In a noteworthy development impacting immovable property transactions and title deed transfers, recent amendments to the Sale of Property (Specific Performance) Law, enacted as Law N. 132(I)/2023, have officially taken effect as of December 12th, 2023. These changes, stemming from the Recovery and Resilience Plan, underscore a proactive approach to refining the legal framework governing property transactions.

These amendments have been introduced to proactively protect the interests of buyers in real estate transaction with the primary objective of the amended law being to facilitate the secure transfer of Title Deeds, ensuring full legal certainty for the parties involved.

Applicability and Enforcement

The amended Law applies to Contracts signed on or after the 12th of December 2023 and according to Legislators, aims to establish a comprehensive mechanism intended at safeguarding the interests of Buyers in immovable property transactions.

Mandatory Inclusion of Search Certificate

One of the most important amendments passed by the amended Law is that for Contracts signed on or after the 12th of December 2023, Sellers are now obligated to include an Immovable Property Search Certificate, issued by the Land Registry Office, listing any encumbrances on the immovable property that is under sale. The said Search Certificate must be attached to the Contract as an Appendix, forming an integral part of it and most importantly, it must be dated no later than five (5) working days from the date the Contract bears as the signing date.

Discretionary Authority and Administrative Fines

The amended Law grants discretionary authority to the Director of the Department of Lands and Surveys (Land Registry Office) to impose administrative fines, of up to €10.000, on Sellers in cases of non-compliance with the abovementioned requirement.

Immovable Properties burdened by mortgages or other liens

Regarding Contracts involving immovable Properties which are subject to mortgages or lodged Agreements, their submission to the Land Registry will be now accepted only if accompanied with a written Declaration (Type A) which should be signed by the Mortgagee and Seller, confirming that upon payment of 95% of the Contract's amount, the Mortgagee shall issue a second Declaration (Type B) to the Buyer confirming they will release the Property from the said Mortgage.

This amendment holds significant importance as it empowers the buyer to transfer the property, even if the mortgagee fails to release it from the mortgage, by presenting the Type B Declaration to the Land Registry.

Legal Assistance

As of now, detailed instructions and the applicable forms/declarations related to the amended Law are available exclusively in the Greek language and are accessible at the Department of Lands and Survey's Portal.

Our esteemed team of Property Law professionals will be pleased to assist you in any immovable Property transaction. With a commitment to excellence, we advocate on behalf of both Sellers and Buyers, in both commercial and/or residential transactions, ensuring meticulous representation and providing legal advice throughout the legal process.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.