Legal check of the property
Property Check by a Lawyer
The presence of a lawyer when signing a contract for the sale and purchase of a property is considered crucial.
This is the only way to prevent errors which may prove disastrous after the contract has been signed.
Initially, any prospective buyer through an experienced should :
- Check the legal status of the property at the locally competent land registry office (Property title check – Legal property check ). This check is carried out to determine whether the property carries any encumbrances (mortgage notes, mortgages, claims, etc.).
- Furthermore, a thorough check is required to ascertain the order and sequence of transfers and the legality of the method of acquisition of the nearest and the furthest grantor.
- Subsequently and after the above procedure has been completed, if the property is ‘clean’, copies of the title deeds are taken. These copies are required for the drawing up of the contract, which is signed before a notary in the presence of the seller, the buyer and the lawyers of both parties.
However, the completion of the transfer does not only take place with the signing of the contract.
It is also required to be registered at the competent land registry, where the ownership of the purchased property is now officially registered in the new owner’s register.
We with prudence, diligence and promptness stand by every prospective property buyer to facilitate and better manage a purchase that seems simple but carries consequences in case of error. (Legal check of the property)
Legal check of the property Fee – Title check Cost.
The cost for the above procedure is not always fixed. It is determined by several factors such as the cost of the property, its location (inside or outside Attica) etc. In a more general context, the cost of the audit is determined through a written agreement between the law firm and the interested party. As a rule, the cost of title control and legal control of real estate is either priced at the minimum amount per hour that the lawyer will be employed. Or at a percentage (%) according to the value of the property. (Legal check of the property)
The Title Check- Legal Property Check must be performed prior to signing a preliminary contract and delivering the down payment to the seller.
Provided that the title check – legal inspection of the property by a lawyer is completed and there is no encumbrance, planning violation or any other problem, the buyer shall make the down payment for the purchase of property to the seller.
Pre-contract for the purchase of real estate – Private agreement for the purchase of real estate.
The down payment to the seller is given through a private agreement drawn up by a lawyer or through a notarized preliminary agreement. This procedure is considered necessary and it is not recommended under any circumstances to deliver money or a down payment without the signing of an agreement by both parties.
In order to sign the contracts the seller of the property should have collected the necessary documents – supporting documents. The collection of the supporting documents is primarily done by the seller, but this is not the rule.
Supporting documents for the sale of property – purchase of property.
- Seller’s contract (title deed)
- Identity card of the seller and buyer and photocopies thereof.
- Cadastral sheet – cadastral diagram.
- Certificate of cadastral property if there is a cadastral office.
- Certificate of non-payment of VAT.
- Topographical diagram.
- Certificate from an engineer confirming the absence of unauthorized premises.
- Energy efficiency certificate for the property.
- Building permit in some cases.
- EN.F.I.A. certificate of the last 5 years.
- Tax information of the seller. In case the seller is a legal entity, runs a business, or participates in any company then insurance information is also required.
If the contract is signed by a third person, a power of attorney is required. (Legal check of the property)
Property Transfer Tax – Legal check of the property.
In the next step the notary must prepare the property transfer tax return. Then this amount is submitted to the tax office where the property is located by the buyer and he receives the corresponding certificate. The property transfer tax amounts to 3% of the property’s objective value. (Legal check of the property)
Under certain legal conditions the buyer is exempt from transfer tax for the purchase of a first home.
Drafting of contracts
The next step is the drafting of the contract by the notary and the checking of the body by a lawyer for any corrections, omissions or additions. On the day the contracts are signed, the lawyer carries out a second title check at the mortgage office to exclude the possibility of new encumbrances being registered in the meantime. (Legal check of the property)
Transcription of the Contract.
The completion of the procedure is completed with the transcription of the contract at the Land Registry or at the Land Registry respectively. The notary delivers copies of the contract to the buyer’s lawyer and an application for the property’s transcription. For this transcription a fee is required, which amounts to 0.475% of the objective value of the property or the price, whichever is higher, plus. After a few days the lawyer receives the transcription certificate. The buyer gives a copy of the deed to the accountant so that it can be passed on to the E9 and thus the process is completed. (Legal check of the property)
Legal check of the property – Property Title Check.
The Legal Property Audit and the Title Control process is one of the services we provide. Our law firm takes care of the process from the beginning to the end of it and covering any steps that the buyer or seller of the property cannot carry out.
Importance Of Title Searches
The significance of title searches in the realm of property transactions cannot be overstated.
Title searches serve as a critical step in the due diligence process, as they enable prospective buyers and their legal representatives to uncover any potential issues that may affect their ability to secure clear and marketable title to the real estate in question.
By conducting a comprehensive examination of public records, including deeds, mortgages,
liens, and other encumbrances, parties involved in real estate transactions can ensure they
are adequately informed about the history of ownership and financial obligations tied to a
specific property. This knowledge not only helps reduce the risk of future disputes but also
facilitates informed decision-making regarding whether or not to proceed with a given
An additional aspect that highlights the importance of title searches is their role in identifying
any easements or restrictive covenants that may impact the use or enjoyment of a property.
Easements grant certain rights to others over a portion of land, while restrictive covenants
impose limitations on how an owner may utilize their property.
Identifying these elements during the title search process enables prospective buyers to assess how such conditions might align with their intended use for the property or potentially affect its value. Furthermore, this information allows buyers and their legal advisors to address any concerns prior to closing by negotiating appropriate terms within purchase agreements or seeking remedies through established legal channels if necessary.Overall, conducting thorough title searches remains an indispensable component of effective property transactions and risk management strategies for all parties involved.
Identifying Property Ownership History
Having explored the significance of title searches in the legal inspection of a property, it is now essential to delve into another critical aspect: identifying the property ownership history. A comprehensive understanding of a property's historical ownership not only helps in verifying its authenticity but also aids in uncovering potential legal issues that may arise from
previous transactions. Therefore, obtaining accurate and up-to-date information on the chain
of title becomes an indispensable step for any prospective buyer or investor.
A thorough investigation of property ownership history involves examining all recorded documents, including deeds, mortgages, liens, and other relevant records associated with
the property. These documents can reveal vital information about past owners, such as their
names, dates of acquisition or transfer, and any outstanding claims or disputes that might
affect the current owner’s rights.
Moreover, this process can help detect instances of fraud or misrepresentation that could
lead to future complications if left unaddressed. By acquiring a clear picture of a property's
ownership history, one can make informed decisions and mitigate potential risks associated
with real estate transactions.
Uncovering Liens And Mortgages
During the legal inspection of a property, it is crucial to identify any existing liens and
mortgages that may impact the transaction. Liens are legal claims on a property, typically due to unpaid debts, which must be satisfied before the property can be sold or transferred. Common types of liens include tax liens, mechanic’s liens, and judgment liens. A mortgage is a specific type of lien wherein a borrower pledges their property as collateral for a loan. Identifying these encumbrances is an essential step in ensuring that the title to the property is clear and marketable.
To effectively uncover both liens and mortgages, various searches should be conducted in
public records databases, such as county recorder’s offices or local land registries. These
databases can provide critical information regarding outstanding obligations tied to the
property in question.
Additionally, obtaining a preliminary title report from a reputable title company can aid in
revealing potential issues related to liens or mortgages. It is also advisable to consult with an experienced real estate attorney who can assist with interpreting search results and providing guidance on resolving any discovered encumbrances.
Conducting thorough research during this stage of the legal inspection process helps safeguard one's investment by ensuring that all outstanding debts are addressed prior to finalizing the transaction.
Detecting Easements And Encroachments
The process of legal inspection of a property may reveal various encumbrances, such as easements and encroachments, which can significantly impact the value and use of the land.
Easements are the rights granted to a third party to use a portion of the property for a specific purpose, while encroachments occur when an improvement, such as a fence or building, extends beyond the boundary lines onto another property. Detecting these potential issues is vital to ensure that the buyer is aware of any limitations or possible disputes that may arise in connection with their ownership.
Thorough examination of title documents and land surveys can help identify existing easements and detect encroachments. Title reports typically list registered easements on the subject property, providing information about their type (e.g., utility, access), location, and duration. However, not all easements are recorded; some may be established through long-standing use or implied by necessity.
In such cases, careful investigation of neighboring properties and discussions with local authorities may uncover unrecorded easements affecting the land under consideration. Similarly, reviewing survey maps can reveal boundary discrepancies or encroachments that might not be immediately apparent during physical site inspections. This thorough analysis ensures that all parties involved in a real estate transaction have complete knowledge about any restrictions that could influence future development plans or create conflicts with adjacent owners.
Ensuring Zoning Compliance
Moving away from the concerns of easements and encroachments, another critical aspect to
scrutinize during a legal inspection of property is zoning compliance. Zoning laws regulate land use and play a significant role in shaping the development and growth of communities. They are designed to protect public health, safety, and welfare by separating land uses that might conflict with each other or negatively impact the environment. For instance, zoning laws can restrict commercial establishments in residential areas or limit building height in certain districts.
To ensure zoning compliance during property inspection, it is essential to verify that the
intended use of the property aligns with its designated zoning classification. This process
involves reviewing local zoning ordinances and maps to determine the permissible activities
and development limitations within a specific area.
Furthermore, verifying if any variances or special permits have been granted for non- conforming structures or uses can help avoid potential legal issues down the line. It is crucial to consider future plans for rezoning or amendments in local regulations that may impact the property’s value or utility as well. By thoroughly examining these aspects, one can safeguard their investment from unforeseen complications related to non-compliance with zoning regulations.
Investigating Building Permits And Violations
Unearthing potential building permit issues and uncovering violations can make or break a property transaction. Savvy investors and property owners recognize the importance of conducting thorough research on this topic to avoid unexpected financial and legal consequences down the line.
Investigating building permits ensures that all construction, renovation, or modification works on the property have been legally approved by local authorities. This process typically involves reviewing records related to zoning, land use, and code compliance. It is essential to identify any outstanding violations or unapproved work that may lead to penalties, fines, or even forced removal of unauthorized structures. By taking these precautions, one can mitigate risks associated with property ownership and investment while ensuring compliance with local regulations for a seamless transaction experience.
Assessing Environmental Concerns
Moving beyond the examination of building permits and violations, another crucial aspect to
consider during a legal inspection of property is the identification and assessment of potential environmental concerns. These concerns can arise from a variety of sources, including but not limited to soil or groundwater contamination, hazardous materials on-site, and the presence of wetlands or protected species habitats.
Evaluating such issues not only aids in ensuring compliance with environmental regulations but also helps in mitigating risks associated with potential liability for property owners. A thorough assessment of environmental concerns entails conducting an Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) which typically involves a two-phase process. The first phase, known as Phase I ESA, comprises a review of historical records and site reconnaissance to identify any recognized environmental conditions (RECs) that may indicate past or present contamination.
If RECs are detected, a more detailed investigation called Phase II ESA is undertaken to analyze soil, air, and groundwater samples to quantify the extent of contamination and determine appropriate mitigation measures. Moreover, it is essential for property owners to be aware of their obligations under various environmental laws such as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), which holds them liable for cleanup costs if pollutants are discovered on their property.
By addressing these aspects diligently during the legal inspection process, one can make
informed decisions regarding property acquisition and management while safeguarding
against potential liabilities that may arise from unforeseen environmental issues.
Protecting Against Fraudulent Transfers
The process of protecting against fraudulent transfers is crucial in ensuring the legitimacy
and security of property transactions. Fraudulent transfers can lead to significant financial
losses and legal complications for both buyers and sellers, thereby making it imperative for
all parties involved to exercise due diligence in identifying potential fraud risks.
Various strategies can be employed to mitigate the risk of fraudulent transfers, including
thorough background checks on parties involved, proper documentation and verification of
property ownership, as well as adherence to legal guidelines and regulations.
One effective approach towards safeguarding against fraudulent transfers is having a clear
understanding of the warning signs that may indicate potential fraud. These may include
unusual requests or pressure from a seller, discrepancies in property records or documentation, or inconsistencies in the buyer's financial history. By remaining vigilant and proactive in identifying potential red flags, parties involved in property transactions can significantly reduce their vulnerability to fraudulent activities.
Additionally, seeking guidance from legal professionals with expertise in real estate law can
further strengthen safeguards against fraudulent transfers and ensure that all transactions
are conducted in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
Hiring A Professional For Thorough Inspections
In light of the significance of safeguarding against fraudulent transfers, it becomes increasingly vital to ensure that thorough inspections are conducted on a property. This can be achieved by engaging the services of professionals who possess the requisite expertise in this field. Such experts include certified home inspectors, structural engineers, and environmental testing specialists who can identify potential issues in a property and provide valuable insights into its condition.
Securing the services of these professionals not only offers peace of mind but also aids in
making informed decisions when purchasing or selling a property. They meticulously assess various aspects including structural integrity, electrical systems, plumbing, and other vital components to ascertain if there are any potential risks or damages that could affect the value or safety of the property.Moreover, professional inspectors can recommend appropriate remedial actions if required, ensuring that all legal and safety requirements are met before finalizing any transactions.
In conclusion, conducting a legal inspection of property serves as a crucial step in the
process of acquiring real estate. It provides valuable insights into the ownership history, outstanding liens, zoning compliance, and other potential issues that may impact the value and legality of the transaction.