DOCUMENTATION FOR THE SALE AND TRANSFER OF A PROPERTY*
The Seller must provide the following documents:
1)Ownership deeds and registrations certificates** issued by the competent public registries (land registry and cadastre)***.
2)Cadastral extract for the property from the competent cadastre, and in case there is no operating cadastre in the area where the property is situated, certificate from the competent registration office stating that the property has been duly declared.
3) In case the transferred property is a plot, a recent topographic diagram of the plot, signed and sealed by a civil engineer.
4) Construction permit (and any revisions thereto) and diagrams (topographic diagram, building coverage diagram, floors diagrams etc) by the Urban Planning Office.****
5) Certification by a civil engineer (and a solemn declaration of the Seller) that the transferred property is in compliance with the construction permit and the applicable legal framework for the urban planning or that a legalization procedure has been completed with respect to any existing illegalities. In case of a legalization procedure, a technical note issued by the engineer, related diagrams as well as a certification by the Urban Planning Office stating that the legalization procedure has been completed (as the case may be under the applicable legal framework for the legalization), must be also submitted.
6) Certificate of Energy Efficiency of a property (building), issued by an engineer.
7) Clearance Certificate issued by the competent Municipality of the area where the property is situated (“TAP” certificate)*****.
8) Social Security Clearance Certificate for the Seller, where applicable.
9) Tax Clearance Certificate issued by the competent tax office of the Seller (specifically issued for the transfer of real estate)******.
10) Certificate issued by the competent tax office of the Seller that income that has arisen with respect to the transferred property during the preceding two years (e.g. rent) has been declared or solemn declaration of the Seller duly certified by the competent tax authority, that no income has arisen during the preceding two years with respect to the transferred property.
11) Certificate of the competent tax authority stating that the property has been duly declared in the annual property tax return and that the corresponding property tax has been paid for the two preceding years. Alternatively, a solemn declaration of the Seller duly certified by the competent tax authority stating that the Seller was under no obligation to declare the property in the annual property tax return.
* The documents required for the sale and transfer of a property may change from time to time pursuant to the applicable legal and regulatory framework. Less or additional documents may be also required depending on the type or the location of the property, the legal nature of the Seller, any third party - rights existing on the property and the rights transferred by the Seller etc. For this reason, it is advisable to seek the advice of competent professionals (such as lawyers, notaries, civil engineers).
** Such as deed registration certificate, ownership certificate, non-opposition certificate, encumbrances certificate.
*** If there are third party rights on the property (e.g. mortgage, lease), then the relevant documentation must be also submitted.
**** If there is a building, built following 14/3/1983, the construction permit must be certified by the relevant Urban Planning Office.
***** If the transferred property was included in the town plan following 1983, a certificate issued by the competent Municipality must be submitted, stating that the property has been duly declared. If the Urban Planning Implementation Act has been certified, a certificate by the Municipality stating that all money contributions have been paid, must be also submitted.
****** This certificate may be also obtained by the notary public.
STEPS FOR THE SALE AND TRANSFER OF THE PROPERTY
1) The Seller must submit to the notary public of the Buyer’s choice as well as to the Buyer’s lawyer, all documents required for the transfer of the property.
2) The Buyer’s lawyer shall review the ownership deeds of the property and shall conduct a due diligence on the land registry and the cadastre in order to be satisfied that the Seller is the real owner of the property and that no encumbrances have been registered thereupon. A number of issues may arise (e.g. existing encumbrances, urban planning or tax issues) that may need to be settled before proceeding with the sale.
3) Following review of all necessary documentation, the notary public shall prepare a draft of the sale and transfer deed, shall assess the amount of the applicable transfer tax and shall prepare the relevant tax return. The tax return must be signed by both the Seller and the Buyer and must be submitted by the Buyer to the competent tax office of the area where the property is situated.
4) The tax office shall finally assess the amount of the transfer tax payable by the Buyer, taking also into account any tax reliefs to which the Buyer may be entitled pursuant to supporting documentation submitted by the Buyer. Before assessing the applicable transfer tax, the tax office may decide to inspect the property. As of January 1st, 2013 and only with respect to properties purchased by a Seller after January 1st, 2013, the Seller shall be subject to a transfer tax (calculated on the difference between the purchase price paid by the Seller and the purchase price at which the Seller sells the property).
5) Following final assessment of the payable transfer tax, the Buyer (and the Seller where applicable) shall pay the applicable tax amount by a banking check to the order of the competent tax office.
6) The draft transfer deed, prepared by the notary public, is submitted for certification to the competent bar association, and the relevant withholding taxes (and lawyers’ fees where applicable) must be paid to the bar association.
7) Following review and negotiation between the lawyers of both parties, the sale and transfer deed shall be executed before the notary public.
8) A certified copy of the notarial transfer deed together with supporting documentation prepared by the notary public, shall be submitted to the competent land registry and the cadastre in order to be registered with the relevant public books. The registration shall be effected by the land registry and the cadastre, against payment by the Buyer of a registration fee, to be calculated by the notary public.
9)In addition, the Buyer should request from the land registry and the cadastre, the issuance of all applicable certificates with respect to the property (registration, ownership, no encumbrances, non opposition certificate etc).