Bear in mind that this involves a great deal of paperwork (see below), is expensive and takes time, therefore you should apply for the licence well in advance. In some areas where the rental market is saturated, the EOT has stopped issuing licences.
If you plan to make an income from letting, find out if licences are available in the area where you plan to buy before committing yourself to a purchase.
Requirements for the licence vary depending on the area and the type of property you plan to rent (e.g. self-catering villa, apartment or bed and breakfast), but generally include the following:
For the applicant:
- Certificate of no criminal record (available from the police in your home country or from the Greek police if you’re resident);
Completed application form;
Health certificate if a non-EEA national;
- Latest tax return;
- Signed declaration of intention to rent.
For the property:
- Certificate issued by a qualified architect stating that plumbing and sewerage (including cesspits) meet official requirements.
- Environmental Survey: This is provided by a local architect who must inspect the property to ensure that it’s suitable for rental. The survey can cost up to €1,500.
- Fire Certificate: The property is inspected by the local chief fire inspector who checks the property for adequate fire exits and fire extinguishers, and for fire hazards in the immediate area. Fire extinguishers must also be inspected and stamped annually.
- Original and a copy of the planning permission and/or building licence.
- Proof that payment of local taxes is up-to-date.
- Proposed rental agreement or contract.
- Statement from an architect certifying that the property conforms to earthquake building regulations.
Some areas have specific regulations for swimming pools.
Many foreigners use the services of a lawyer or architect to help them obtain the licence, a process that’s easier if you understand Greek and know the right people. Most people find architects are generally co-operative and willing to help. Once you have the licence (and have recovered from the stress of obtaining it!) you should renew it every year, which costs around €100.
Some foreigners let property without obtaining a licence and apparently have no problems with the authorities. This is, however, illegal and could lead to serious problems. If a guest at your property has an accident and you don’t have a licence, you could be prosecuted and face a prison sentence. You may also find that locals in your area who have gone to the trouble and expense to obtain a licence report you to the local tax authorities who will undoubtedly take legal action.