1. How many stages are there in the conveyancing process?
The transfer of property by means of a notarial act implies the following steps:
- The interested party contacts a notary and often a lawyer.
- The notary prepares all the necessary documents and contacts other agencies.
- The lawyer investigates the good standing of the property and of the previous titles.
- The contracting parties sign the notarial act of transfer.
- The document of the act is presented to be registered in the Land Registry by either the parties themselves or the notary.
- The fees for registration are paid upon presentation.
- The Land Registrar or Chief of Cadastral Office performs a legality control of the presented document.
- The document is registered or rejected in case of a legal defect.
2. How many other agencies/departments/registers etc. must be dealt with or checked prior to signing a legal transfer or mortgage?
In the case of transfer of ownership for any reason, the notary handling the transaction must submit a tax declaration concerning the specific transaction to the competent Tax Agency. A copy of this declaration is certified by the Tax Agency and is attached to the notarial act to be registered.
Another agency that must be contacted prior to the transfer of a building is the Planning Office in order for the interested party to verify that the building was indeed contracted according to the licence to build.
To be noted that according to recent legislation aiming to fight informal development, in every contract entailing the transfer of the property or the creation of any property right (including a mortgage), a professional engineer must verify the good standing of the property (from a planning point of view). If such verification is not included in the act, the later cannot be registered.
Apart from the above mentioned agencies, there may be others to be dealt with in specific cases (i.e. the Archaeological Agency in areas characterised as archaeological sites).
3. Who is responsible for dealing with other departments/agencies?
In practice, it is the notary handling the transaction or a specialised lawyer that the contracting party may consult who is responsible for dealing with other agencies.
4. At what stage of the overall conveyancing process is your organisation involved
From a procedural point of view, the Land Registry is involved from the moment the title/act is presented for registration.
However, all the information on the property needed prior to signing the act is collected from the Land Registry, thus, in this sense the Land Registry’s involvement is situated chronically at the very beginning of the conveyancing process.
5. Is any or all of the conveyancing process dealt with electronically?
The only part of the conveyancing process that is dealt with electronically is the registration of the act in Land Registries operating the cadastral system
6. Is any or all of the registration process dealt with electronically?
See answer 5.
7. When a deed/document or land registration form is lodged for registration, what is the general procedure involved in registering the effect of the deed?
After the legal control of the deed has been completed, the general procedure of registration goes as follows for each of the two systems;
a) In Land Registries functioning with the system of transcription (person-based system), the deed is registered under the names of the contracting parties (or the referring persons in case of a court decision or an administrative act).
b) In Cadastral Offices where the system is plot-based, the deed is registered in the so-called cadastral page of the property.
8. How many stages are there in the registration of title process?
- The transfer of property is registered under the names of the seller (as sale) and the purchaser (as purchase) and in the cadastral system it is annotated in the cadastral page of the plot.
- The above (under 1) also applies in relation to change of ownership on death, registration of right of way or transfer of part of property.
- The mortgage in the system of transcription is registered under the name of the debtor and all the elements of the right (mortgagee, value of the mortgage, description of the encumbered plot etc) are registered in detail in the so-called mortgage book.
In the cadastral system, all the above mentioned data (apart from the description of the immovable) are registered in the cadastral page of the plot.
9. What kind of entries are in your system?
The main entries existing in the Land Registry relate to the legal rights registered and are the following;
- Civil actions
10. What is the average time taken to register a (1) transfer of all property (2) transfer part property (3) mortgage/charge?
The registration time does not differ depending on the nature of the title/act presented or the effect of the title/act.
Registration takes place at the moment the document is presented in the Land Registry, after the basic elements of legality have been checked. In Land Registries operating the system of transcription the Land Registrar must conduct the control of legality immediately upon presentation and reject it if necessary the same day.
In Cadastral Offices the law provides for a period of 5 days within which the Chief of the Office may reject the title/act.
11. At what level in the organisation is the final decision to register a title made?
In both systems existing in Greece (system of transcription/cadastral system), it is the Land Registrar or the Chief of the Cadastral Office who decides whether a title/act must be registered bearing the responsibility for such a decision.
12. To what extent are registration decisions in your country taken by a person with a professional qualification? What is that professional qualification?
Land Registrars in Greece are professionals holding a law degree appointed in their positions after an examination process organised annually by the Ministry of Justice.
13. If registration decisions are not taken by a person with a professional qualification, how are they taken?
14. Is the decision to register a legal, judicial or administrative function (or mixed)?
The decision to register constitutes a legal function.