INTERIOR Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis has asked for patience over the issue of withheld Title Deeds as pressure mounts for the Government to take action. Mr Sylikiotis announcement was in response to a report that Lord Jones of Cheltenham had tabled two written questions in the British House of Lords on the problem; replies to which are expected by 27th November from the relevant UK Government department.
Minister Sylikiotis said “It’s not just about delays in issuing the deeds, it also concerns issues of planning and mortgages to the banks.”
“Even if we (the state) have some responsibilities, people (who buy properties) cannot blindly be signing contracts under which you cannot receive your Certificate of Final Approval so that the Title Deeds can be issued.” He added.
“We are also taking steps to expedite the screening process and the procedures at the Land Registry and other services. We are on track and everyone should understand that these problems that go back for years cannot be solved as if my magic.”
The average waiting time for Title Deeds in Cyprus is about 12 years and there are approximately 100,000 waiting for their Deeds, of whom some 30,000 are non-Cypriots.
More than 3 years ago the Cyprus Government said it would “plug loopholes in the legislation” and promised to arm buyers with what it called “an arsenal of weapons against unscrupulous property developers“.
Whether the latest announcement by the Minister is yet another vacuous Government promise remains to be seen.