First payments for illegal home additions due this week

Homeowners taking advantage of a government scheme to protect illegally altered parts of their homes from further penalties by paying a fee have to pay the first instalment by Thursday.

The scheme was created last year, when the government announced that homeowners would be allowed to declare areas of residences which were originally planned as balconies, garages or basements but have since been turned into living space, known as ?imiypaithrioi? (semi-open) in Greek, in return for paying a fine that would prevent any further penalties for the next 40 years.

Any homeowners who submitted their paperwork last year, have to make their first payment this week. If they pay the whole amount in one go, they will receive a 10 percent discount.

However, homeowners who have yet to apply for the scheme, will have until October 31 to start making payments.

In February, the Environment Ministry announced the extension until June of the deadlline for homeowners to declare illegally altered parts of their homes.

The scheme has already raised more than 100 million euros for the government, which said it will use these funds to finance the purchase of land that can be turned into public spaces by municipalities.

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