OPA Magazine, September 24, 2011
According to Law 4014/2011 (enacted on September 21, 2011), the general approach is that a property in Greece cannot be conveyed or mortgaged, if :
- there is a building on it which has been built without the procurement of the Building Authority’s license, or by deviating from the license, or
- there has been a unilateral change in its licensed use.
According to art 23 par 4 of the above Law, during every conveyance or placement of a mortgage etc on any property, its owner and an engineer must certify in writing that all existing constructions, are according to the building license. Omission or false statement on the above, crates a serious criminal and civil liability to all involved parties, including the public notary, the contracting parties, their lawyers, the real estate agents and the land registrar, reaching to a minimum 6 months of imprisonment and a fine from 30.000 to 100.000 Euros. Moreover the practicing license of the (falsely stating) engineers is suspended.
Is there a remedy for these illegal constructions? Well, through the timely submission of an application to the Building Authority together with various documents (e.g. the E9 tax statement, an engineer’s report etc) and the payment of a fine (up to 6.000 Euros), the imposing of sanctions (demolition included) is postponed for 30 years. The deadline for the relevant application expires on November 30, 2011.
In practice, almost all the buildings in Greece during the last decades have deviated from the terms of the initial building license, mainly with the creation of “imiipethrioi”, i.e. balconies that have been turned to rooms. Realistically, it is now a good chance (and maybe the last?) to legalize such defects and avoid the serious sanctions. But, do hurry!