Legalising a property

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Mixos
Posts: 465
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:26 am
Location: North East Crete or S.W.England

Legalising a property

Postby Mixos » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:51 am

Has anyone recently had their property "legalised?" I have read previous posts on the topic and the very helpful explanation by Eleni Tsigarida on the main LiC site, but if any other forum members have had theirs done recently they might be able to answer the following:

1. Roughly how long does the process take once an engineer or architect is appointed?
2. What documents (originals or copies?) are required to present to the engineer/architect?
3. Is the legalising procedure a one-off, regardless of whether there are any plans to sell the property?
4. Has anyone heard that the legalising process may change in November and if so, any idea what the change will entail and does that mean it is better to legalise before then?
5. Am I correct in assuming that a property cannot be sold without a Declaration of Legal Property Status?

If anybody can answer these queries I'd be very grateful.

Kilkis
Posts: 10507
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Legalising a property

Postby Kilkis » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:34 am

1 It depends on what is needed to carry out the legalisation. I think mine was fairly quick, e.g. a couple of months, but I know others that have taken much longer. Also be aware that advice from engineers is not necessarily consistent. I know of one property that the first engineer consulted advised that it would never be possible to legalise the property or to sell it. It has now been legalised by a different engineer and a sale is progressing.

2 I think I gave mine the contract for the land and the building permit together with all attached papers, e.g. IKA payments etc. I can't remember giving him anything else. The engineer will tell you what he needs.

3 At the time I did mine the whole process was fairly new and the engineer who did it was advising people to legalise whether they were selling or not. Later, when the law changed and I had to get a new document, he said that he had changed the advice and was now advising people only to legalise if they were about to sell. There has been talk for some time of people being fined if their properties are not legal so the advice may be different again now.

Be aware that there are two possibilities when it comes to legalisation depending on why the property is illegal. If the property meets all building regulations appertaining to the type of property and the type of land but is illegal because the property, as it actually exists, is different from that declared on the building permit, then it is possible to fully legalise the property by submitting a revised application for a building permit and paying appropriate fines/penalties. If, however, the property does not meet some of the building regulations it is only possible to go through the 30 year legalisation process.

For example my property is on a plot inside a village and is well within the permitted build area. The building is almost the same as the plans submitted for the permit but two small store rooms were added that are not on the plans. If that was the only problem I would have been able to do a full legalisation by paying the extra IKA plus a fine. Unfortunately by adding one of the store rooms one corner of the building is now less than 2.5 m from the boundary fence so it does not meet the building regulations and I had to go through the 30 year process. The certificate you get if you go through the 30 year process has limited validity of a month or few but the engineer who issued it should be able to come and check that nothing has changed and issue a new one for a minimal fee.

Also be aware that you can only go through the process once so if you intend to make any alterations make sure you make them before legalising the property.

4 The 30 year process has changed a number of times so it would be no surprise if it changed again. I would ask an engineer about that. It was the previous changes to the law that made my engineer change his advice. If you only do it when you need to then you know you are meeting the current law.

5 That is correct. It was reported in the press, when the 30 year process started, that any change of ownership would need a Declaration of Legal Property Status not just sales. I got mine legalised because my wife died and so a new contract transferring her 50 % of the property to me would need to be drawn up and I thought I would need the property to be legal for that to happen. In the end the contract was completed and nothing was requested so I wasted my money. Depending what your intentions are I would run them past a good property lawyer.

Warwick

PS All the above is based on my experience in 2012. Things might have changed.

Kamisiana
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

Re: Legalising a property

Postby Kamisiana » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:36 am

Mixos wrote:Has anyone recently had their property "legalised?" I have read previous posts on the topic and the very helpful explanation by Eleni Tsigarida on the main LiC site, but if any other forum members have had theirs done recently they might be able to answer the following:

1. Roughly how long does the process take once an engineer or architect is appointed?
2. What documents (originals or copies?) are required to present to the engineer/architect?
3. Is the legalising procedure a one-off, regardless of whether there are any plans to sell the property?
4. Has anyone heard that the legalising process may change in November and if so, any idea what the change will entail and does that mean it is better to legalise before then?
5. Am I correct in assuming that a property cannot be sold without a Declaration of Legal Property Status?

If anybody can answer these queries I'd be very grateful.


We started the process in November we have just taken forms to get signed at KEP and yesterday paid our fine into the bank
250euro + 15euro that was for a tiled BBQ area I built I have added quite a few other structures carport ect car port work shop area under balcony but with steel box profile roof that do not seem to mater according to our engineer.
We started the ball rolling by going to see our lawyer who works with an engineer they should get all the paperwork together
for you, we know a few people that the engineers to be frank have tried to con them IE a plastic freestanding shed and a freestanding on the surface hot tub needs legalizing bulls--t so you need to choose your engineer very carefully like everything in Greece.
you are correct about the declaration to sell or even transfer property.
I don't know what your position is on legality of your property but I made it clear to the engineer I would dismantle any thing that I had built if the cost was going to be a lot.
Yes it is one off think it lasts 30 years but the engineer would need to do a revisit if you came to sell in the future just to make sure nothing has been added I think she said it would cost 40euro I might be wrong but it was not much as I am 80% through the process if you need more info let me know so far it has been quite painless as far as Greek bureaucracy goes.

Kamisiana
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

Re: Legalising a property

Postby Kamisiana » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:10 pm

Two other small points I think the fines hinge on when the illegalities occurred before or after 2011 when the law came in, also if the square meterage of you house differs from that of what is on your electric bill you must pay the difference back dated,
according my lawyer she told us when the legality was all sorted out to take an electric bill in to her to sort out the difference which she says will not be that much.

GlennB
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 9:38 pm

Re: Legalising a property

Postby GlennB » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:32 pm

A few things based purely on our experiences -

The fine was dependent on the original date of construction. Ours was before the cut-off date (1957?? I forget) so it was on the cheap side.

It took us some 6 years to do, though most of that was waiting for 'the architectural committee of Leonidio' to be formed. Once it was formed things moved relatively quickly, about a year I think.

The new survey for legalisation purposes added living space, namely an upstairs bathroom not on the original plan and an apothiki in the yard. This led to a new E9 being issued and ENFIA back-payments, which were no big deal. They tried to hit us for concreting the path to the front gate, but we had old photos showing it had always been concrete. We had just paved on top of that.

Good luck!

Mixos
Posts: 465
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:26 am
Location: North East Crete or S.W.England

Re: Legalising a property

Postby Mixos » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:40 am

Thank you Warwick, Kamisiana and GlennB. Useful to have your input. I have an engineer lined up in a couple of weeks, so I'll be happy to post my experience when it's all completed, if it helps others.

Kamisiana
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

Re: Legalising a property

Postby Kamisiana » Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:51 pm

Kamisiana wrote:
Mixos wrote:Has anyone recently had their property "legalised?" I have read previous posts on the topic and the very helpful explanation by Eleni Tsigarida on the main LiC site, but if any other forum members have had theirs done recently they might be able to answer the following:

1. Roughly how long does the process take once an engineer or architect is appointed?
2. What documents (originals or copies?) are required to present to the engineer/architect?
3. Is the legalising procedure a one-off, regardless of whether there are any plans to sell the property?
4. Has anyone heard that the legalising process may change in November and if so, any idea what the change will entail and does that mean it is better to legalise before then?
5. Am I correct in assuming that a property cannot be sold without a Declaration of Legal Property Status?

If anybody can answer these queries I'd be very grateful.


We started the process in November we have just taken forms to get signed at KEP and yesterday paid our fine into the bank
250euro + 15euro that was for a tiled BBQ area I built I have added quite a few other structures carport ect car port work shop area under balcony but with steel box profile roof that do not seem to mater according to our engineer.
We started the ball rolling by going to see our lawyer who works with an engineer they should get all the paperwork together
for you, we know a few people that the engineers to be frank have tried to con them IE a plastic freestanding shed and a freestanding on the surface hot tub needs legalizing bulls--t so you need to choose your engineer very carefully like everything in Greece.
you are correct about the declaration to sell or even transfer property.
I don't know what your position is on legality of your property but I made it clear to the engineer I would dismantle any thing that I had built if the cost was going to be a lot.
Yes it is one off think it lasts 30 years but the engineer would need to do a revisit if you came to sell in the future just to make sure nothing has been added I think she said it would cost 40euro I might be wrong but it was not much as I am 80% through the process if you need more info let me know so far it has been quite painless as far as Greek bureaucracy goes.


Our property legalisation is now complete for a grand total of 1075.00 euros including fines and engineers fee a lot less than I was expecting the basic house m2 is within the tolerance? and is 84 m2 our electric bill says the house is 92 m2
so when we go our lawyer/accountant with our electric bill to adjust payment showing we have over payed our council tax by 8 m2 for eleven years may be we will get a rebate from the Greek government (laughing as I type, Rebate and Greek government in the same sentence. :D
Asked engineer about land registry for this area she said from Rethimno to the far west will start next year and advised we do it our selves or via her topographa as if we left it to the government we would end up with not enough land to much land or the wrong land nice to know that no one trusts no one here still to get things right :shock:
.

toastie
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:57 pm

Re: Legalising a property

Postby toastie » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:48 am

its all wrong this legalising your property business.

You buy a house from an estate agent or builder or whatever in good faith and then you are told sorry that is not legal and we want some money off you.

Its disgusting really. I know somebody who bought a house from New Century several years ago and they now have a fine of almost 20k euros because their house wasnt legal.

Kilkis
Posts: 10507
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Legalising a property

Postby Kilkis » Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:49 pm

They got off light. There were people who paid CTH hundreds of thousands and got nothing, zero, nada. At least when they have paid the €20k they will have a property.

Notaries only check paperwork. They make no effort to check if what is physically there agrees at all with the paperwork. Often your lawyer is acting both for you and the builder so there is a potential conflict of interest there. It has been known for lawyers to be actively colluding with developers but good luck trying to sue a lawyer. I used the developer's lawyer and I was lucky that I had an honest developer. He didn't get it quite right but I think that was by accident rather than any malfeasance.

Warwick

YoMo2
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:07 am
Location: Milatos, Lasithi

Re: Legalising a property

Postby YoMo2 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:22 am

toastie wrote:its all wrong this legalising your property business.

You buy a house from an estate agent or builder or whatever in good faith and then you are told sorry that is not legal and we want some money off you.

Its disgusting really. I know somebody who bought a house from New Century several years ago and they now have a fine of almost 20k euros because their house wasnt legal.


To be fair it's not the legalising that is wrong. Legalisation and the tightening up of the buy/sell legal process will slowly but surely mean that your friends experience won't be repeated for today's buyers. (But I know what you meant).

It was the lack of controls previously that was the problem.

Andrew

toastie
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:57 pm

Re: Legalising a property

Postby toastie » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:44 am

so the reason for legalising a property was because the system was, and still is to a point, very corrupt.

It does need tightening up for sure but sadly it falls with the house owner and there is probably no comeback on the notary, lawyer or developer, particularly after some builders/developers have gone bust.

Kilkis
Posts: 10507
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Legalising a property

Postby Kilkis » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:36 am

Largely Greeks divide the law into two parts. There is outright criminal activity like killing/assaulting someone, robbing someone etc and for that part they tend to be pretty law abiding, I would say a lot more so than in the UK. On the other side there are rules and regulations that simply try to limit their freedom to do whatever they want and that part they mostly ignore, again, I would say more so than in the UK. Building regulations fit into the second part. It has been like that for ever so that virtually every single property built in Greece is illegal in some way. What would you do? Bulldoze flat every property in Greece?

There is only one person in the whole world responsible for looking after your welfare and that is you.

Warwick

YoMo2
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:07 am
Location: Milatos, Lasithi

Re: Legalising a property

Postby YoMo2 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:00 am

toastie wrote:so the reason for legalising a property was because the system was, and still is to a point, very corrupt.

It does need tightening up for sure but sadly it falls with the house owner and there is probably no comeback on the notary, lawyer or developer, particularly after some builders/developers have gone bust.



Well, of course it falls on the house-owner. Everyone needs to look after their own interests. Unfortunately there have been all too many cases of Brits with rose-tinted specs believing everything they are told by developers and their cronies. In some cases those developers were Brits....

But you are wrong to say there is no comeback on notaries etc. Engineers now face massive fines if they sign off on an illegal property. Notaries now have to see paperwork that certifies legality before they can allow a sale. Thankfully it's a lot better than it used to be.

Andrew

Kamisiana
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

Re: Legalising a property

Postby Kamisiana » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:08 am

YoMo2 wrote:
toastie wrote:so the reason for legalising a property was because the system was, and still is to a point, very corrupt.

It does need tightening up for sure but sadly it falls with the house owner and there is probably no comeback on the notary, lawyer or developer, particularly after some builders/developers have gone bust.



Well, of course it falls on the house-owner. Everyone needs to look after their own interests. Unfortunately there have been all too many cases of Brits with rose-tinted specs believing everything they are told by developers and their cronies. In some cases those developers were Brits....

But you are wrong to say there is no comeback on notaries etc. Engineers now face massive fines if they sign off on an illegal property. Notaries now have to see paperwork that certifies legality before they can allow a sale. Thankfully it's a lot better than it used to be.

Andrew


It will never change here I know someone who legalised their property a few months ago and did not get a receipt for it, I got a receipt that showed less than what I paid everyone tells me it is what they love about living here along with drinking and driving animal cruelty and poisoning owning illegal firearms the list is endless.

Yin&Yang
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:03 pm
Location: Megala Horafia/Aptera

Re: Legalising a property

Postby Yin&Yang » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:16 am

Your last paragraph Kamisiana, regrettably can also be said of the UK and many other countries.
Someday is now : )


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