SEEKING to end speculation surrounding the Cyprus Government’s promise to resolve the Title Deed problems encountered by thousands of British citizens who have bought property on the island, Lord Jones of Cheltenham has tabled a further written question in the UK House of Lords to get a progress report on the matter.
One of the main reasons for the delay in issuing Title Deeds is that property developers in Cyprus currently have record mortgages, reported to be in excess of €4 billion, and are using homes bought and paid for by their customers as collateral. If the developer has a prior mortgage on a property the financial institution that loaned the money has rights that take precedence over those of the buyer. This could result in the buyer losing their home if the developer ran into financial difficulties and the bank foreclosed.
With property sales collapsing this year and many new developments mothballed or frozen, both Cypriot and foreign home buyers are becoming increasingly worried about what could happen if property developers are unable to withstand the crisis.
In answer to an earlier question, Lord Jones was advised that the British High Commissioner, Peter Millett, had “received assurances that the Cypriot Government intend to introduce a Bill to address this issue“.
But doubts over the sincerity of the Cyprus Government were raised at the Title Deed seminar organised by the Cyprus Property Action Group in Paphos. A senior official from the Department of Lands and Surveys addressed the meeting and spoke of a planned amnesty for developers, but made no mention of legislation to help those who had been duped into buying mortgaged property.
However, at the recent annual general meeting of the Land and Building Developers Association, the Cyprus Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis reaffirmed the Cyprus government’s promise that legislation was in process that would put an end to the Title Deed problems.
Yesterday, Lord Jones of Cheltenham asked the UK Government:
“What progress has been made on the discussions between the British High Commission in Cyprus and the government of Cyprus regarding the ability of United Kingdom citizens who have bought property in Cyprus to obtain title deeds, and the assurances made by the government of Cyprus to the British High Commissioner that it would introduce a bill to address that issue.“
An answer is expected by 1st June.