Athens-based architect and Chicago native Katerina Sirouni helps owners decode Greek property laws. In this follow up to an article about Illegal Structures, she discusses the upcoming deadline to make properties legal.
A Guide to Greek Property Laws
As a Greek American who has been educated and lives in Greece — and happens to be an architect — I am continually approached by Chicago area family and friends about how to make sense of the many changes in Greece’s property laws, codes, and taxes. As the owner and operator the architectural firm, KSirouni Architects, I help clients all over the world in design, management, and maintenance of properties, as well as navigating Greece’s new property laws. Here, will discuss what constitutes an illegal property, the penalties, and how to make your property legal. This information is critical, in that if your property isn’t compliant, you jeopardize your rights.
Related: Read the original article- Guide to Greece’s Property Laws: Illegal Structures
Grace period coming to a close
The the grace period of compliance for legalizing “Illegal Structures” was extended from its original date in 2015, and is currently effective up to February 8, 2016.
Let us review the definition of “Illegal Structures”. If any built structures on-site do not comply with what has been declared on building permits and drawings, they are considered to be in violation of those and therefore “illegal” according to the Greek Building Code Law.
Why must “Illegal Property” be legalized?
The “Declaration of Legal Property Status – Law No. 4178/13” is required for most property transactions for both buildings and empty plots. In order for this certificate to be issued per property, all buildings on-site must be legal. Owners with property violations will not be able to provide this certificate when selling, renting or transferring to family in the future.
How do I determine if my property is legal?
Conduct an on-site “legal check” and make sure all built structures comply with the building permit and drawings in dimensions and use. If illegal structures are determined, they can now be legalized with a reduced fine by applying for a “Declaration of Legal Property Status – Law No. 4178/13”.
What can be legalized?
All built structures in general except for those built on forestry land and protected areas. A few examples of illegal structures are: extensions on existing buildings, enclosed balconies and verandas, roofed terraces, garages, attics and basements converted into living space, swimming pools, pergolas and canopies all without permits.
Why is this happening?
Keep in mind, this regulation is part of the ongoing effort to properly record all built Greek property. Therefore it is important to secure and protect your property for yourselves and your heirs. Remember: all transactions of Greek property require a “Declaration of Legality”; consequently, owners with property violations will not be able to sell, rent or transfer to family.
Other articles in this series:
Katerina is experienced in designing, constructing and renovating residential and commercial property, as well as issuing all property-related certificates and permits. She offers property management and consulting services predominantly to non-Greek residents with regard to property in Greece.
Last year, Katerina published a well-regarded series of articles in The Greek Star newspaper, entitled, “The Changing Landscape of Property Ownership in Greece: Know Your Rights and Obligations.” She also
conducted workshops in Chicago and New York, educating Americans about the new laws, and how they affect their property in Greece.
Latest posts by Katerina Sirouni (see all)
- Better Check Your Greek Property – It Could Be on Forestland! - March 6, 2017
- 5 Ways to Protect Your Greek Property - January 24, 2017
- Greek Property Rights and Inheritance - December 22, 2016