Property and Real Estate Law
IRINI K. GALIATSATOS’ LAW SERVICES is a Greek Law firm specializing, amongst other sectors, in Real-Estate Property Law having a wide range of experts, composed by external solicitors, notaries, accountants, tax experts, civil engineers, topographers, real estate agents, enabling us to provide an “all-in-one package” of legal guidance.
IRINI K. GALIATSATOS’ LAW SERVICES handles each case with devotion and creative spirit.
1. Costs of acquiring property in Greece.
The cost of purchasing a property in Greece should be estimated 6% to 7% on top of the purchase price approximately, depending on the contract’s price and the professionals involved. These costs are paid by the buyer and are analyzed as follows:
Transfer tax: 3,3% of the purchase price.
Notary’s fees: 1 – 1,5% of the purchase price.
Land Registry’s fees: 0,5% of the purchase price.
Real estate agency’s fees: usually 2% of the purchase price.
Attorney’s fees: upon agreement.
2. Cost of maintaining property in Greece.
In 2013, in an attempt by the Greek government to set the basis for a regular and long-term taxation of real estate, a new law was imposed which introduced the term “Uniform tax on real estate”, in Greek called “ENFIA”. From 1.1.2014 onwards, ENFIA will be the uniform tax on any rights held on real estate in Greece. The ENFIA is levied both on buildings and on any plots of land. For the purposes of estimating the ENFIA, the following are calculated to amount the real estate property value: the right to complete ownership or ownership deprived of the right to use, the right to enjoyment or residence, the contractual right to exclusive use of parking spaces, secondary spaces and swimming pools which are found on jointly-owned parts of a ground floor, an outdoor lower ground space (‘piloti’ in Greek) parking area, an attic or any uncovered space of the building, etc.
Every person, regardless of their origin and place of residence, is due to pay this tax on their real estate property which is located in Greece. Taxes are imposed on the 1st of January of the tax year, regardless of the changes which may arise during that year.
The ENFIA is calculated by multiplying a “basic tax” which depends on the tax value (i.e. the value as calculated by the tax office) of the area that the property is situated. Such basic tax is then multiplied by several other factors; such basic factors are:
the construction year of the property
the floor it is set in
how many facades the property has
the size of the property
if the property contains any auxiliary spaces e.g. storage rooms, etc.
The above Real Estate Tax and Sanitation and Lighting Tax are collected in Greece and payable through the bills paid to the Public Electricity Providers (electricity bill) and they are paid in favor of the Greek State as opposed to the previous taxes which relate to personal tax statements. The amount payable is mainly determined by the size of the real estate in question. The law prohibits public notaries from allowing the completion of a contract for sale, if confirmation of payment from the municipality, which regulates the real estate in question, is not obtained.
Mandatory representation by Lawyers for property sale contracts in Greece
Representation by Lawyer is mandatory when notarizing most contracts of sale in Greece. The Lawyer carries out the Land Register searches and oversees the preparation of the contract. Most of the times the Lawyer is the representative of the client and has the authority to execute orders due to relevant power of attorneys.
The contract of sale
Greek property transactions are put into effect by concluding a notarized, precisely worded contract of sale. The object of purchase is described accurately and also the sale price. When the sale price is due, rescission rights and contractual penalties in the event of late payment and/or rescission of the contract of sale are stated. Notaries maintain all original contracts in their archives and can provide official copies to the contracting parties.
Payment of the sale price or the residual sale price takes place at the same time as the notary’s contract is drawn up and is signed by the contracting parties. Payment of land transfer tax must be made prior to transfer of title, which is usually carried out by Lawyers.
A topographic drawing is also required, stamped by a qualified professional, usually civil engineer or the qualified topographer, which imprints the property and secures the building conditions and the legality of the building(s), if any. Also a so called “energy efficiency certificate” is required for buildings above 50 sq. meters in area.
Land Register in Greece
Each contract is registered at the land registry of the area of the property. According to the Greek Civil Code change of title is effected upon registration with the Land Registry having jurisdiction for the real estate. The Land Registry (Greek: Ipothikofilakio or Ktimatologio) has jurisdiction for specific municipalities.
4. Lawyer’s tasks in specific
Vendee’s lawyer is the person to perform a full legal check in order to protect the client’s interests in this process. The standard check of the Lawyer includes:
i. Title check in order to secure that the ownership status of the vendor is solid and without any legal defects; to ensure that the continuity of the owners before the vendor has not been “broken” at any point in the past; that all contracts up to date were signed legally.
ii. Property current legal status check in order to secures that there are no incumbencies, mortgages, confiscations, claims, or any other real property rights registered on the property.
iii. In case the vendor is a legal entity, the Lawyer of the vendee has also to ensure that the status of the company is in perfect legal; that the director or the proxy or the legal representative of the company is authorized to sign and commit the company with his or her signature ; that the relevant decisions of the board of directors ensure the legality of the procedure.
The overall inspection of the procedure usually belongs to the duties of the lawyer, as he or she is the representative of the client, most of the times with authority to execute orders due to relevant power of attorneys.
Irini K. Galiatsatos’ Law office has been providing international clients with market leading professional assistance in the field of Greek real estate law during the past 8 years. We utilize the skills of all our practice areas and affiliated professionals to ensure we advise our clients on every opportunity and corresponding risk a property related matter presents. We make sure our clients are aware of, and can react to, the complex issues which real estate transactions often raise.
Irini K. Galiatsatos’ Law office can provide you the content of the Power of Attorney you need to sign, in order to be represented through the process of a contract, both as a buyer and as a seller. We prepare and send you drafts in either language, which include the necessary orders for your case, ready to be signed in front of a Notary Public of your home town or a Greek Embassy.
We are able to assist you through the process of obtaining a Greek Tax Number without your physical presence at the Tax office.
The documents required for obtaining a Greek Tax number are as follows:
1.Valid passport or driving license or Social Security number card.
2.Power of attorney.
Here is a list of the documents required for the opening of a Greek Bank account:
2.Income tax slip (for natural persons) or income tax returns, including submission receipt and tax payment note (for legal persons and trading professionals).
3.VAT registration number (tax number).
4.Recent utility bill which shows your current home address.
5.Certificate of profession.
6.Power of attorney.
Irini K. Galiatsatos’ Law office can assist you obtain a Greek Bank account without your physical presence at the Bank.