Question: A couple of years ago we bought some land and had a lovely house built just outside Stoupa in the Peloponnese. Although we have paid for IKA, building and swimming pool permission at the time of building we have not as yet seen any documents.
I have asked the Civil Engineer but all you get is “oh yes I will let you have them” and so it goes on. A neighbour told me it was probably all right as I have just had mains electricity put on and they would not do this if the documents were not right – I am still rather sceptical. The Civil Engineer is an hours drive away, is very busy, illusive and hard to tie down – you get the picture!If I can’t get these original documents what course of action is open to me? Worse still what is the position if the house has been built without the various permissions and IKA? The engineer is quite a large concern, advertises in your magazine and been on Place in the Sun so he has a reputation to keep!!!
Another worry is, are these documents government standard or are they produced locally? I know of someone who got his documents from the same civil engineer and when he used them they were forgeries! He had made them using rubber stamps etc in his office (you know how they like their stamps!)
When we bought the land it seemed to be carried out properly in front of a notary, translator, solicitor etc. and took an hour or so to complete. So as far as I can be I feel comfortable about the purchase of land, but then you begin to wonder!!!!
My second question is, when I bought the land I needed a tax number. I have since been told that I need to do tax returns every year. Is this correct? I do not earn any money in Greece whatsoever, I only PAY!! My house is 137 square metres and I spend about 3 – 4 months a year there. I have a 5 year residence permit that I needed in order to buy a small car that we leave in Greece. The car has been taxed every year from 1st January.
Sorry for this long letter but it could be useful to others who may be in the same position and do not realise it. I look forward to hearing from you. By the way we love your magazine and have been subscribers from very early on – only missed the first 3 copies!!!
Answer: There is no reason why you should not have the original copies of your documents and so insist on them. You must have the original papers for the Building Permit in order to confirm that the house is legally built and also for the swimming pool, which must also be shown on the Building Permit. If the Building Permit is in your name the authority will hold you responsible for any illegalities and not the Architect. In any case, you can ask directly, in person, at the IKA and Urban Authorities for these papers. It is best to finalise this as soon as possible, as there may be interest mounting.
Regarding the IKA papers, you must have the file finalised at the IKA authority. Yes, you get electricity connected, but the IKA file may still be open, without the final certificate being given.
The first year after you bought your land, you should have made a tax declaration, via an accountant. He/she would need the receipts (often called “pink slips”) from the Greek bank which prove the money to buy the land came from outside of Greece and you are not liable for income tax. If you are building a house, you also need to make a submit these with the tax declaration. Additionally, last year, the government required every householder in Greece to make a tax declaration for 2004. If you have not done any of these tax forms then the next time you come to Greece you must do these and you are probably liable for a fine for not doing them previously. As a car is a point of tax, you will need to have declared this too the year after you bought it. Hopefully, you have proof that the money was imported to buy the car, as you will be liable for income tax on that. A new law has been passed anyway now, that every householder with a house larger than 150 m2 (as well as the previously existing tax points of car/boat/motorbike ownership) must made a tax declaration EVERY YEAR, regardless of whether you live here or not. These tax declarations can be done through an accountant and I am sure by asking around when you come over, you will find a good English speaking accountant that will assist you.
Your estate agent should have informed you of the above when you bought the land and began building.
It is sad you are having these problems. Do let us know when they are resolved.
Question: We are building a house in the Peloponese near to the resort of Chrani with the help of a local Greek couple and some English friends already living there.
We originally wanted a small renovation but after being shown several by the local estate agent who kept saying because my husband is a builder we should buy land and build ourselves, that is what we did.
We will send photographs and a more detailed email eventually but one
question we must ask is about the IKA. The architect worked it out to be
35,000 Euros for our build which is an awful lot of money. My husband is a bricklayer by trade and wants to undertake the brickwork himself but does that mean we still have to pay the IKA for the bricklayers we will not be using?
Answer: On a new build, I.K.A. is worked out by the Architect and checked by the I.K.A. Authority when presenting the file to the authority in relation to your Building Permit, i.e. the size of the property and what works need to be done, internally and externally, landscaping, stone walls etc.. Everything is finally cross checked by I.K.A. with an on-site control, which can be made at any time during the works and when works are completed. You will receive a monthly receipt for the I.K.A. you, your Architect, or whoever has your power of attorney to do this, is paying on your behalf every month. This receipt is only issued on payment. The final I.K.A. certificate is necessary for the final connection to the electricity mains. Also, in the future, if you need to sell your house, the final I.K.A. certificate must be produced.
Please also note, that in the end, it is only you as the owner of the land, who has the ultimate responsibility to ensure all I.K.A. is paid.
I.K.A. provides a large income for the Greek state and I am afraid that even if you do some of the work yourselves, you must still pay the I.K.A. that the State would lose if you were employing someone to this work for you. So you must declare whatever works you do to the I.K.A. authority and pay the necessary contributions. Really, I would suggest that you ask your architect for advice, as you risk very high fines if a representative from this very powerful authority carries out a check on the completed or works in progress and I.K.A. has not been paid.