RIGHT TO FLOOR OWNERSHIP
Our office undertakes cases concerning the establishment of the divided property, the content, the nature and the interpretation of the constituent act, as well as the establishment of the floor ownership in combination with the observance of the urban planning provisions.
We provide full legal support on issues related to the interpretation and amendment of the apartment building regulation, the management of the building by its organs, the disputes arising from the relations between the co-owners, but also their relations with any tenants or usurpers of horizontal properties.
We deal with cases concerning the rights of the horizontal property owner due to damage caused by neighboring property, but also issues arising from the separation of ownership from the building’s respective central heating system (gas installation, natural gas).
In the field of vertical ownership, we execute properly orders on cases related to exceeding building rate by the main vertical property owner, change of the building conditions on a plot where vertical properties will be built / redistribution of building percentages of each conjuncture, arbitrary occupation of part of the land in building construction etc.
The institution of divided property was introduced into Greek law by the special Law 3741/1929, which, however, referred exclusively to horizontal property, i.e., according to the wording of its first article, to “property divided by floors or parts of them on the same land”- with the necessary clarification that floors are considered to be both the basement of the building subject to the relevant provisions and the “rooms immediately under the roof”.
Later, the new Civil Code, introduced in 1940, included the articles 1002 (which essentially repeated the provisions of articles 14 and 1 §2 L 3741/1929) and 1117, which returned to those established by article 2 §1 of the above legislation.
The milestone of the arrangements for the divided property is concluded in the enactment of Legislative Decree/1024/1971, which recognized the right to establish on a single common plot within the City Plan or within the boundaries of settlements pre-existing in 1923, as well as to establish settlements with less than 2000 inhabitants, the under the PD 24.4.85 provisions on several separate properties, in two or more buildings, with legally taken decisions of their co-owners (= vertical ownership -or even mixed- in contrast to the horizontal), subject to the observance of the relevant urban planning regulations. Establishment of vertical ownership in properties outside the Plan is not allowed, without prejudice to the exemption established by article 5 §1 L 4178/2013 related to plots outside the Plan and settlements of one or more owners with buildings erected on them until 28.7.2011, legally or arbitrarily.
The law provided an indicative list of the commonages and shared things and parts of the buildings subject to the provisions of the buildings’ framework. The law also regulated: 1) the relations between the co-owners, either by the enacted regulation or by the decisions of the majority at the convened General Meetings, 2) their obligations deriving from the recommended floor ownership and lastly provided, in particular, for the participation of all in the property’s common burdens – as well as everything else that served the proper functioning of this institution.
This was followed by the issuance of other legislations, such as Law 2052/1992, which allowed the establishment of vertical properties within existing pre-1923 settlements or settlements numbering less than 2000 settlers, etc., while issues related to divided properties have been included in the articles 25 and 26 of Legislative Decree 1003/1971 on active urban planning (already see L 947/1979) and in L 1562/1985, for the co-owners construction of real estate with the system of consideration, at the request of at least 65% (majority) of co-owners and for drawing up or supplementing, by a qualified majority, the regulations of the respective common properties.
The Single Member Courts of First Instance shall have jurisdiction in the disputes between the floor or apartment owners derived from the relations of floor ownership, as well as in the disputes between the floor property managers and the floor or apartment owners, deciding according to the special procedure of resolving property disputes as provided by in the No. 2 of Civil Procedure Code and the articles 480A and 481 of Civil Procedure Code regulating the actual distribution of real estate, by establishing (judicially) horizontal properties on them. In exceptional cases, according to article 14 par. 1 point c of Civil Procedure Code, the disputes between the floor or apartments owners from the relationship of floor ownership and the disputes between the floor property managers and the floor or apartment owners that concern common expenses, when the value does not exceed the amount of twenty thousand (20,000) Euros, shall be of the Magistrates Courts jurisdiction.
The provisions of Law 3741/1929 have, in principle, a submissive character, allowing the co-owners entrance into an agreement deriving from the relations of the floor ownership with content different from them. However, in the establishment of horizontal property, a separate right of ownership is established in a common property floor or part of a floor and, consequently, common co-ownership right in property’s common parts and things, according to the relevant provisions of L 3741/1929, which are compulsory law, unable to withdraw in the face of (private) agreements of the parties concerned. The regulation, however, defines the rights and obligations deriving from the relations of the floor ownership that can be determined in a way different from the one provided in L 3741/1929, due to such a submissive character provisions and as for the common parts of the building, on condition that the basic principles governing the institution of horizontal ownership shall not be violated.