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Living in a Cyprus Property with no Title Deeds

I’ve heard that some people are being taken to court for living in houses without Title Deeds.I’m confused; is this true? If it is true, what can I do to stop this happening to me? I don’t have my Title Deed and I’ve been waiting for over 12 years now. Answer The situation to which […]

I’ve heard that some people are being taken to court for living in houses without Title Deeds.I’m confused; is this true? If it is true, what can I do to stop this happening to me? I don’t have my Title Deed and I’ve been waiting for over 12 years now.

Answer

The situation to which you refer was widely reported in the Cyprus press in February 2007.

It concerns the residents of 22 properties in Paphos built by St. Paul’s Church over ten years ago. As the case is still being heard by the Court, I shall not comment on it further.

But this is the way that the system is supposed to work:

  • When a property or development has been finished, the developer advises the authority, who then visits and inspects the development to ensure that conforms to the Town Planning permissions and Building Permits issued for its construction.
  • Once the inspectors are satisfied that everything is in order, they issue a ‘Certificate of Final Approval’. This Certificate, along with some other paperwork, then goes to the Land Registry so that Title Deeds for the individual properties may be issued.

Although it is legal to occupy property for which a Title Deed has yet to be issued, it is illegal is to occupy a building for which a Certificate of Final Approval has not been issued. As this Certificate is required by the Land Registry before a Title Deed for the property in question can be issued, this may be where the confusion arises.

The only way of ensuring that this will not happen to you is to avoid breaking the law. I.e. do not occupy a property until its ‘Certificate of Final Approval’ has been issued.

Unfortunately, due to various ‘problems’ that delay the issue of Certificates of Final Approval, you may have to wait many years before you can legally occupy a property you have bought!

On a slightly more positive note, the enforcement of this law (Article 10 of the Streets and Buildings Regulations Law, Cap. 96) is erratic and inconsistent.

But be in no doubt – if you occupy a property without its Certificate of Final Approval, you are breaking the law.

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