Archive for category greek property

Why is a title search with the Land Registry/National Cadastre Office recommended for your inheritance matter?

According to Greek Civil Law, in order for a Deed referring to real estate property (of whatever legal reason, i.e. Parental Gift Deed, Sale/Purchase Deed, Donation Deed, etc) to be effective, it has to be registered with the competent Land Registry and National Cadastre Office; the registration is a prerequisite for the Deed to be effective and to result in the legal transfer of the ownership to the grantee (buyer, person accepting the Donation, child receiving the Parental Gift).  Additionally, all liens, encumbrances, mortgages/pre notice of a mortgage or seizures, in general every burden against the property, has to be registered with the same Public Records in order to be effective.

When one is proceeding with accepting an inheritance, which requires a signed Acceptance of Inheritance Deed registered with the Land Registry/National Cadastre, the grantor’s title Deed is always required, so that the property can be described. Also, the volume and number of the registration with the competent Land Registry/National Cadastre must be mentioned.

It is true that in many cases, you may be in possession of your grantor’s title Deed. Yet, this does not ensure that it has been properly registered nor that any liens, etc. haven’t been registered against the property nor even that the grantor had not proceeded with selling the property in the meantime, without the grantee’s knowledge. This can only be confirmed via a title search conducted by a lawyer, which will determine the legal status of the property and the grantor’s non contested ownership.

So, in order for you to be certain of what you are inheriting, in order to be certain that the property is free of encumbrances, a title search is necessary. Yet, at your discretion, especially when you are quite certain of your right and of the property’s status, we can order certain certificates, which will confirm that your grantor’s title Deed is in order (i.e. certificate of ownership, certificate of no liens, encumbrances, etc having been registered against the property, etc). This can be recommended in cases of remote Land Registries, however it has the disadvantage that, due to the workload of said Authorities, it can take some time to have the certificates in hand, as opposed to a lawyer conducting the title search which is much more prompt.


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When is a property sealed in Greece and how is it unsealed?

(Articles 826-841 of the Code of Civil Procedure)

When someone in Greece passes away in his residence alone or dies without having close relatives and there is a danger that his property will be violated, then said property is sealed.  The sealing of the property takes place pursuant to a Court’s decision which is issued either:

  1. a) Upon the petition of any person who has a legitimate interest, filed with the competent Magistrate Court, or
  2. b) By the Court sealing the property ex officio, namely on its own initiative, without anyone requesting said sealing.

Pursuant to this decision the Court orders that the property is sealed and appoints an escrow agent for its contents. After the aforementioned decision is issued, the Court’s Secretary visits the property, seals it, keeps the keys and produces a sealing report.

In order to unseal the property, someone who has a legitimate interest – usually a relative – files a petition with the competent Court requesting said unsealing. He can also request from the Court to appoint a Notary for the unsealing and experts to appraise the value of the items contained therein.

The documents necessary to be filed with the Court for the unsealing are:

  1. A petition requesting the unsealing and explaining the reason
  2. A certificate of the deceased’s death
  3. A certified copy of the Court’s sealing Decision
  4. A certified copy of the sealing report
  5. A next of kin certificate for the deceased
  6. A certificate issued by the competent Magistrate’s Court that no Will has been probated or, if there is a Will, that no other Will has been probated.
  7. A certificate issued by the competent Court of First Instance that no Will has been probated or, if there is a Will, that no other Will has probated
  8. If there is a Will, a certified copy of the Will.

The Court issues a Decision and orders the unsealing of the property, appoints a Notary and experts for the unsealing procedure and also a person to hold the contents of the apartment in escrow following the unsealing.

The petitioner contacts the Notary who specifies the exact day and time for the unsealing. Then the petitioner has to serve the Court’s decision via a Court bailiff to the Tax Authority where the deceased was registered and inform said Authority about the day and time that the unsealing will take place in case a representative of the Tax Authority wishes to be present. He also serves the Court’s Decision via a Court bailiff to the Court appointed experts.

On the unsealing day the Notary produces an unsealing report, describing the procedure that was followed and specifying the value of each item of the house as it was appraised by the experts. Then he/she delivers the keys to the escrow agent and provides a certified copy of said report to those who requested the unsealing and were present during the procedure.  The fees of the Notary and agents are paid by the petitioner of the unsealing.

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