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Have you Ever Wondered Why are buildings unfinished in Greece?
Many Cases they run out of Funding, however many other cases in the especially in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, Housing was erected without permit.
The most common form of Construction Halt was a complaint to the Local Building Office of Unpermitted Project. That is why you see several unfinished properties in Greece.
Building permits became mandatory in 1955, there are dozens of Thousand cases in Greece of unpermitted buildings, in towns, villages and forest areas.
The Greek Government tried to cope with this issue several times without success.
Breakthrough was achieved in 2011 when any property sale nationwide was directly connected with the legality of the property. Until 2011 you could buy a house without a technical certificate by a Civil Engineer that the Property has all the legal Permits!
From 2011 onwards no Property Sale can Proceed without Permit OR Legalisation of Arbitrary Building with the Law 4495/2017
New Construction and building law in Greece
Law 4495/2017, Revised with Law 4759/2020
Unpermitted Buildings or Extensions of Legit Buildings
Arbitrary Buildings Greece – New Construction and building law in Greece Law 4495/2017
The usual handling for these buildings or parts of them is demolition.
However due to the sheer amount of irregularities that took place the last 30 years, the Greek government decided to give a chance to the owners of such buildings to come forward and state the excess construction to the building authorities, pay an appropriate fine, keep the building and excluding from demolition.
Arbitrary Buildings in Greece was a common practice until 15 years ago. Most Property owners were adding extra building area on their property in excess of the building permit. The Greek Government tried to change this phenomenon in 2011 by introducing the legislation that banned all sales on properties that are not building regulation compliant.
Furthermore, In many cases, owners of property in Greece are not aware of their “property status”, what they actually own. Unlike many countries, the common case in the Greek real estate market for decades now, is that most buildings are in violation of the building codes set by law. This is a concept especially unfamiliar to people from overseas who have bought property throughout the years and overseas Greek owners who have inherited property from their family.
Moreover, in view of this reality, the Greek Government in 2011 prepared Law No. 4014/2011 which has been replaced by Law No. 4178/2013, which was also replaced by a modern more detailed legislation namely 4495 in November 2017.
This Law, grants a property owner with building violations namely exceed of building limit, discrepancies on the side views, illegal extensions etc) to legalize their illegal structures by filing a declaration paying either a lump-sum with a benefit discount or interest free installments. If the property is not declared, fines applicable by government are extremely high and require an annual fee for maintaining the “status” of the illegal construction.
Furthermore, If you own land and/or buildings and want to proceed in any legal transaction, you must submit a “Declaration of Legal Property Status” signed by a certified architect/engineer confirming that the property is legal and in compliance with the legal building license issued.
In addition, the newly voted Law allows owners the option to benefit 50% of the total fine to be paid, should they decide to invest in the energy efficiency upgrading or the structural reinforcement of their building.
Furthermore, you will be ready to sell at any time since only “legally declared” constructions can be included in contracts and other documentation. False declarations by all parties involved, e.g.; architects, notaries and owners, will be faced with legal charges.
In general, all structures can be legally declared, except for those built on ancient archaeological sites, on forestry land, protected areas, too close to beaches, riverbeds and roads. Examples of illegal constructions that can be declared are:
– Buildings and landscape structures such as swimming pools, pergolas and canopies without a license.
– Buildings and extensions on existing buildings that do not comply in dimensions and use or are situated differently on site than indicated on the authorized building drawings and license.
– Enclosed balconies and verandas, roofed terraces, garages, attics and basements converted into living space.
The first step in verifying the “legal status” of your property is for us to conduct an on-site inspection after gathering authorized building plans and licenses if issued.
If discrepancies are determined, we can begin the initial phase of declaring the property without delay. Through the electronic system of the Technical Chamber of Greece, the owner will be given a unique application code of the declaration and the invoice of the initial lump-sum payment necessary to validate the process. Fines are determined depending on the extent in size and of the use of the structure, the frame time it was built and the area’s set tax value.
Fees for each declaration and completion of final documentation/property portfolio differ depending on the nature, size and complicity of each structure.
Furthermore, If you own a building that was not build according to the construction permit (all of it or part of it), it is in your best interest to state the excess construction and make your property entirely legitimate.
Moreover, Our Office will perform the whole process of calculating the government fine, produce the appropriate plans and clean up any irregularities of your property according to the government law 4178 of 2013.
Please contact us for all necessary details and on how to check if your property is legitimate in its entity.
When you buy a property it is necessary that it legal. If its an arbitrary building you need to make sure that the building has been declared in the law 4178/2013 or 4495/2017 and the arbitrary building fine has been paid before you buy the property.
When you decide to buy a building you require the building permit and the surveying topography plan and bring to us for thorough examination of the legality of the property you are interested in.
All new deeds require that buildings are legal. The notaries in Greece are not allowed to conduct a deed without an declaration of legal property status.