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Legal system and property rights under EU scrutiny

Once again, the Cyprus legal system and consumers’ property rights are about to come under the scrutiny of the European Union following a written question to the European Parliament raised by Scottish MEP Alyn Smith.

Alyn Smith MEP

Scottish MEP Alyn Smith

A NUMBER of my constituents have raised concerns regarding the lack of protection of citizens’ property and legal representation rights when purchasing an immovable propriety in Cyprus. Various cases of fraud in the Cypriot housing market have been recently highlighted in the Cypriot press and on UK television.

The chronic delay in the issuance of title deeds and loopholes contained in the Specific Performance Law create serious problems for purchasers regarding ownership, finance, re-sale and other matters. Developers, retaining their title deeds, are free to reschedule or extend existing mortgages without the buyer’s permission.

In the event that the developer becomes insolvent, citizens who have legitimately bought property in Cyprus may see their homes repossessed.

I am aware that the Commission has already responded to questions put forward by my Parliamentary colleagues on this subject (Joint answer to Written Questions E-6513/08, E-6793/08 and E-0110/09) but separately, albeit related to this, it has also been brought to my attention the difficulties associated with seeking legal remedies to the problems described above. Accusations have been made that some lawyers engaged to deal with property transactions deliberately or neglectfully fail to perform the relevant checks. Further, on 13 January 2010, the Cypriot Parliamentary Human Rights Committee heard that lawyers were refusing to represent members of the public who wish to take civil action against other lawyers.

Is the Commission aware of the lack of protection regarding property rights and legal representation rights in Cyprus? What action does the Commission propose to take in order to properly protect EU nationals’ rights?

Further reading: Cypriot legal and property rights written question to EU Parliament

Readers' comments

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  • Dave says:

    Is it worth a comment all we have had for years is that this problem will be sorted soon ——– as for the north-south conflict forget it in my life time anyway all they seem to do is waste half a day every day just saying see you tomorrow same time same place.

  • baileyboy says:

    Nigel, Do you have Alyn’s email address please?

    @baileyboy – [email protected]

  • Crystal says:

    The time has come to fight back, and everyone must keep on with this, your home could be at stake. MEP’s and the E.U. are the way forward.

    It has been proved time and time again, The Cypriot government will do nothing to help those in the situation regarding toxic debts owed to the bank by the developers.

    Even if you have your deeds, please lend your support to those who are fighting for theirs.

    It was not ignorance that put them in this situation, it was deception at the hands of, Cyprus banks, lawyers and developers.

    Fight for what is rightfully yours!!!

  • Alex from Peyia says:

    Any exposure of the property scams in Cyprus is very welcome with a view to finding a long-term resolution to all of the difficult issues.

    Great to see that the pressure continues to mount on the Cyprus authorities even after CPAG was closed down. The Cyprus property problem will not go away under European jurisdiction, it will intensify on the Developers & Government Authorities.

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