1. Which agency/government body/authority is responsible for land registration?
Land Registries ypothikofylakeia constitute the authority responsible for land registration in Greece.
Given that the land survey in Greece is not yet completed for the entire national territory, there are currently two types of Land Registries depending on whether there are cadastral data available for the region covered or not;
a) In areas where there is still no cadastral data, Land Registries operate the system of transcription metagrafon where registration is being made based on the name of the owner/beneficiary.
b) In areas where the land survey has been completed and there is cadastral information, the Land Registries operate the new system according to which registration is plot based. These Land Registries are called Cadastral Offices.
With the completion of the land survey for the total national territory, all Land Registries will eventually function as Cadastral Offices.
2. If the responsibility for property registration is dealt with by an agency/authority, to which government department is it responsible to?
According to the law in force, Land Registries in Greece operate under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice, whereas Cadastral Offices (see distinction under I.1.) belong to the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.
3. How is the organization managed?
Land Registries (independently of whether they operate the old system or they function as Cadastral Offices) are, in their vast majority, independent offices.
There are currently 257 Land Registries with territorial jurisdiction covering the national territory, among which 240 are independent offices unsalaried land registries, amistha ypothikofylakia managed by the Land Registrar/Chief of Cadastral Office and supported by the personnel of the office.
The Land Registrar is a law degree graduate appointed after an examination procedure conducted by the Ministry of Justice. In this sense there is no term of appointment of the Land Registrar.
However, there are 17 offices salaried land registries, emmistha ypothikofylakia, covering larger areas of the country, such as Athens, Thessaloniki, Patra, which are not independent in the above sense, but constitute public services immediately belonging to the Ministry of Justice.
The Land Registrar is a higher public officer, also holding a law degree, and the supportive personnel also belongs to the public sector. The promotion to the position of the Chief of the Office as well as to those of the senior management team, the term of appointment and all issues relating to the official duties are governed by the Public Servants’ Code.
4. Describe the organisational framework
As already mentioned (under I.3.) land registration in Greece is organized with the form of territorial units. Each Land Registry and Cadastral Office covers specific area/areas of the country and has exclusive competence. For the moment there is no centralized database.
5. How is the agency/government body/authority funded?
As mentioned above (under I.3.), the vast majority of Land Registries and Cadastral offices are independent self-financing offices. In case excess of income over expenditure occurs, it is not retained by the Land Registry but rendered to the State.
This is not the case with the 17 Land Registries (see distinction under I.3.), which constitute public services and are directly financed by the State.
6. Are the staff of the agency/government, department/authority civil servants?
The staff of the independent Land Registries/Cadastral Offices are not civil servants. They are freely hired by the Land Registrar/Chief of Cadastral Office since he/she bears full responsibility towards third parties for any erroneous act of the personnel.
Their position may be permanent or temporary according to the demands of the office. There is only one limitation; the maximum number of positions in each Land Registry/Cadastral Office is set by a decision of the Ministry of Justice in relation with the number of acts registered.
Contrary to the above, the staff in the 17 salaried Land Registries/ Cadastral Offices are public servants belonging to the Ministry of Justice and hired through a central Government recruitment agency. Their positions may also be temporary or permanent.
In both types of Land Registries/Cadastral Offices there may be various services contracted out, the most common being the IT support.
7. Who is responsible for cadastral/mapping information? Is it the same organisation or a separate agency/department?
Up to the present, only a small part of the national territory has been mapped, the land survey for the rest of the country being still in progress.
The National Cadastre and Mapping Agency S.A. is the public organisation responsible for the mapping and the administration of cadastral information and provides Land Registries with cadastral data in the areas where the land survey procedure has been completed.
To be noted that for the moment Land Registries which function as Cadastral Offices make use of the Cadastre’s database, however they constitute seperate entities and, from an organisational point of view, do not belong to National Cadastre and Mapping Agency S.A.
8. What are the principal functions of the registering department/agency/authority?
The principal functions of the Land Registry are the following;
a) To register acts relating to property rights on a plot (notarial acts, administrative acts, court decisions), in order to satisfy the principle of publicity governing all transactions on real estate
b) Thus, to provide information on legal rights and limitations existing on an immovable property.
9. What are the key values/principles underpinning registration of title in your system?
The key principles governing registration of title in the old system of transcription are the following:
a) The principle of publicity of land books
b) The principle of time priority
According to law 2664/1998, there are 6 basic principles governing the new cadastral system which will eventually replace that of transcription:
1. the principle of the plot-based organisation of the cadastral data
2. the principle of legality of deeds
3. the principle of time priority
4. the principle of publicity of cadastral books
5. the principle of security of public faith on cadastral data
6. the principle of open Cadastre (meaning that the system is adequate to adjust to any modification relating to real estate)
10. What registration system of property do you have in your country (title/deed)?
The system of transcription is a deed system, whereas the new cadastral system is a title system.