Less bureaucracy in property transfers

Digital acceleration plan afoot promises to simplify notoriously time-consuming process

Less bureaucracy in property transfers

Efforts are under way to reduce the bureaucracy that accompanies property transfers by the relevant departments of the Ministry of Finance which, among other things, plans to abolish the certificate of payment of inheritance or parental tax and the certificate of water supply of a building.

The initiatives to expedite the “long-suffering” property transfer process are expected to be undertaken by the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE).

Speaking at the 40th annual conference of the national federation of property owners (POMIDA), Giorgos Pitsilis, the head of AADE, said that the further digitization of the MyProperty platform is planned over the next two years, allowing for the automatic update of E9 data in cases where there are changes in the property status of citizens. The aim is to eliminate the need for amending declarations.

At the same time, the plan is to abolish certificates that do not offer anything, but instead cause inconvenience to citizens and services, such as the certificate of payment of inheritance or parental benefit tax.

Pitsilis also admitted that there is a need to create a register of property ownership and management, where citizens can see all their properties and where they can declare all changes.

However, the big thorn is the Land Registry and the long delays in the transcriptions of contracts at the local Land Registry Offices or Deeds Offices.

According to notaries, despite progress made, there are cases where delays can be even a year or more, so that purchases with a housing loan cannot actually be made.

These delays essentially freeze any transactions involving bank loans (the transcription of the contract is needed to register the mortgage and release the loan funds).

In this way, many transactions are canceled because sellers do not want to wait up to a year to receive their money, while at the same time many interested buyers are excluded from the housing market precisely because they cannot finance the acquisition of a property with 100% equity.

A definitive solution will be found with the digitization of deed office records and other procedures related to transfers.

However, it will take two to three years to complete these projects.

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