Cleaning of lots: The deadline to file a declaration is expiring and fines are imminent

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Cleaning of lots: The deadline to file a declaration is expiring and fines are imminent

Heavy fines are imminent for property owners who do not file a solemn declaration   in compliance with their obligation to protect their properties from fires at the National Records of Compliance with Property Preventive Fire Protection Measures of the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection. 

This deadline expires on May 31 (as of 2025 the deadline to file the solemn declarations will expire on April 30) and any citizens who do not file declarations or who declare false information will face fines from 1,000 Euro (for non-declaration) to 54,000 Euro as well as a two-year prison sentence for “false declaration”.

To determine the compliance of the owners, extensive inspections will be made by employees of the Fire Service and the Municipalities during the whole fire prevention period, and as stipulated, the expense for the ex officio cleaning of the space and removal of materials will be fully charged to the owner by the competent Municipality ex officio or in the framework of a complaint.

It should be noted that the new measure has caused cocnerns to property owners, especially those who are not permanent residents of the region whete the lot is located. According to some organizations and citizens, certain owners cannot clean the property themselves and are obliged to assign this to third parties. In this case, however, they cannot validate whether the lot was sufficiently cleaned or whether the maintenance is intensive. The same concerns have been expressed by owners who can clean their lots but cannot be sure that this was done correctly and pursuant to the judgment of the inspector.

Which citizens are obliged to clean their lots?

According to the relevant regulation, owners, usufructuaries, tenants or subtenants of lots or uncovered spaces which are located:

  • In areas within the approved town plans
  • In areas within settlements which do not have a town plan
  • In areas within a 100 meter radius from the borders of the above cases pursuant to a notification from the competent forestry service
  • In fields with buildings outside the town plan, areas which do not fall under the provisions of the forest laws, in accordance with the forest map of the region and pursuant to a notification from the competent forestry service,

must clean the above spaces from the 1st until the 30th day of April of each year, and maintain them during the fire prevention period, namely from May 1st to October 31st, in order to prevent the risk of starting a fire or contributing to its quick expansion.

The required cleaning consists of:

  • Selective logging and removal or dry and broken trees and branches, as well as branches which are in direct contact with a building.
  • Removal of any flammable plant materials which are on the ground such as leaves, dry grass and fallen dry branches.
  • Pruning of the base of trees and increase of its original height from the ground, depending on the age and the type of tree.
  • Thinning of bushes covering the ground.
  • Removal of any other abandonned flammable or explosive materials, objects and garbage.

The owners must take care of the safe collection and transport of all the cleaning debris while it is prohibited to abandon, dispose of or manage the latter uncontrollably.

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