Do I Need One? Yes, an EOT license from the Greek tourism authorities is needed for short term rental of premises to holidaymakers and visitors. The EOT regulations are strict. If you plan on renting or letting your holiday home or residence in Crete or anywhere else in Greece to tourists as a foreign property owner, be reminded that the days of leniency in enforcing the regulations by the EOT statutory body have long since gone.
Under EOT - Ellinikos Organismos Tourismou - the Greek National Tourist Organisation regulations, state that short term lets have to obtain an approved EOT permit. Under this category the definition of "short term" means renting to holidaymakers for one month or less in duration. The EOT rules are to satisfy: safety, protect the valuable tourism industry by proper regulations, tax and insurance reasons.
All rooms and buildings on a given property have to be approved, regardless whether they are all for tourist rental or not.
The key regulations govern the room sizes being correct; exit signs and other safety features included in the design and layout. If there is a swimming pool it has strict rules. These include having a lifeguard during all opening times if the pool is deeper than 1.7 metres, plenty of warning signs for swimmers and in areas adjacent to the pool, and clearly marked water depths along the pool. Not only that further regulations at the council level have to met with a town hall permit to operate a pool.
It all sounds very bureaucratic and the regulations can constantly be adjusted for the property for which a license is sought. These include, but not limited to certificates for drinking water, fire safety, tax clearance for the owner (also showing proff that no taxes are owed in home country of a foreigner).
Licenses seem to take forever to be issued. Two years is not unusual. But if a government file number (known as a protocol number in Greece) is issued, and with agreement of the tax office while an application is in process, letting may be able to take place.
Modern constructions can conform more easily for obvious reasons, but beautiful old stone houses it has to be said, are much more difficult - usually because of the smaller room size in olden days, and other limitations under the guise of safety.
Until quite recently, if you had a low profile and for less than four apartments being rented out, the requirements while still legally in place, had been rather lax. Having a low profile so as not to upset the local competition was also part of the course. Today with the Greek Government in an austerity mode the tax officials around the country have become much more demanding. Furthermore changes in the 2011 tax code, put clear obligations on those who wish to rent out their properties.
It is quite permissible for family and friends, as non-paying visitors to stay while you may not be in residence. Then your standard insurance arrangements cover most eventualities. But all other situations require EOT permission under EOT License conditions .
The chances are that if your municipality is not a main tourist area then rules will continue to be more "manageable". But do not bank on it.
This advice is informal, not authoritative and you should consult your lawyer and tax consultant, and as well as your architect if you are planning to build. Early declaration and incorporation of your intentions to rent as part of a project are important. This will directly impact on the building designs incorporated in the building permit application documents submitted to the town planning office
So much effort is required to obtain a license to operate as a tourist lettings facility, it is not surprising that a full license costs 5,000++ euros - handled through the architect with whom an owner works - plus all the incidental equipment costs. Foreign residents are no different to locals - we all go through the buraucratic wranglings to obtain the license. Once given the EOT permit is worth its weight in gold - valid for 5 years, with little effort and expense required for renewals - if all the circumstances remain unchanged.
The Brits in Crete Forum often carries updated information by our members on the subject of the EOT License.
This first one awhile back - the discussion still applies to today for the most part - very informative backgrounder.
The impact of Renting Property under EOT. This current BiC Forum topic is ongoing. Join in, you are welcome, if you wish, to ask questions.
And this one from the forum helps understand the impact of a bureaucratic mind-set on balcony regulations.
EOT Information in Crete on how to get an EOT license can be obtained from the addresses below:
Chania EOT Office
GEO: 35.516236 ,24.018807
|Street Address||Chania EOT Office,
Kriari 40, Megaro Pantheon,
Post Code GR-73 100, Chania,
|Telephone||+30 28210 92624
+30 28210 92943
|Fax||+30 28210 92624|
Heraklion EOT Crete Directorate Head Office
GEO: 35.329162 , 25.138526
|Street Address||EOT Crete Directorate Head Office,
Papa Aleksandrou E' 16,
Post Code GR-71 202 Heraklion
|Telephone||+30 2810 246 106|
|Fax||+30 2810 246 105|