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A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing

Today with just a couple of clicks at your keyboard you can be taken anywhere through the internet. Great - or is it? How do you know if the pages you land on offer you good advice or not? There’s the rub! When searching for property in the Greek Islands, services or information you are wanting reliable answers for your own questions which you have. Buying and owning a Greek property, living on the islands, how to do things... all this can be tricky, so you need to be careful where you take advice from and make sure that you conform to the country's laws.

Of course, reading Quest Greek Islands property and lifestyle site is a great place to start but even we can’t guarantee 100% that everything will be totally accurate. Even between the time we write an article and it being published, things can change.

One of the other difficulties in the Greek Islands is that legislation is often applied indiscriminately. Talk to people who’ve applied for residency permits or planning permissions and you’ll get different tales, depending upon which local council they went to. Also, even some of our lengthier articles can’t cover all the details and possibilities on every subject.

Then, of course, just like anywhere, legislation can change at the drop of a hat. This means that advice given now may not be relevant next year. The best thing to do is use the features and articles as a good solid basis to get the feel of things.


If you are visiting a forum, look closely at its style before you decide whether to read more or even register. Some members on forums do give advice which is backed up with references to trustworthy sources. However, watching some forums I have been a bit taken aback by the gullibility of newbies and even far more shocked at the arrogance of other long standing members. I’ve even noticed malicious attacks and snide remarks, trying to put genuine people out of business, and more.

On forums you dont even know who is replying. I still don’t understand why anyone would trust someone replying on a forum about, say, Greek electrical regs, when they don’t even know who is answering them, let alone whether they are qualified to do so!

It’s staggering how many posters are happy to tell anyone how to do something, when they often don’t even know themselves. Just because a poster says he was not asked for proof of health insurance when applying for his residency permit, does not mean that they are right in saying it’s not needed. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. And people with a bit of knowledge often think they are experts, when they are not.

It’s odd too to see people on forums who live in the Greek Islands asking such things as to what the controls on their washing machine mean. Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to ask the next door neighbour or someone else local? There are also businesses who hide behind their “nicks” and are on the forums, using them to covertly tout for business.

Using local help

You can of course run into the same kind of thing face to face - but you’ve got a far better chance of seeing straight away who are the really good guys. Using locals (and local expats) is a good way of finding out who are the most trustworthy builders and other service providers in your neck of the woods. But please don’t just pick their brains and then don’t employ them, getting someone else in on the black. They won’t be so helpful to you next time and your standing in the community will plummet.

Expats often flout the law

It’s always a surprise to see how often expat Brits go happily on with their day to day ‘business’. We’ve seen them doing all sorts, from operating pick ups at airports, doing building jobs and bigger work... yet with no regard to local law. This is a risky strategy and one which could land you in dire straits if you are found not to be paying due taxes and social contributions. Don't be tempted by what they say, it's not worth the risk.

Help on numerous aspects of Greek Islands life is available here on this site and on many of the Greek government sites. Naturally, speaking the language helps but a lot of sites do have an English version.

We understand that getting the right paperwork is long-winded and can be hard but it is worth finding out what to do and how to do it correctly from a reliable source.

Greek administration

Surprisingly your local administration are often a fantastic source of information and advice. Pretty much everything you would need to know about your area, these offices will know. The staff are usually very helpful and some will even go to amazing lengths to assist. Don’t underestimate this source for really good advice - a mine of correct information and assistance.