Legal matters and life permission
Making sense of legalities Buying a home or investment property in Greece is one of the most significant purchases you will ever make. For this reason, we cannot emphasize enough how important it is to invest in the services of an independent, English-speaking lawyer to help oversee the whole purchase process, and to advise you on tax and inheritance issues. There have been cases over the years of overseas buyers purchasing Greek property only to be subjected to charges, or to become liable for debts on the property that they weren’t made aware of prior to the purchase.
Unless you speak fluent Greek, you will need someone who can guide you through the small print so that you fully understand everything that you are signing. Your independent lawyer will review the sale agreement, verify titles and carry out other checks to ensure that you’re protected. They will make sure that your prospective property is clear of any charges, mortgages, taxes and pending claims. Additionally, if you won’t be in Greece for the whole duration of the sale, you may want to give your lawyer Power of Attorney so that they can act on your behalf in your absence. If this is the route you take, make sure you withdraw that power once the sale is complete.
To ensure your lawyer is working with your best interests at heart, you need to make sure that the one you choose is independent from the estate agent or developer. We advise enlisting the services of a lawyer before you start viewing properties, so that if you find your dream home quickly, you already have someone onside to guide you through the process. It is important to consider inheritance law whenever you buy property in another country. This is because more often than not, the rules are very different, and you don’t want to take any chances in regards to such an asset. Your lawyer will be able to draw up a will in Greece, clearly outlining who your beneficiaries are.
You lawyer will also assist if necessary in your application for Life permission due to the Golden Visa Programme, which provides permanent residence permit to non-European citizens and their families when they purchase property worth more than €250.000.
Guide to Buying Real Estate in Greece: The Complete Handbook:
- Part 1: Get started
- Part 2: Money matters
- Part 3: Finding and purchasing a property in Greece
- Part 4: Legal matters and life permission
- Part 5: Information for five years residence permission
- Part 6: Managing your property
- Part 7: Expenses Calculator
- A brief guide to Residence Permits for real estate owners in Greece (pdf)