With the recent news from Greece’s general election, which commentators expect to prove to be a turning point for the economy, we had another sign that things are going better in the country than they have for a number of years. While it’s far from out of the woods, this could be a fantastic time for anyone to invest into a holiday home here, with tourism booming and rentals becoming ever easier to manage. But if you are going to invest in a rental property in Greece, what should you know?
Finding your perfect Greek rental property
Firstly, you’ll need to find the perfect home. A common mistake at the beginning is to look for a home that appeals the most to you – but maybe wouldn’t capture the broadest possible market. You want it to be:
- Easily accessible: Is there an airport within an hour’s drive? Is it possible to access even in winter?
- Neutral: A bit of character is great, but you want to make sure that it has a broad appeal. Somewhere that has a very particular decor, for instance, can be off-putting – a neutral ‘background’ (eg the main colour scheme, design) with the quirky bits saved as accents generally works best
- Easy to convert: You’ll need a second exit as a fire escape, and it would also be wise, if possible, to make the property accessible for those with mobility issues.
- Near a wide range of attractions: The great the number of attractions, the greater your target audience. You might be a beach bunny who’s not interested in nightlife, but being close to both will be better for business. Try to look for combinations that extend your season, too, such as beach and golf, since the golf season will be different to the summer one.
Registering as a tourist business
A lot of people don’t do this, but it is a legal requirement, and you could find yourself facing a rather large bill down the line if you don’t! You’ll need to apply for an EOT (Greece Tourism Organisation) Licence – essentially a tourism licence, like in other countries such as Spain. This also means you’ll be able to offset your operating costs against tax, including bills and marketing. Alternatively, as of 2017, you can register on the Short-Term Rental Register, as long as you’re only renting out for sixty to ninety days a year.
Do note that if your home is rented to the same group of people for over 30 days a go, you’re classified as a normal, long-term rental, so you just need to declare your income as a normal landlord.
To apply, you’ll need your AFM (tax number), a copy of your passport, criminal record, a fire study and architectural plans. It’s worth checking at your local EOT offices for their full list, as, as with much of Greece, you may find some local idiosyncrasies!
Renting out a property with a shared pool
If you have a communal pool that you share with other homeowners, you’ll need their written permission to apply for an EOT licence. This is just to be sure that any full-time residents don’t mind having different holidaymakers using the space throughout the year!
Positive news on the horizon
The new election is being hailed as a turning point for Greece, as the centre-right, pro-capitalism party New Democracy has swept into a landslide victory. They promise to stimulate growth, smoothen regulations and boost tourism. Whether from the point of a business owner, or someone looking to profit from the tourism industry, it could all be good news for you.