ILN: BUYING AND SELLING REAL ESTATE - AN INTERNATIONAL GUIDE

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[BUYING AND SELLING REAL ESTATE IN GREECE]

7. RESTRICTIONS IN ACQUIRING REAL ESTATE PROPERTY IN GREECE Cross-border Areas. Greek law provides restrictions for the acquisition of property rights in cross border areas of Greece, by individuals or legal entities that are not nationals of the European Union or the European Free Trade Association (“EFTA”). Furthermore, the transfer of shares or the change of partners /shareholders of companies not located in the EU or EFTA that own real estate property in cross-border areas of Greece, is also prohibited. Any such natural or legal persons (which are not nationals of the EU or EFTA) wishing to acquire real estate properties located in cross-border areas, must apply to a special Committee in order to obtain permission to acquire or rent the real estate property. Any transaction taking place in breach of the above provisions is null and void. The following areas of Greece are considered as cross-border areas, in which the above restrictions apply: Dodekanisa, Evros, Thesprotia, Kastoria, Kilkis, Lesvos, Xanthi, Preveza, Rodopi, Samos, Florina, Chios, Thira (Santorini), Skiros, as well as certain regions of the areas of Drama, Ioannina, Pella and Serres. Restrictions are lifted depending, in principle, on the legal form of the requested transaction, its monetary value, the exact location or value of the property, and unless national security reasons exist. Purchase of Islands Greek law also provides that in order for a natural or legal person to acquire ownership of or rent a privately owned island or a property located in a privately owned island, they have to apply for the issuance of a permit by the Minister of Defense.

When it comes to public islands, acquisition of ownership is not possible; such islands may only be leased under the same above conditions (prior issuance of a permit by the Minister of Defense). 8. IMMIGRATION RULES RELATED TO PROPERTY INVESTMENT Greek law provides that a residence permit of 5 years shall be granted to citizens of non-EU countries who are the owners (either personally or through a legal entity the shares of which belong entirely to them) of real estate property in Greece, or who have concluded a timeshare agreement, or have leased hotel accommodations for at least 10 years. The minimum value of the real estate property and the contractual value of the hotel accommodations lease agreement has been set to the amount of 250.000 Euros. Such residence permit may be renewed for an equal period (5 years) for as long as the real estate property remains in the ownership of the non- EU citizen, or the timeshare-lease agreements remain in force. Said non-EU citizens may be accompanied by their family members (spouse, children under 21 years old, parents), to whom a separate residence permit may be also granted following their request. Their permit shall be terminated at the same time as the permit of the property owner.

ILN Real Estate Group – Buying and Selling Real Estate Series

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