Piraeus home deals ‘at risk’

The land registry in Piraeus is in such an «exceptionally bad state» that records of property ownership are in danger of being lost and home purchases are being unnecessarily delayed, the Ombudsman said yesterday. The consumer watchdog said it had inspected the office after receiving numerous complaints. It found that the books in which entries were made contain pages which were «torn, crumpled and missing.» The Ombudsman also noted that entries were not recorded anywhere else for backup purposes, meaning that the safety of some transactions is at risk. Inspectors found that the process of transferring the ownership of property at the Piraeus land registry is very slow and can sometimes take more than six months. The Ombudsman said that staff sometimes bend the rules so deals to buy or sell homes do not fall through due to the delay in completing the paperwork. According to the watchdog, employees claim they are short-staffed.