Athens-based architect and Chicago native Katerina Sirouni helps owners decode Greece’s property laws. This article, part of an informative series, discusses Electronic Building Codes, (in Greek, Ilektroniki Taftotita Ktiriou), and why property owners should obtain this certification.
A Guide to Greece’s 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, we’ll discuss Electronic Building Codes, (in Greek, Ilektroniki Taftotita Ktiriou), and why property owners should obtain this certification.
What’s the Electronic Building ID Code?
The Electronic Building ID Code is a new type of certification that will modify the Greek Real Estate Market as we know it today. All real private and public property will be recorded online on a complete and reliable property database.
This new certification describes the as-built status of property, meaning what has actually been built, in terms of area and use. Pertinent documentation such as permits, drawings, Legal and Energy Certificates, and Cadastre Details will all be registered electronically and each property will then be assigned a unique “Building ID Code” by the Ministry of Environment.
Why Electronic Building ID Codes are necessary
The way the system works today, it is impossible for the Greek government to keep track of all existing built property. Through this new regulation, however, all information will be monitored and electronically linked to public entities engaged with property ownership such as the Ministry of Finance, the Hellenic Cadastre and the Public Power Corporation; all will have access to the exact same registered details.
This of course requires that all buildings comply with their legally issued permits.
Why you must obtain an Electronic Building ID Code
Owners holding property with any type of violations will NOT be able to apply for an Electronic ID Code, eventually losing their entitlement to sell, rent, transfer to family, or even inherit property.
Nonetheless, owners still have time to take advantage of the grace period for compliance, effective until February 2016, and conduct an on-site “legal check” of their property.
As announced by the Greek government this past month, this new requirement will go into in effect in 2015. Building owners with declared property through the two major amnesty laws since 2010, Law No. 3843/10 and 4178/13 are subject to register within the next five years and all others will gradually follow. New buildings or extensions to existing buildings as well as buildings issuing renovation and repair permits will also be among the first required to apply.
All unregistered property will automatically be considered “Illegal” and subject to extremely high fines.
Once the Building ID Code is in effect, certificates required today when conveying real property, will be replaced by the “Certificate of Completion”, valid for a certain amount of years depending on the building type and use. In effort to eliminate the long-lasting phenomenon of illegal undeclared property and to improve the Greek Real Estate Market, property owners will be required to re-issue these certificates after periodical on-site inspections by certified architects.
Benefits of the Electronic Building Code ID
Without a doubt, the Electronic Building ID Code is the most important of all “fast-tracking” of new laws. Future property transactions, and even title searches for possible inheritance, will be simpler, faster and most importantly, more transparent. Once completed and fully implemented, it will be the key tool in the Greek Real Estate Market, providing accurate information with a click. Property ownership in Greece will finally be protected for every single land and building owner, as well as for their inheritors.
How to get an Electronic Building ID Code
A licensed architect can assist with this process, and help to legalize and register the property. They can also help complete and submit the declaration forms, which can be confusing.
Owners of Property in Greece Have New Requirements and Challenges
This is but a brief overview of some of the new legal challenges that affect every single property owner today. In future articles, I will go into greater detail and help explain Greece’s property laws on a practical basis and how to work through them. These laws and changes may appear overwhelming, but with the right professional, they can be handled efficiently and inexpensively.
Questions? Need assistance in Greece? Email Katerina.
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.
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