Apply for EOT Licensing for Short-Term House Rentals

imagesTo legally rent your home for any period under three months to any single occupant (be it one or more individuals and even family or friends), you must have a permit from the Greek National Tourism Organization (EOT).
Those who rent their homes for three months or longer to the same tenant do not need an EOT license, though they are required to declare any income to the tax authorities.

The licence is designed to ensure that holiday accommodation is of a sufficient standard and the government is very keen that visitors to the islands can stay in property that is safe and will give the holidaymakers a good impression of Greek standards. The EOT licence will confirm that your property meets the exacting standards of the Greek Tourist board. The Greek authorities have started to clamp down on holiday home owners that do not have the necessary licence: if you are caught renting your property without the necessary permit, you could face a very hefty fine and may even face deportation.

To receive EOT authorization, you must meet certain criteria. The building must be consistent the original authorized building plans (i.e., no illegal structures), and rooms must meet a specified minimum size.

Any holiday home for rent with a swimming pool must meet additional, very stringent requirements. For example, the pool must have depth markings and warning signs. If it is deeper than 1.5 meters, a lifeguard must be stationed. In case of accidental injury to a holidaymaker in the pool, if  EOT certification is lacking, the owner my be prosecuted and even incarcerated.

Owners deemed to be renting their homes illegally will be fined heavily and may be deported.

Obtaining authorization EOT

The licensing procedure is far from simple and can take months to complete. The rules vary by region, properties are assessed on their own merits, and criteria can change. It is therefore advisable to seek the advice of a knowledgable local versed in the ins and outs of the process.

To receive licensing, you will need to submit to EOT the architectural plans and construction documents for the house. This is usually done  by the architect or civil engineer who drew up the plans. If everything is in accordance with the plans submitted, and EOT approves the project, you will then be asked to submit some additional documents pertaining to you.

Criteria and Requirements

  • The property specification must match the architectural plans exactly, and minimum room sizes must be respected.
  • If the property is located within a block or a complex, then all properties in the complex must have an EOT licence. It will not be possible to acquire a licence for just the properties that are rented out.
  • 
If the property has a swimming pool, you must obtain a license from the Town Hall to operate a swimming pool (already a problem on Hydra as they are generally illegal). The pool must have depth markings and warning signs posted in the vicinity. The pool should be no more than 1.70m deep; otherwise, you must have a lifeguard on duty. .
  • Your property must accessible by a public road.

The following supporting documents will also be required before the short-term rental license will be awarded:

  • A certificate that you have no criminal record.
  • A certificate that you have no outstanding tax liabilities.
  • A signed declaration that it is your intention to rent the property.
  • A copy of your proposed rental agreement contract.
  • A certificate of water clarity for the property.
  • Confirmation from an architect that the plumbing and sewage meet official requirements.
  • An environmental survey from an architect confirming that the property is suitable for rental purposes.
  • A fire certificate from the local fire officer who will check fire exits and fire extinguishers on the premises.
  • The original and a copy of the planning permission (if applicable).
  • A statement from the architect that the property has been constructed to earthquake-safe building regulations.

Cost

The cost of obtaining an EOT license depends largely on the fees charged by the architect or civil engineer you employ, who can charge you up to €5.000 to supply the relevant documents. Generally the cost ranges between €3.000 and €5.000 for the five-year license, with minimal renewal costs thereafter.

Getting the process started and obtaining the necessary documents requires the assistance of an architect or a civil engineer. If you do not live in Greece or do not speak Greek, you must assign and pay someone to act as your mediator throughout the process. This person may be your legal adviser, architect, civil engineer, or another responsible person.

Is it worth it? Read what one couple has to say.

NEW RULE to be enforced starting in 2014. The EOT’s MHTE licence number must be displayed on any printed media or website advertising a rental property. Failure to do this can result in a fine of up to 1000 Euros.  On newer EOT licences the MHTE number is written across the top of the licence, those with the older licences need to contact their local EOT office or Rent Rooms Association to obtain their MHTE number. If the holiday rental property does not have an EOT licence and is caught advertising or renting it the penalties are more severe; the owner can face arrest and a court appearance with an even heftier fine. The authorities will be on the prowl, checking out websites (Source: Living in Crete).

Visit the EOT website for the latest information. The website  livingincrete.net has also produced a document with more details.