14 Feb 2015, Νομικά, by broosco legal team
By virtue of the Law 4093/2012, the representation by a lawyer in real estate transfer acts became optional for all parties since January 1, 2014. Practically this means that the parties may appear before the notary in order to sign the contract without prior legal control of the property to be transferred and with no legal counsellingregarding the terms of the transfer, their correct reference in the transfer act and the parties' compliance with them.
We are of the opinion that this legislative regulationraises significant risks for the parties and may threaten the security of transactions for the following reasons:
Assigning a lawyer to conduct the legal control of the property to be transferred, consists in searching the land registry booksof the local land registry office (or the cadastral sheets of the relevant cadastral office) to verifythe property rights of the seller, and check on the existence or not of mortgages, seizures or claims or any other burdensagainst the property.
Firstly, the absence of organized and computerized Cadastreall over the country makes it difficult for a person not practising law to reach to the aforementioned conclusions. In the cadastral offices the registration system is based on the property which is given a specific code number so it's relatively easy to get a full idea about a property's registrations. However, in most areas of the Greek territory land registries still operate, where the registration system is based on the property owner, so it's not as easy to identify the legal issues of a property.
Moreover, due to the frequent lack of registered deeds and the consequent invocation of "usucaption", as a legitimate way of acquiring property rights, the choice to conduct or not a legal search on the property, especially on the part of the buyer, puts his assurance at a significant risk and may lead to the parties'involvement in long-lasting and costly litigation in order to resolve legal issues that could as well have been prevented with a lawyer's prior assistance.
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