Place your property on a safe legal foundation
If one wishes to purchase real estate in Greece, the purchase of Greek property is governed by the Astikos Kodikas (Greek Civil Code), which is comparable to the German Civil Code (BGB). A notarized contract of sale and entry in the Ipothikofilakio (Land Charges Register) or Ktimatologio (Land Register) is required for the purchase.
As in German law, in Greek law the accession of title to a property is only complete upon entry in the Greek Land Register.
In addition to the contract of sales’ special regulations, the sale is entered in the Greek Land Register. The Land Registry (Greek: Ipothikofilakio or Ktimatologio) has jurisdiction for specific municipalities. Unlike the German Land Register, for example, entries were previously named and not property related. The law introducing the Ktimatologio switched the previous name-based registers to a property-based Land Registry system. As this conversion has not yet taken place throughout Greece, this means that in some regions the Land Registers continue to be kept according to person (Ipothikofilakio) to a certain extent. When verifying the ownership status, an entry is verified in terms of the name of the respective vendor and not in terms of ownership status on the basis of entries under the plot numbers. Because of this peculiarity Land Register searches by a lawyer are indispensable in Greece.
Kosmidis & Partners will help you with the problems that arise in this regard, such as verifying ownership status. The following section provides an overview of purchasing property according to Greek law.
Private and commercial property in Greece:
an overview of Greek property law
Kosmidis & Partners: your partner for Greek property law
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, the sale price and when it is due stated, rescission rights and contractual penalties in the event of late payment and/or rescission of the contract of sale stipulated, as is contract implementation to arrive at transfer of title in the Land Register.
Exactly as in the case of German law, according to the Greek Civil Code change of title is effected upon registration with the Land Registry having jurisdiction for the real estate. Payment of the sale price or the residual sale price takes place at the same time as the notary’s record is drawn up and is established in the notarised record.
Payment of land transfer tax is a prerequisite for transfer of title, which is usually carried out by lawyers.
The Land Registry (Greek: Ipothikofilakio or Ktimatologio) has jurisdiction for specific municipalities. Greek Land Registers have been, however, and to a certain extent still are kept by person (Ipothikofilakio) rather than plot. When searching the Land Register, an entry is therefore verified in terms of the potential owner’s name, whether and when he/she became the owner and by virtue of which legal deed, whether encumbrances, easements, legal disputes, have been registered, etc. A decision has been taken to modernize Greek Land Register practice to alleviate the difficulties arising when verifying ownership status. Restructuring in Greece has been summed up under the term “Ktimatologio”.
The Greek Land Register operated according to plots and not owners, public faith in what is entered under the plot, etc., which has been under construction for some time, has already been accomplished and has come into force in numerous Greek regions.
The Greek Land Register/Ktimatologio has so far been implemented in two stages.
Representation by lawyers is mandatory when notarizing most contracts of sale in Greece. The lawyer carries out the Land Register searches, draws up the contract and also preliminarily signs the contract of sale. Statutory contributions must be paid to the local branch of the Law Society for the lawyer’s assistance with the notarized contract of sale.