In case some of you have not yet come across this old scheme which has recently been applied to properties on a shared plot, I thought it might be useful to post some info based on our experience.
Vertical land division is a plan whereby people in high-rise apartment blocks (think mainly Athens and Thessaloniki) who own 'a floor' can be given exclusive ownership of that floor for the purposes of buying/selling. Lately, this scheme has been extended to houses built on a shared plot, and although it is still called 'Vertical' land division, it is plainly 'horizontal'.
When our neighbours and we built on the shared plot, we quickly became aware that we all had common access to each other's land and house. So to try to sort that out we paid a few thousand euros to have a new topograph drawn up, defining each house as an 'exclusive' dwelling place, but the surrounding land could only be treated as 'garden care' - apportioned appropriately to even-up the ownership of the land (for which we had paid 50/50).
Our neighbours have recently sold their house . This has entailed a tremendous amount of expense because of the silly (in the words of their lawyer) way in which the government has treated the problem.
Would you believe, that there are 4 contract documents involved?
1. I 'sell' all of 'my' land, including the house, to the neighbour.
2. He 'sells' all of 'his' land, including the house, to me.
(That means we are back at square one, with all of us owning everything!).
3. He then sells me back and I buy back the amount of land that I once owned so that he is now the 'real, legitimate owner' of all of his land.
4. He then contracts to sell that land to the new purchaser.
In amongst all of that a new topograph is drawn up (In our case there was a modification to the proportion of land ownership but that is irrelevant in the context of the bureaucracy).
So, each of the contracts costs money - lawyer's fee, notary's fee etc. The topograph costs money. Think about €10K and then add some more to that!
As far as we are concerned, the silver lining to all of that is that there is no legal liability on us to contribute towards the expenses. The person who initiates the sale is legally bound to pay the lot. Equally, the other party/parties on the shared plot, have to agree to the division, topograph, contracts etc, to enable the sale to go through.
What a performance. But it does illustrate one of the grouses that expats have: everything is just costing more and more money. It is unfair to point to the Greeks and say 'they get away with it' because they rarely get into this situation in the first place, thanks to the inheritance laws and the way in which property and land are passed from one generation to another.
So, if you are on a shared plot, and you are the first to want to sell, take a deep breath, raid the bank and try to smile through it all!! Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!