Parliament on Thursday night voted to extend the time period in which the law for the legalisation of a significant number of irregularities regarding immovable properties purchased before March 2005 is in effect.
In an effort to combat the huge delays facing property buyers in the issuance of their title deeds caused by the recent property boom, the government enacted the temporary law 18 months ago, but it was only valid until the end of September 2006.
Lawyer George Couconis, who is a property specialist, told the Cyprus Mail that the most important reason why most of the developers do not take the necessary steps to obtain separate title deeds is that there are irregularities in the construction which they are not interested in rectifying.
“Also responsible for this situation are the town planning authorities and the local authorities, who tolerate this situation,” he said.
“The extension of the time period of the law will enable the legalisation of several irregularities but only to the point of the issuance of a certificate of completion of works – and not title deeds.”
He added that when somebody has not received their deed, legal action has to be taken against the vendor with the appointment of a third party who will issue title deeds on behalf of the vendor.
To be able to take such action, special provisions had to be included in the purchase contract, which should also have been submitted to the District Land Office within a specified time period.
An amendment to the law is being sought by a DISY deputy in an effort to combat the huge delays.
But Ionas Nicolaou’s bill involves no legal action, “which is too time-consuming, expensive and complicated.” He is proposing that, “a buyer has the opportunity to apply to the Land Registry for the deed on presentation of Town Planning’s certificate of approval,” adding that, “in the case of a block of flats, the block must be divided into separate flats, with each buyer receiving a separate deed. As the law currently stands, only the developer can apply for the deeds and not the individual buyers.”
George Perdikis said the extension “will run until January 1 in an effort to come up with a proper solution”.
The Green Party leader said that more should be done to severely punish developers. “If they were threatened with jail, I’m sure they would be more cooperative in issuing deeds.”
Chairman of the House Interior Committee, Andros Kyprianou admitted, “that a number of problems need to be solved on the issue,” noting that a meeting will take place with Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis on Monday.
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2006