Notaris strike

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Sebastiencordy
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Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:54 pm

Notaris strike

Postby Sebastiencordy » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:07 am

Hi

Is there somebody who can confirm me that there is a strike from de notaris for the moment in Crete?
If well when is it finished?

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

Re: Notaris strike

Postby Kilkis » Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:10 am

According to this article in Tornos News it is in Athens and Piraeus. It doesn't mention Crete although I would guess that they have the same complaint. The strike was publicised on 4 January and was due to run until 8 January so it shouldn't cause major disruption, although it could reoccur if the issue is not resolved. Greece does have a habit of introducing new requirements without putting in place the necessary mechanisms for the requirement to be met.

Warwick

Hector
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: Notaris strike

Postby Hector » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:08 pm

Hi, We have a house in Crete and finally a buyer. However, the sale was due to be finalised 7th February but we are now told by our Lawyer in Crete that we must sign the contract in Athens and the Notary strike will delay the date until 20th February. Given the strike was for 3 days this seems unreasonable. Also has anyone else experience of having to travel to Athens to sign a contract. The buyers is English. I would be very grateful for thoughts, experiences and advice. Thanks.

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Notaris strike

Postby Kilkis » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:59 pm

I've known several people who have sold their houses in the Chania Nomos during the last year. Some were to foreign and some to Greek buyers. Most needed to deal with various legalisation issues. Everything was completed in Chania. I know of one case where there is a forestry commission problem and that requires a committee in Athens to resolve it but once that is resolved the rest of the process will be done in Chania. Have you asked your lawyer why it has to be signed in Athens? I thought change of ownership contracts had to be drawn up by a registered Notary in the Nomos where the property is located?

Warwick

Hector
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: Notaris strike

Postby Hector » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:36 pm

Thanks, Kilkis. That is enough to prompt some more questions. We were quickly shut up when we initially queried it. I can see no reason for it being in Athens.....

Jeffstclair
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Location: The centre of the universe

Re: Notaris strike

Postby Jeffstclair » Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:54 am

Yes there does seem to be a problem with notaries just now .We are in the process of buying a plot of land next to our house and it is taking ages..partly because the sellers paperwork was incorrect and also’cos the notaries are overworked correcting and writing up paperwork for the property register that is still not finished here...

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Notaris strike

Postby Kilkis » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:29 am

Hector wrote:...That is enough to prompt some more questions...


I tend to try to ask very specific questions in this situation. For example, "Is this a legal requirement?". If they say yes then, "Why is it a legal requirement? Which law and which article in that law specifies that the documents have to be signed in Athens?" And so on. Every Greek law has a number and they are available online, obviously in Greek. Usually they are long and difficult to understand but if you know the specific Clause you can copy that and process it through Google translate. It won't be perfect but it should give you an idea of what is going on.

I am not suggesting that there aren't reasons why documents need to be signed in Athens; there may well be circumstances where that is necessary. I just think you are entitled to know what those circumstances are. In my experience lawyers in Greece often don't see it as their job to actually do anything, simply to tell you what you have to do. It's not always the case but it does seem to be common, especially in property law.

Any process involving Notaries always seems to be inexorably slow for no obvious reason.

Warwick

bobscott
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Location: Kokkino Horio

Re: Notaris strike

Postby bobscott » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:02 pm

Kilkis wrote:
Any process involving Notaries always seems to be inexorably slow for no obvious reason.

Warwick


Perhaps, like other self-employed people,they are always interrupting your business to take phone calls which may lead to more work for them? Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Hector
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: Notaris strike

Postby Hector » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:07 pm

Thanks, Kilkis, So wish we had asked the specific questions. As it was we trusted what we were told by our lawyer. Date not set yet (due apparently to the Notary's strike?) but expect it soon. Not sure why a 3-day strike results in a 2-week delay but who am I to argue! After 7 years in Greece, I thought I had seen it all. But apparently not. Still, it's all good material for the book ;) Regards, Hector

Thetis
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:58 pm

Re: Notaris strike

Postby Thetis » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:22 pm

By co-incidence, our lawyer was here this evening, so I asked him.

First of all, all Notaries in Greece are in strike till the end of the month. Maybe longer, not decided yet.
No one will be surprised if it continues........
Anyway, when they are back at work, there will be big back-logs of course.

All Notaries in Greece can do a sale contract for any property in Greece. Normally though (of course) a Notary that is local/close to the lawyers are choosen. So, for a property in province of Chania, a Notary in Chania do the work.
Our lawyer can not see any situation that the contract needs to be signed in Athen, exept one.

The buyer is the one that actually pays the Notary, and also formally chooses Notary, which his lawyer will do.
Is the sellers lawyer in Athen? If so, this might be the only reason a Notary in Athen can be choosed.....

You have a lawyer, so I suppose you have signed a Power of Attorney (POA)? If so, the lawyer is the one that will, and should, sign the contract and everything else. So whatever reason, you do not need to go to Athen.

Tore

Hector
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Re: Notaris strike

Postby Hector » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:48 pm

Thanks, Tore. Yes, the buyer's lawyer is in Athens. So it makes sense. I appreciate you asking your lawyer. It's has been a difficult process so far and we can't expect and end any time soon if the Notary's remain on strike. But, it is good to know our situation is not unheard of!

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

Re: Notaris strike

Postby Kilkis » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:08 pm

Thetis wrote:...You have a lawyer, so I suppose you have signed a Power of Attorney (POA)?...


I had a lawyer when I bought my current property but I never gave them a Power of Attorney. I came to Crete and signed the contract myself. Also I, as the buyer, didn't choose the Notary. I was told which Notary to attend by the agent who had handled the sale. I thought back then that it was "normal" to use whichever Notary had conducted the previous transfer of ownership because they had the previous contracts? I was told that this was why being a Notary was so attractive to lawyers, i.e. a captive audience. I realise now that this isn't true. When my wife died the Notary who executed the deed transferring her 50 % of our property to me, after the Greek Probate process, was not the same as the one who had issued the original contract.

Warwick

Thetis
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:58 pm

Re: Notaris strike

Postby Thetis » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:48 pm

If you think of it, it makes some kind of sence.....
First of all of course because the buyer pays for the notary.
Second, of "security reasons". Theoretically, seller can have "arranged" something with a preferred notary, so not all is correct.

Therefore, buyer chooses. As most buyers have no idea of notaries, that means buyers lawyer chooses.
And in 99,5% of cases, both lawyers are based in Chania, if the property is here, so notary also in Chania.

If buyer has a lawyer in Athen, seller in Chania, one have to travel. And as it is buyer (lawyer) who chooses........

For signing the contract, I would really recommend a POA, so the lawyer signs. The contract is in many pages, I have seen contracts of 40 pages, all in Greek of course. The one who signs, accepts the contract. The lawyer will understand the content, and is responsable if something is wrong there (and normally have insurance for this). If buyer signs, and not understand Greek, he/she depends on the translation from the Notary. When signed personally, and if something should be wrong, they are responsable themselves.

Normally, this is not something buyers/sellers think so much of, as all is arranged by the lawyers. So maybe Kilkis this is why the agent said that. Very often it will be the same Notary who did the last transfer of the same property, but not always. It all depends on which lawyers that are involved.

My wife and I last used a Notary when we married Greek Orthodox here in 2017. Recommended, and arranged by our lawyer. That will always be the preferred way, that when a lawyer is involved, they choose/decide. They know the notaries, and of course have good relationship with one.

And for Hector, if you have not signed a POA, I would suggest you do it. If nothing else, it will save you a trip to Athen at least, and also that the lawyer signs and therefore are 100% responsible.

Tore

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

Re: Notaris strike

Postby Kilkis » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:18 am

I can understand your argument, Tore, but it relies on the concept that the lawyer is honest, reliable and acting in your best interest. Sadly, in Greece that is not always the case. I found several mistakes in the contract that the Notary drew up for the purchase of the plot we bought. I doubt if they were very serious but the Notary changed them all when I pointed them out. Our lawyer had not noticed them. An important thing to understand is that the Notary relies entirely on the paperwork. They do not check anything physical, i.e they do not go out and inspect the property. I know a large number of people who bought houses on split plots. Neither their lawyer nor the Notary pointed this out to them or explained what the consequences were. In some cases those consequences were massive when they came to sell.

It is all very well saying that if you sign a PoA then the lawyer is responsible if anything is wrong. Have you ever tried to sue a lawyer in Greece? I doubt if I would live long enough to complete that process and even if I did I would probably lose. I take advice from lawyers but at the end of the day I take responsibility for my own life.

Warwick

Hector
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: Notaris strike

Postby Hector » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:50 pm

Thanks for the comments and advice. I understand now that the buyer chooses the lawyer and after 7 years in Greece, I get it. Don't trust anybody! That said we were not for signing a POI for that very reason. Now, taking on board Tore's comment it sounds like a good idea to have our lawyer sign the contract on our behalf because, to be honest, we got a 40-page contract when we bought the house and despite many years of Greek lessons/practice we have never been able to read it!

So, you have answered a question for us and given us something else to seriously think about. Thank you. We will give the POI issue serious thought.


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