Why Choose Us?

As fluent Greek & English-speaking lawyers in Athens, we are able to provide our foreign, expatriate and local clients with accurate, timely, tailor-made, cost-effective & result-oriented representation and legal advice of the highest standard.

Our Unique Philosophy

To ensure that our clients gain the maximum legal understanding and benefit in Greece, we consistently provide the highest quality legal representation and advice in both the Greek and English languages.

Our Contact Details

56 Patriarchou Ioakeim Street
GR-106 76, Athens
Greece


Tel: +30-210-72-15-425
Fax: +30-210-36-09-108

Web: www.athens-lawyers.gr Email: info@athens-lawyers.gr

Legal Guide & News

As part of our commitment to providing the highest standard of legal service, we provide our expatriate, foreign and local clients with a Greek legal guide to assist them in their legal dealings in both a personal and business capacity. We also select and summarise any changes or developments in Greek law that may affect our clients.

For a detailed discussion of any of the Greek guides or legal updates outlined below, please contact us.

Greek Legal Guide by Topic

Click on one of the following topics to read the guide in full:


In light of the current financial and fiscal circumstances in Greece, real estate experts forecast that the interest for the purchase and sale of property is bound to increase, offering numerous investment opportunities to prospective buyers and sellers.

The real estate legal team at Balassis & Associates Law Office have the experience, resources and expertise to assist prospective buyers and sellers in an efficient and professional manner. It is not necessary for our clients to be present in Greece to complete a sale and/or purchase transaction. All procedures set out below can be implemented by our experienced team for and on behalf of our clients pursuant to the terms of a Limited Power of Attorney which will empower us to represent our clients before the Greek state authorities and complete the sale and/or purchase transaction.

A prospective buyer of property in Greece prior to giving any down payment to the seller, should:

  • review title deeds and arrange for full title investigation to be effected in the relevant Land Registry / National Cadastre (as applicable) offices in order to establish the existence of any encumbrances over property and the "flawless" nature of title in the property under negotiation;
  • obtain independent valuations in respect of the market value of the property;
  • carry out requisite checks with the competent Town Planning Office of the Municipality where the property and land is located;
  • obtain requisite certificates confirming that, amongst others, no "unauthorised" structures are found in the building or located on the plot of land and that a plot of land is free from any archaeological attachments;
  • consider currency and applicable taxation issues;
  • check financial and taxation position of seller/developer and enquire whether the prospective seller has any monetary obligations to the Social Security offices;
  • negotiate terms of sale and purchase of the property reflecting the commercial agreement of parties; and
  • arrange for the execution of the requisite sale deed and its proper recordation with the competent Land Registry / National Cadastre offices.

A seller of property in Greece should:

  • instruct professional property valuators;
  • procure the issue of requisite certifications (tax and insurance certificates of goodstanding, certificate of Energy Attribution and certificate of no "unauthorised" structures etc);
  • obtain tax and municipal tax clearances;
  • agree payment mechanism of contract price;
  • negotiate terms of sale and purchase of the property reflecting the commercial agreement of parties; and
  • arrange for the execution of the requisite sale deed.

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Following the enactment of Law 3481/2006, the newly established institution of National Cadastre ("Ethniko Ktimatologio") has been increasingly entering into our lives when it comes to property registrations within Greece. In a nutshell, the Cadastre is an integrated system, admittedly more effective than the old system of registrations and mortgages supported by the Land Registry Offices. By registering their properties in the Cadastre, owners achieve the full registration of information relating to each and every property individually, combining both spatial and legal details.

So far not all areas of Greece have been proclaimed under National Cadastre registration; nevertheless the owners of properties/land which are located in such areas must submit the relevant title deeds and topographic diagrams in order to ensure registration of their properties/land with the National Cadastre under the relevant owner's name.

In the event that you own property/land in Greece, it is essential that you take all requisite steps to perfect your title and procure that your property is registered with the National Cadastre.

We have the knowledge and capacity to carry out for and on behalf of our clients all requisite procedures for the perfecting and recording of our clients' titles with the National Cadastre. In the event that a property has not been registered with the National Cadastre by the stipulated deadlines we assist our clients with all requisite judicial remedies for outstanding registration with or rectification of National Cadastre records.

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Inheritance and probate proceedings can be rather complex in Greece especially when multiple jurisdictions are involved (e.g. testator domiciled outside Greece bequeathing Greek property).

Our experience team regularly advise and assist our expatriate and local clients with accepting inheritance by completing on behalf of our clients (in most of the case through Limited Power of Attorney).

Especially with expatriate clients who execute wills in foreign jurisdictions with regard to Greek property, we offer expert legal advice on also executing Greek wills and assisting them and their heirs with registering probated non-Greek wills with the relevant Athens Court.

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Greece is a full member of the European Union. Greek citizens and therefore holders of Greek passports are entitled to reside and work in Greece and in all other countries of the European Union.

We regularly assist our expatriate clients and their descendants with obtaining Greek citizenship and Greek passport offering them the opportunity to relocate to Greece and/or other European Union countries.

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OBTAINING RESIDENCE PERMIT THROUGH PROPERTY INVESTMENT IN GREECE
IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC 1

In an effort to encourage foreign investment in Greece, the Law “Creation of a Development Friendly Environment for Strategic and Private Investments” (L. 4146/2013) of the Ministry for Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks has recently been enacted and provides for a new type of residence permit. Such allowance has been integrated into the existing Law “Entry, residence and social integration of third-country nationals in Greece” (L. 3386/2005).

The introduction of the new type of residence permit allows potential applicants and members of their family to obtain residence permit within a short period of time provided that the competent General Secretary of Decentralised Administration is satisfied that the applicant fulfils the stipulated criteria as set out below:

RESIDENCE PERMIT TO REAL ESTATE OWNERS IN GREECE

A. Parties entitled to receive residence permit
1. The applicant who has purchased and legally owns, either personally or through a legal entity whose shares are wholly owned by him/her, property in Greece.
2. The applicant who has entered into, at minimum, a ten-year time-sharing contract under Law 1652/1986, or a 10-year lease of hotel accommodations or furnished tourist accommodation (houses) in tourist accommodation complexes according to Article 8, par. 2 of Law 4002/2011.
3. The members of the family of the applicants under paragraphs A.1(a) and (b) above.
The minimum value of the property and the contract price of the time-share leases and the leases for hotel accommodations or tourist furnished accommodations (houses) in tourist accommodation complexes, is Euro 250,000.

B. Requirements
1. Paragraphs A.1 – A.3 are satisfied and the applicant has become the registered owner of the relevant property.
2. The applicant has legally entered and stays in Greece for the purposes of completing the transaction of purchasing property, entering into time-share lease or lease and of obtaining the residence permit (e.g. if required, the applicant has obtained visa).
3. Evidence in respect of applicant’s intention to purchase the relevant property, evidenced through:
(a) written confirmation issued by a first class bank, official financial institution or bond depository organisation, certifying the maintenance of bank accounts, negotiable instruments (e.g. bonds) covering the investment in the minimum amount of Euro250,000; and
(b) formal appointment of lawyers by the applicant for the purposes of facilitating and conducting the residence permit application procedure.
4. The applicant has adequate health cover valid in Greece for himself/herself and the whole family (as applicable), at the time of his/her application and this must be subject to annual renewal.

C. Nature of residence permit
1. Provided the requirements under paragraph 2 above are met and the formal procedure is complied with, the General Secretary of Decentralised Administration issues a residence permit for five (5) years in the name of the applicant property owner.
2. Such residence permit may be renewed for the same duration (i.e five (5) years), if the property remains unchanged in its legal ownership status as described above and the contracts of ownership in respect of the relevant property remain in effect.
3. The applicant (property owner) may be accompanied by the members of his/her family, as specified under paragraph 1 of Article 54 of Law 3386/2005. Upon their own request, family members of the applicant (property owner) may be granted a personal residence permit that is renewed and/or expires concurrently with the residence permit of the sponsor (i.e. property owner).
4. The residence permits do not allow a right to employment of any type (i.e. in respect of the property owner or his/her family members).

1 Legal Disclaimer: the contents of this Memo do not constitute comprehensive legal advice but a brief summary of the legal framework in respect of the granting of residence permit following the enactment of the Law “Creation of a Development Friendly Environment for Strategic and Private Investments” (L. 4146/2013). The applicant is advised to obtain legal advice on any matter relating to this Memo.

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