before the heirs go to the notary, they must settle with the tax authority,
if they owe taxes. A number of certificates must be obtained from various
Greek authorities and in most cases legal advice is required.
Apart from filing the titles, topographic plans and forms for the property,
the owner will also have to pay, (through the bank or the internet),
35 euros for every property right it is being declared and 20 euros
for secondary rights. If one property is jointly owned by more than
one persons, (undivided shares, parent and child co-owners of the same
property etc.), each of them will have to file independently and pay
the above amounts in full.
Christos Iliopoulos is an attorney at law, LL.M., in Athens, who specialises
in International and European Business Law. For more information about
him, see here