08 Feb 2015, Νομικά, by Athina Ledaki, Lawyer/Accredited Mediator (CEDR)
The answer to the legal question whether a vertical ownership may be established in land located outside the city or village boundaries, where the general urban planning regulations for land parcels are applied, has been negative till very recently. The possibility of establishing vertical propertieswas offered only to land located within city plan, or in settlements existing before 1923 as well as within the limits of settlements of under 2000 inhabitants.
Basis of the relevant legislative regulation was the fact that over time it was found out that the pressing housing needs because of the mass movement of people to urban centres and the need for the country's urban development could not be satisfied only with the existence of the condo/horizontal property. Thus, until recently applicable legislation established a clear distinction between the areas that are included in an approved city plan and therefore intended for residential development, and other areas, for which no town plan (urban study) has been approved therefore not intended for construction, but in principle, for farming, animal breeding, forestry and recreation.
For this reason the legislator banned in principle the establishment of vertical ownership in areas outside city/village boundaries, on the grounds that this would lead to land partition, to the creation of small plots, illegal construction and subsequently would block the creation of an environment proper and creative for the citizens' living. This status applied till the publication of the Law 4178 / 2013 (article 5) in which it was stipulated that the provisions of l.d. 1024/1971 concerning the establishment of vertical properties should henceforth apply for land outside the city plan and the limits of settlements too, provided that the buildings existing in them have been constructed before the 28.7.2011. The construction of those buildings is proved by aerial photographs taken up to that date and it is also certified by an engineer. The factor deciding if these provisions could be applied, is strictly the existence of the buildings before the 28.7.2011 which should refer to all vertical properties, in other words, the buildings should be as many as the vertical properties created on the plot.
Even if the owner is just one person. If e.g. two buildings have been constructed and the third one hasn't been built yet, the law provision does not apply. Entry in the Law N.4178 / 2013 may be requested by just one of the co-owners as far as the illegal constructions which are built in the plot are concerned, he should however submit -apart from the rest of the supporting documents- a preliminary agreementabout the establishment of the vertical properties and their division, which will describe that the illegal buildings he has constructed will become his property. If no agreement is reached between the co-owners for establishinga vertical ownership on common land, co-owners representing at least 65% of the land ownership may apply to legal proceedings so that the vertical ownership is established through a court decision.
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