What are the required documents that all property owners need to have in their file?

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What are the required documents that all property owners need to have in their file?

Record-keeping is a very serious matter for any real estate property owner. However, many citizens believe that everything is “settled”, and they have no issues, since they have the ownership deeds of their property, which has been declared in their E9 form and the Cadastral Register and they pay the relevant property taxes (ENFIA). Nonetheless, when they begin a process for the exploitation of their property, e.g. a bank loan, transfer/parental grant, subsidy from the program “Εξ’ Οικονομώ”, natural gas supply, issuance of a municipal property tax certificate from the municipality, etc., they realize that there are problems that need to be resolved.

In fact, most of the issues concerning the legality of buildings are revealed at the last minute, when the owner requests the issuance of an electronic building ID from the engineer, which is compulsory for any legal transaction since April 1st, 2022, and during the inspection of the building for the subsidy from the program “Εξ’ Οικονομώ”. The collection of information from the files of the urban planning office, the National Social Insurance Organization (EFKA), the cadastral office, etc., and the settlement of possible illegalities is a lengthy process requiring a lot of documents.

Thus, the owners often lose possible buyers or cannot access the subsidized programs due to the fact that they cannot gather the documentation in time.

For this reason, every property owner should have an organized file with the required documents and plans regarding his/her property in order to have a clear image and to be able, in any case, to settle any pending issues in time and at a smaller cost.

  • What are the necessary documents that all property owners should have? 
  1. Ownership deeds (purchase/ donation/ acceptance of inheritance, etc.) with the accompanying certificate of localization (if any).
  2. A certificate stating that the property was transcribed at the land registry when the owner purchased the property.
  3. Proof that an ownership declaration was file with the Cadastral Authority.
  4. A cadastral extract (diagram and sheet) from the service of the cadaster, if the property is in a region which has been integrated in the Cadaster.
  5. A property status declaration (Ε9).
  6. A recent certificate of localization.
  7. If there is a building on the property, the form for the building permit or other documents which prove that the building is legal.
  8. The certified plans from the urban-planning office kept in the building permit or building legalization file, namely: a certificate of localization, a cover diagram, floor plans, facets and sections.
  9. In the case of a horizontal property (apartment, office, shop), the file must include, other than deeds, the deed for establishment of a horizontal property of the building and the table of percentages.
  10. A declaration that the settlement has been completed if there were any prior illegalities.
  • What constitutes the legality of a building?

Legal is considered any building or installation which is executed:

In accordance with the urban-planning provisions and regulations in effect at the time of building, provided it was also built in accordance with the terms of a legal building permit or approval, unless it falls under the cases which are excluded, according to the relevant provisions, from the obligation to issue a building permit.

In any case where there is no particular provision for exclusion, the issuance of a building permit or approval is compulsory and therefore, the buildings which are not covered by the required permit or approval are illegal. Exclusions from the obligation to issue a building permit can only be made with a relevant provision in the legislation.

If the owner of the residence does not have a building permit or if it does not correspond to the current status of the residence, he/she must have a legalization document (e.g. subsumption of the declared building or use to a law for the settlement of illegal buildings or an exclusion in accordance with Law 1337/83).

  • How can we prove the legality of a building?

The legality of the building can be proven with the following documents:

  • A building permit form. It should be noted that all the square meters of the space must be covered by the building permit and be used for the stipulated purpose.
  • Any illegal constructions must be settled in accordance with a law regarding building illegalities.
  • An attestation from the municipality/ engineer for any buildings built before 1955.
  • Building which were built before 1955 are considered legal. In this case, a relevant attestation from the engineer is required.
  • An attestation that the illegal construction was subsumed to any law regarding building illegalities.
  • If the residence (or part thereof) was built without a permit after 1955, the illegalities must be settled.
  • An attestation that a definitive exclusion from demolition was granted issued by the Urban-planning office.
  • How can existing illegalities be legalized?

For buildings with relatively small violations, their owners can now legalize them by March 31, 2026, paying – however – steep fines. Buildings which are entirely illegal as well as those with major urban-planning violations cannot be legalized, apart from some exceptions (bank illegalities, from an inheritance, in affected areas, etc.). In a recent announcement, the Ministry of the Environment announced that it will allow the legalization of these significant illegalities (category 5). It should be noted that the legalization of illegalities does not concern buildings or changes in use after July 28, 2011. 

  • What happens with the building permits which were lost?

This issue concerns many citizens and engineers who find the permit stub, but they cannot find the file with the architectural plans at the urban-planning office which issued the permit. In this case, you must contact an engineer who will reconstitute the file.

  • What happens with building which were built before 1955 and have no permit?

Building which were built before 30-11-1955 are considered legal and the submission of the building permit is not required. However, the engineer must issue the relevant attestation.

The following can be used as proof that a building was built prior to 1955:

  1. Notarial documents
  2. Aerial photographs (with photo interpretation)
  3. Building manner and materials (technical inspection of the property)

Other additional substantiating documentation may include public documents, such as power supply/ water supply, property declarations submitted to the Public Revenue Agency, photos, historical documentaries, etc.

  • What happens with houses which were built after 1955 and have no building permit, nor were they subsumed to a law for the settlement of building illegalities, but were transferred and are declared in a tax declaration?

The existence of a deed and the declaration of the residence in a tax declaration does not mean that the building is legal. A building permit or the relevant legalizing document is required (e.g. exception from demolition) substantiating that the building was legalized. Also, apart from this document, the relevant/ additional legal documents accompanying the building permit (floor plans, facades, sections) are also required. If the above documentation does not exist, then the building must be legalized.

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