A RECENT mini-poll conducted on-line by the Cyprus Property News revealed that less than one in five (17%) of those who have bought property on the island have their Title Deeds, while more than four out of five (83%) are still waiting to have their Deeds issued.
The reasons for the problems in obtaining Title Deeds are well known:
- Developers mortgage the land on which they are building to help fund their development projects. This mortgage results in a claim being lodged at the Land Registry that effectively prevents Title Deeds for properties built on mortgaged land to be issued until the debt has been cleared.
- Developers dragging their feet by delaying the completion of construction projects and their tardiness in submitting paperwork to the authorities that would enable them to progress the issue of Title Deeds.
- Bureaucratic inefficiencies and delays in central government departments, such as the Land Registry, and local government planning departments.
- Infringements of planning law and regulations due to:
- Developers building illegally, without securing the required permissions and permits before starting construction work.
- Developers deviating from the plans approved by the authorities and for which permissions and permits have been issued. For example, by changing the design/layout of their developments, exceeding height restrictions and by building more properties than those approved by the planning authorities.
- Those who have bought properties adding a garage, a swimming pool, enclosing balconies, and making other changes to the property without securing the required permissions and permits.
Such infringements of the law and planning regulations prevent Title Deeds being issued for the properties concerned until the matter has been resolved with the authorities.
Readers will be aware that the Minister of the Interior, Mr Neoclis Sylikiotis, is planning a building amnesty allowing certain infringements of planning law and regulations to be authorised – on payment of a fine by the transgressor.
For the latest poll to discover how long buyers have been waiting for their Title Deeds, go to the Cyprus Property Magazine and check out the ‘Have Your Say’ poll in the right hand column.