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  • Writer's pictureΓραμματή Μπακλατσή

Change of use of a property

What are the conditions?

There are many property owners, mainly closed shops, warehouses and old houses, who choose to renovate and at the same time change the use of their buildings.

Also, there are many who buy old abandoned buildings, apartments and warehouses, with the aim of renovating them and then exploiting them by changing their use.

The new development law also gives impetus to the market and in particular to the exploitation of real estate. Thus, recently the demand for the purchase of large properties has intensified, in order to turn them into tourist infrastructures, nurseries, health clinics, etc.

However, the conversion of a space requires in most cases a permit from the town planning for Change of Use of the building.

In the past, any conversion of space required the owners to issue a building permit from the Town Planning Department, with all the bureaucratic hurdles and delays that entails. From 2020, however, with a circular from the then Deputy Minister of the Environment, internal arrangements and change of use can be made in a building or part of it, with the issuance of a small-scale work permit and without requiring a building permit (building permit). This arrangement has already brought relief to citizens and engineers in many cases, since they now escape the old process, which could even take… months! But citizens should be very careful and before taking any action it is good to consult an engineer to inform them what are the permitted uses in the area and what are the conditions for changing the use of the building.

When is change of use allowed in a building?

In order to change the use of a building, the new use must in principle be permitted by the applicable city plan, the applicable land uses of the area as well as other urban planning provisions that apply to the area, e.g. GPS/SCHOOAP.

The following should also apply:

The building must be legally built

Be sure to observe the current regulations

Apply the provisions of the building regulation, e.g. stairs, parking areas, etc., corresponding to the new use

Mandatory guarantee of accessibility for people with disabilities or people with disabilities in the common areas of the building, provided that the load-bearing structure of the building is not affected.

When is a Building Permit required?

A Building Permit is required when:

Extensive constructions or works that change the building plan need to be done, in terms of the applicable building conditions, coverage, distances, planting, etc.

When more unfavorable loads occur and a new static study must be done

In case an installation is added.

When the budget of the total work is greater than the amount of 25000 euros.

When can I change the use of a property with a simple small-scale permit?

A Small Scale Building Works Approval Permit may be issued for a change of use and the necessary arrangements, provided that:

a) the elements of the supporting organization of the building are not affected by the arrangement work

b) from the new use, the loads and the category of seismic importance according to the Greek Anti-Seismic Regulation (E.A.K.) do not change for the worse, also the requirement for additional parking spaces should be covered in case the change of use it is done towards the most unfavorable category, e.g. from residence to offices.

c) the budget of the required works does not exceed the amount of 25,000 euros

d) the required parking spaces are secured or purchased in the event of a change of use for the worse, e.g. from residence to offices

What exactly does "seismic importance class change" mean?

Each building is studied and then constructed according to the static study that follows the anti-seismic regulation, in terms of public safety. The loads are different when the building houses normal uses, e.g. residences, offices, shops and otherwise when housing public gathering areas and generally buildings where many people are present for a large part of the 24 hours such as gyms, training schools, KDAP etc.

So according to the earthquake regulation there are four (4) categories.


Buildings of minor importance in terms of public safety, such as:

Agricultural buildings and agricultural warehouses, sheds, stables, cowsheds, piggeries, poultry farms, etc.


Ordinary buildings, such as residences and offices, industrial - craft buildings, hotels (which do not include conference rooms), hostels, boarding schools, exhibition spaces, dining and entertainment spaces (patisseries, cafes, restaurants, bars, etc.), banks, medical offices, markets, supermarkets, shopping centers, shops, pharmacies, barbers, hairdressers, gyms, libraries, efactories, car workshops, paint shops, carpentry, research laboratories, food processing plants, dry cleaners, computer centers, warehouses, car parking buildings, gas stations, etc.


Buildings that house facilities of very high economic importance, as well as buildings of public gatherings and in general buildings in which many people are present for a large part of the 24 hours, such as conference rooms, educational buildings, classrooms, tutoring centers, kindergartens, sports gathering areas, entertainment centers, institutions for people with special needs, institutions for the chronically ill, nursing homes, nurseries, crèches, kindergartens, playgrounds, etc.


Buildings whose operation, both during the earthquake and after the earthquakes, is of vital importance, such as telecommunication buildings, hospitals, etc.

The consent of the apartment building is necessary in order to change the use of my apartment to an office or shop or other place of professional activity, e.g. beauty salon;

In the case of properties that are part of an apartment building, in addition to the conditions provided for in the urban planning legislation for the legal change of use, it should be examined whether the new use is permitted by the apartment building regulations.

In case it is prohibited by the regulation, it should be ensured to change the relevant terms of the regulation and this usually requires the agreement of a large part of the co-owners and for this reason it is particularly difficult from a practical point of view, especially when it comes to old buildings belonging to many co-owners.

In the event that there is no regulation, a D.D. is needed. of the administrator considered with the original signature, or in case there is no administrator then Y.D. of 50%+1 of the owners that they have no objection to the operation of the business activity.

Caution! the consent of all co-owners is required for interventions in common parts of the apartment building (e.g. building facades), in order to make the new use possible,

Which professions can be accommodated in residential premises and do not need a change of use?

As an exception, areas of the residence may be used for practicing a profession compatible with the main use of the building, such as a doctor (who does not have a nursing bed or an isotope application unit or a radiology laboratory or physical therapy facilities), a lawyer, an engineer, an accountant, an economist, a writer , computer analyst-programmer, sociologist, social worker and journalist. This exception applies as long as the exercise of the profession is permitted by the building regulations, is not prohibited by applicable health and safety regulations and is located within the permanent residence of the self-employed person.



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