The Kytherian, August 18, 2012
“I have the Title (simvoleo) on my Greek Property to my name. Do I have the ownership?” Well, the answer is that if this Title is not registered with the Land Registry (Ypothikofilakeion), you do not have ownership. “And how is this registration proved?” Only through a Certificate of Registration (Pistopiitiko Metagrafis) from the competent Land Registry.
Greek Civil Code provides that ownership rights on real estate properties in Greece is effected only through the registration of the Deed to the competent Land Registry (“Ypothikofylakion”) and/ or Land Registry Bureau (“Ktimatologio”) archives. Therefore, the lack of registration of the title to the Land Registry archives means that the conveyance has not been accomplished and that the new “owner” has not acquired ownership rights on the real estate property. Only upon registration of the title to the Land Registry archives (and no sooner than the registration), the new owner acquires his ownership rights and becomes the legal owner of the property from that point of time (and from the time of execution/ issuance of the title). The only exemption is provided for Inheritances, since upon registration of the Acceptance of Inheritance Deed to the Land Registry archives, it is considered that the heir has acquired ownership rights on real estate properties as of the time of the deceased’s passing.
Which titles are recorded to the Land Registry? Greek Civil Code names specifically the titles which are recorded to the relevant archives: a) any title “inter vivos”, such as sales, purchases, exchanges, notarial partitions, gifts, parental gifts, etc., concerning real estate properties b) any administrative act granting ownership, c) any report of court partition/distribution of real estate properties, d) any final court judgment related to real estate properties in Greece and e) acceptance of inheritance deeds concerning real estate properties.
The Land Registrar records to the Land Registry archives, the summary of the title to be recorded (naming the participating parties, the type of conveyance, the specifics of the property-ies and the ownership rights under conveyance). In addition to the above and apart from the summary of the Deed, the interesting party has to provide the Land Registrar with an application requesting the registration of the Deed, a certified copy of the Deed, as well as the relevant conveyance tax statement.
Is there any deadline for recording the title to the Land Registry archives? Greek Law does not provide such deadline. The Title can be recorded at any time after its execution. However, considering that lack of registration means lack of acquiring real estate ownership rights and the principal of time priority (meaning that the person who records first his title acquires the conveyed ownership right), leaving nothing else than a claim to the person who has not recorded his title, it will be important to proceed with recording the title to the competent Land Registry archives immediately after its issuance and/ or execution. Moreover, in case that the title is recorded after a year from its execution, the Land Registrar requires from the competent tax authority, the re-evaluation of the property’s tax value.
The competent Land Registry for the recording of the Deeds is the Land Registry of the area where the property is located. If the conveyed properties are located in the prefectures of different Land Registries, the Deed has to be recorded to all competent Land Registries.
So, if you do not have a Certificate of Registration together with your Title, make sure that:
- you confirm its legal status through a title search in the Land Registry, and
- you procure the relevant certificate.