How to build a house in Greece
What is the primary condition with which one must begin to build his own house?
First of all one must check the title deeds.
This is work done through the collaboration of a lawyer and an engineer.
The lawyer checks the legality of the acquisition titles through the cadastre and land registry
agencies, while the engineer checks whether the critical size of the plot is larger than the
allowable area in which the plot belongs.
And usually when referring to these critical sizes these are the area of the surface to be built,
the frontage and in some cases the depth.
It is a very important task, because it requires meticulous research at the relevant departments.
What does the search entail from a legal aspect and why?
The search is required due to the urban parameter of the property and generally consists
of the following:
This concerns the method of acquisition if it is:
- Sale or transfer of property rights
- Inheritance (creation time being the time of death of the inherited decedent)
- Usucaption (regular or extraordinary)
- Judicial decisions and administrative acts (e.g. grant)
- Expropriation (execution time is the time of deposit of compensation)
So in the above cases the acquisition of ownership requires the transfer in the Land Registry
of the relevant notarial document (e.g contract), except expropriation which is completed
by depositing the compensation, judicially determined, into the Deposits and Loan Fund
In how many categories (related to construction) is urban residential land divided,
so that someone can look for the area in which they want to build?
The residential land is generally divided into four broad categories in terms of building:
The first category refers to land located within the city plan.
The second category refers to land located outside the city plan.
The third category refers to land located in small settlements with a population of less than
2000 inhabitants and the fourth refers to traditional and specially protected settlements.
In particular, the housing construction in the first category is governed primarily by the
general Law 4067/12 (New building code) NOK and areas are mainly located in cities where
there are urban and street plans with defined land uses.
In these areas there are no particular structural restrictions in residential construction, while
The second category refers to land located outside the city plan where the construction
and building restrictions are governed mainly by Law (GG 270 D) as in force.
In these plots there are several limitations, not for the structural elements of the residence,
but to the size and location of the building.
The third category is the land located in settlements with a population of less than 2000
inhabitants, where construction is governed by Law (GG 289 D).
Here, the restrictions do not concern as much the structural elements of the construction,
as the maximum allowable construction and placement of the building on the plot.
Finally, the fourth category is governed by the specific limitations resulting from the specificity
of the region, in order to maintain the traditional character and to further protect
Thus, in these areas there are several structural constraints, accommodating the form of the
residence to the standards in the area.
What services are responsible for issuing the building permit and what specialties
scientists deal with the issuance of the permit?
The services which are responsible for granting the building permit are the construction
services located in every municipality in which the area belongs.
They are called building services (Y.DOM) and staffed mainly by architects and engineers.
What laws govern the issuance of a building permit?
Law 4030/11 specifies in detail the new way of issuing building permits and supervision of
The building permits are certified by the local Police Station on the initiative of the owner
or the engineer, and after that you can start construction.
What is the philosophy of the NOK (New building code) of the major Law governing
building standards, in most cases?
With the new building regulations there are three elements that must be followed during
the design of the house.
- Compliance with the provisions for disabled persons, covered by parameters which undoubtedly
improve the functional quality of buildings for all.
- Planting of significant portion of uncovered terrain.
- Supporting the energy benefits caused by applying Bioclimatic Architecture.
What is the implementation framework of NOK?
The general construction regulations, conditions and restrictions set out in the new building
code applied in combination with:
- The urban ordinances, namely the existing terms of construction and other general or
specific regulations in force in each region, mainly concerning the right size and shape
of the plot, building terms of the area and the permitted land uses.
- The quality parameters of buildings and structures that are defined by regulations, such
as building regulations, the energy performance regulation of buildings (KENAK) etc.
- The specific regulations applicable to special buildings.
- The ownership issues and co-owners’ issues are regulated by civil law but are also subject
to the urban planning provisions.
- The administrative procedures and responsibilities for the implementation of urban
- The transitional provisions which are a very important issue.
For existing houses what should one know about concluding a lawful purchase and
Indeed existing homes can be purchased either to be used stand-alone, or by adding sections
by extension or by height, to form a single entity.
A prerequisite for existing homes is their legitimacy and the study of adding additions to
these homes are governed by Article 3 of Law 4067/12.
Also for buildings constructed before the 07/28/2011 without a building permit, they have
the opportunity to settle under Law 4178/2013.
On these cases our office has shown extensive experience.
Indicatively I mention the case in which our office undertook the design and construction
of the addition to the existing old low tower-type residential building.
After a thorough review of the legality of the existing building, the engineering department
of our office made the study and construction of the addition, which together with
the existing building became a single house fully adapted to the requirements of a foreign
As regards the cost what can be expected?
The cost is a combination of the current economic conditions primarily and the area where
the house will be built secondarily.
With the current economic conditions it would be rather risky for one to try to estimate the
construction cost in advance.
Finally, how much time is required to build a house?
The total time required is broken down to the time required for the issuance of the building
permit and the time of construction.
Regarding the time required for issuing the building permit this depends on the accuracy
of the legal documents, ranging from two months to a year, while the construction time
depends on project financing.