UNTIL NOW, buying a house or apartment and even paying for it – or taking out a mortgage – did not necessarily mean that the buyer had his or her full rights, often having no Title Deed. If the developer went bankrupt, the rights to the property were immediately handed over to the bank, which effectively owned the property’s Title Deeds.
The current system has not only landed a lot of people into trouble, it has also exposed Cyprus and its property market abroad, as many foreigners – especially Brits – have fallen victim to the system.
But not any more.
The House Legal Affairs Committee in cooperation with the government, Legal Services, banks and Developers’ Association are attempting to bring some significant changes to current legislation, with two bills that are currently under examination.
In an extraordinary meeting yesterday, the Committee said it was attempting to regulate property sales and purchases, loans taken out by buyers and mortgages.
“With the changes attempted in the legislation, we are making it easier for buyers to seek the registration of their property in their name,” Committee Chairman, DISY’s Ionas Nicolaou, explained after the meeting.
”On one hand, by altering the deadlines for submitting a lawsuit and on the other, by reducing the restrictions that exist in today’s law,” he added.
AKEL’s Aristophanis Georgiou said the current law had caused a series of problems, not just for sellers but also buyers.
“With the regulations in the new law, buyers are finally given their rights and these rights are secured and updated up until the point that the contract is used as a mortgage for the property,” Georgiou explained. “At the same time, the rights of the sellers and banks, which will loan those who will buy, are not at all negatively affected.”
The aim, he added, is to wrap discussions on these two laws by January 13.
The main changes the Committee is hoping to achieve are for the purchase contract to have superiority over the mortgage – that the developer has taken out on the property – and to secure the buyers’ rights while taking the banks and sellers’ best interests into account.