Information on this page is intended to be advisory only. In most cases we can advise and assist you.
Is property ownership secure in Crete?
The Registry of Mortgages is the State authority charged with securing property ownership. All property titles are held, and all encumbrances registered, there. Property is filed under the owner's name; lawyers/attorneys are entitled to check under the name of any individual or organisation. A thorough property title search here will uncover any/all extra hidden claims, covenants or charges attached to the property; it will also confirm the proper previous transfer of the property. This must always be done as part of the transactional process.
Who can purchase property in Greece/Crete?
EU citizens Generally speaking, all EU citizens have the right to purchase property in Greece/Crete. Non EU citizens Generally, Non EU citizens have the right to purchase property in Greece/Crete. For details of current regulations, contact the Greek consulate or embassy in your home country. Residence Permits for Non EU citizens Greece can grant residence permits, for Non EU citizens and their families with the acquisition of property worth more than 250.000 Euros... [Read more]
Am I required to purchase property in my own name?
Not necessarily. You can purchase property in joint name, with spouse and/or other third parties, in the names of children, legal heirs or a company.
Do I need a Greek Tax Registration?
Yes. Anyone purchasing a property is required to have a Greek Tax Registration Number. You should apply to the local (Greek) tax office, with your passport/ID and sometimes birth certificate. Your appointed solicitor can make the application on your behalf, if you have granted him/her Power of Attorney.
Can I obtain a mortgage in Greece?
Yes. Each bank or financial institution may have its own stipulated requirements of the applicant; but generally, with your passport/ID, you will need to provide proof of earnings (P60's, payslips or tax returns if self employed) for 2-3 years. You should also bear in mind that you must be able to pay all closing costs before the bank will release any funds.
What is a Notary Public, and do I need one?
The Notary Public is a lawyer who represents the Greek government in the property purchase transaction. You must appoint a Notary or you will not be able to legally purchase a property. It is his/her responsibility to process and certify the transaction. He/she will draw up all the necessary legal documentation. The contracts must be signed in the presence of the Notary who must be happy that they have been read and understood by all parties.
Do I need a lawyer?
It is highly recommended to have legal representation throughout the transaction. Your lawyer is also responsible for carrying out the necessary legal surveys and property title search.
Do I need a Greek bank account?
Yes. You need a Greek bank account for the transfer of funds. Among other things this account shows that the money has come from an external country; and so is not subject to local taxation. Opening an account is usually easy. You will need to show your passport/ID and tax registration. It takes no time at all, and you are not required to make an opening deposit on the day.
Am I required to sign the contract personally?
Not necessarily. If you wish, your solicitor can sign on your behalf if you have granted him/her Power of Attorney.
What and how much are ‘closing costs'?
Closing costs include all legal expenses, fees and taxes. There is no set figure for this; but it is generally prudent to budget for an additional 9 - 12% as a guide for total purchase costs. You or your appointed representative should clarify this at the earliest opportunity.
How should I best insure my new property?
The building industry on Crete is subject to EU regulations and standards. In addition there are strict local regulations for earthquake protection. It is therefore prudent to insure your new property in the standard manner against fire, water damage, storm damage, earthquake, theft and third party.
As a property owner, will I have to file Tax Returns in Greece?
Yes. Anyone owning a property in Greece is legally bound to file annually an E9 form with the Greek tax authorities. This must be filed in conjunction with the basic Income tax E1 form. If you don't actually have an income in Greece you should enter "0" income in the E1. Your accountant will help with this.
What is meant by the Tax Objective Value of property?
The Tax Objective Value of a property is assessed by the Greek tax authorities for the purpose of levying taxes. It is not the purchase price of the property; generally being significantly lower than that.
How are utilities bills generally paid?
Generally, these can be paid by standing order by your bank. You can, of course, pay in person at the relevant office.