THE BRITISH House of Lords is seeking further clarification from the UK Government on how it intends to ensure that the Cyprus Government resolves the long-standing Title Deed issues that are affecting thousands of British citizens who have bought property on the island.
In answers to earlier written questions tabled by Lord Jones of Cheltenham, the Minister of State Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lord Malloch-Brown, said that the British High Commissioner had received assurances from the Cypriot Government that it intends to introduce a Bill to address the issue.
However, details of what measures will be used to gauge the success of the promised Bill, what assistance the British Government is providing to the Cyprus Government to resolve the issues and how Title Deeds will be issued to buyers at completion remains unclear.
To get answer these questions, Lord Jones of Cheltenham has tabled three further questions in the House of Lords; answers are expected by 4th February:
- How the UK Government will monitor the measures to be introduced by the government of Cyprus to address the practice of property developers using title deeds of completed houses as collateral for future loans, in order that the interests of United Kingdom citizens with property in Cyprus are protected.
- Whether the UK Government will discuss with and provide assistance to the government of Cyprus to ensure legislation is introduced to protect the interests of British citizens who have bought property in Cyprus and who are unable to obtain the title deeds to the properties they have purchased because property developers who hold the deeds have mortgaged the land on which their properties are built.
- Whether the UK Government will have further discussions with the government of Cyprus to ensure British citizens who have bought property in Cyprus receive their title deeds immediately after purchase has been completed.
The Cyprus Government has made ‘promises’ on many occasions to resolve the situation, but to date they have proved to be empty. Last June the Interior Minister, Nicos Sylikiotis, assured property buyers that legislation to resolve problems in the sector could be implemented by the end of the year.
As the global downturn continues there are inevitably going to be further bankruptcies. And if property developers get into severe financial difficulties, people could lose their homes.
The Cyprus Government must act now if it truly intends to protect the rights of both Cypriot and non-Cypriot property buyers who are caught in the Title Deed trap.