BRITISH property buyers have taken another step in their quest to get the Cyprus government to protect their rights and rewrite the island’s archaic property laws.
Over recent months thousands of buyers caught in the Title Deed trap have been signing petitions, and writing to their MPs and MEPs in efforts to get the British Government and the EU to intercede with the Cyprus government on their behalf. Earlier this week, those efforts produced a result.
On the 13th November, Lord Jones of Cheltenham tabled two written questions in the UK House of Lords about the problems; the UK Government has replied:
Question from Lord Jones of Cheltenham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what advice they are offering to United Kingdom citizens who have bought property in Cyprus but have not received their title deeds.
Reply from the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice for Cyprus, available on the FCO website, advises British citizens who encounter difficulties as a result of purchasing property in Cyprus to seek qualified legal advice on their rights and methods of redress. This would include difficulties in obtaining deeds to property to which the purchaser is entitled. Although the Government are unable to become involved with individual cases, our High Commission in Cyprus does support community associations in Cyprus that are dedicated to resolving the problems of property buyers, and gives details of those associations on its website, accessible via the Cyprus travel advice.
Question from Lord Jones of Cheltenham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will make representations to the government of Cyprus over the practice of allowing developers to use title deeds of completed houses as collateral for future loans, with reference to Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus.
Reply from Lord Malloch-Brown: Our High Commissioner in Cyprus recently raised the issue of title deeds not being supplied to purchasers on completion of a property purchase in Cyprus with the Republic of Cyprus Ministry of the Interior, and received assurances that the Cypriot Government intend to introduce a Bill to address this issue. The Government recognise that this issue has the potential to affect a large number of British citizens who have purchased property in Cyprus, and will continue to take a close interest in the measures by which the Cypriot Government attempt to resolve this problem.
Clearly, the UK Government has been discussing the Title Deed problems with the Cyprus Government and is actively involved in getting those problems resolved.