The new law on the issuance of the certificate of non-debt of the Real Estate Tax, which is necessary for real estate transfers, brings significant changes, with the most important being the acceleration of procedures, which will give a sigh of relief to notaries and owners.

In case of transfer of ownership of all kinds of real estate for any reason and before signing the contract, a certificate of non-debt Real Estate Tax is required, otherwise the notarial deed is invalid and does not entail any legal consequence.

According to the new provisions included in the anti-corruption law, which was published in the Government Gazette, the certificate is sought ex officio by the notary or is presented by the transferor, is issued within 5 days based on the data kept electronically by the municipality and is valid for 1 year from its issuance. The certificate issued by the municipality can be both digital and used for the electronic transfer of the property.

Alternatively and if the transferor or the buyer wishes so or if we cannot issue the non-debt Real estate tax certificate within 5 days for any reason, the possibility of depositing a specific amount as a guarantee to the cash service of the municipality, until the settlement of the debt, is provided.

The amount of this guarantee is set at 0.3% of the property sale value.

For example, for a property worth 150,000 euros the guarantee will be 450 euros.

This amount shall be repaid by the notary through electronic banking to the municipality on behalf of the acquirer or transferor. The deposit proof of the amount shall serve as a certificate. The municipalities are obliged to post on their websites the deposit accounts of the above amounts, as well as relevant instructions for the interested parties.

Within an exclusive period of 3 months from the deposit of the guarantee, the cash office of the municipality shall liquidate the Real Estate Tax debt and either certifies and collects the balance of the debt, or returns the additional amount  paid as a guarantee to the transferor or the acquirer within 10 days as unduly paid.

The process of liquidation takes five years. Any debts beyond the five-year period are not sought and are not established.

In case of debt, the transferor or the acquirer is obliged to repay the remaining amount either once within 30 days, or in up to 6 equal monthly installments with a minimum monthly installment of 50 euros, otherwise the provisions of the Public Revenue Collection Code (KEDE) apply.

By decision of the Municipal Council, which is taken with an absolute majority of the total number of members and the consent of the mayor, it may be decided to suspend the obligation to submit the above non-debt Real Estate Tax certificate for the ownership transfer of all kinds of real estate, provided that the notary submits, before the drafting of the contract, to an electronic platform held by the municipality, the details of the parties and of the transferred property, in order to check and verify any debts under the Public Revenue Collection Code (KEDE) or to withhold the due amount arising during the real estate transfer. That decision shall serve as a certificate.