Property owners to face more costly red tape for their assets

Property owners to face more costly red tape for their assets

Instead of shrinking in number, the documents and certificates owners need to submit to utilize their properties – either to rent or sell them – keeps getting bigger, raising more obstacles to an uptick in transactions and, by extension, in state revenues.

A draft law on the “Protection of the Structured Environment” that has been submitted for consultation introduces the compulsory submission of a certificate by a civil engineer certifying that there are no illegal constructions in the owner’s asset. This amounts to an urban planning legitimacy certificate, which must also accompany inheritance acceptance documents.

The new certificate comes on top of that needed to be supplied by an energy inspector for “energy performance,” which is now required for all properties that are to be sold or rented, after the exemption of small properties up to 50 square meters was lifted a year ago. It also comes on top of the various costs for the Land Register, the commissions of the estate agent, the lawyer, the notary etc, which come with every property deed.

In practical terms, all owners wanting to utilize their property in the near future will need to have at the ready a series of documents whose issuance requires notable amounts of money, ranging between hundreds and thousands of euros depending on the surface area and the type of the property.

The Panhellenic Federation of Property Owners (POMIDA) stressed in a recent statement that this new certificate will also be required for inheritance deeds, the transfers of auction reports and of court decisions for the allocation of a property etc, with market professionals anticipating significant problems to the completion of auction procedures for thousands of houses seized by banks.

The new certificate will indirectly expand to professional properties, as the draft bill provides for the attachment of such a certificate to every application for operating permits, just as a bill that is to be submitted by the Economy Ministry provides for the simplification of licensing procedures of all enterprises, according to POMIDA.

The property owners’ federation adds that “such clauses not only hamper the drafting of deeds but also enrage the citizens, turn notaries into collectors of countless documents and threaten to turn the country into an endless ‘property graveyard’ where nothing will be sold, nothing will be bought and nothing will be rented.” POMIDA adds that the clause will lead to heirs not accepting their inheritance within the four-month period they are given to reject it, waiting, instead for it to come to them by default and resulting in losses of state revenues.

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