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Minister stresses need for Title Deed solution

Speaking recently in Paphos, Cyprus Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis stressed the need to resolve the withheld Title Deed issue and restore the Islands’ damaged reputation as a sound place for property investment.

Neoclis Sylikiotis

Neoclis Sylikiotis the Cyprus Minister of the Interior - Source: sigmalive.com

INTERIOR Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis has called on everyone involved in the private and public sectors to work together to resolve the problems of withheld Title Deeds.

The problems, which affect tens of thousands of property buyers, have severely damaged the Islands’ reputation as a reliable place for overseas property investment and has contributed to the dramatic reduction in sales in recent years.

SPEAKING to a packed audience at the Palia Elektriki Cultural Centre in Paphos, Minister Sylikiotis said:

“This matter has, not without reason, challenged Cyprus real estate in recent years.

We are trying, after many debates and delays in the House of Representatives, to amend planning and building laws. With the enactment of new laws, the burden of responsibility will shift to the shoulders of us all; the relevant town planning and building authorities, local authorities, business development, engineering consultants and buyers alike, for preparing and submitting all necessary documents for transfer of deeds.

I urge all stakeholders to rise to the occasion and to act with prudence, flexibility and openness to restore the good name of our property sector.”

The most severe of the problems are “hidden mortgages” taken out by developers on properties they have subsequently sold and, in many cases, that have been paid for in full. These mortgages prevent buyers obtaining Title Deeds – and they also face the very real threat of losing their homes if the bank forecloses on the mortgages or if the development company fails.

A number of property development companies in Paphos, Nicosia and the Paralimni area have already collapsed, leaving hundreds home buyers to the mercy of the banks.

Readers' comments

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  • Dionisios Costo says:

    In South Australia under the much world wide used Torrens Title system

    “Ownership Transfer

    The process to register transfer of ownership of land is undertaken within the Lands Titles Office on completion of settlement:

    the registered conveyancer/solicitor/financial institution lodges the related documents at the Lands Titles Office related registration fees are paid the registration process resulting in transfer of title is completed the Lands Titles Office advises relevant State and Local government agencies of the transfer for rating and taxing purposes.

    The original title remains with the Lands Titles Office. If a mortgage is involved, the duplicate title is delivered to the financial institution, where it remains until the mortgage is discharged. Where a financial institution is not involved, the duplicate title goes to the owner of the property. The conveyancer is responsible for providing delivery instructions when documents are registered with the Lands Titles Office”

    Any mortgages where they have been used for loans have the encumbrances on the title. Unless it appears on the title, they do not exist are not enforceable. The lands Title Office keep the original and they are date stamped and it is this title that is used. Duplicates are sent to the banks etc or others. Any variances can only be enforced if they appear on the Government title.

    I don’t know why its so hard in Cyprus as its so easy in Australia and pretty water tight. Maybe u should use us your title repository because it looks like you cant handle it yourselves.

  • U Boat says:

    @Nigel Howarth. I remember reading it.

  • Andrew says:

    ” Hidden mortgages” Yes minister you have hit the nail squarely on the head.

    Mortgaes hidden by developers
    Mortgages hidden by the banks
    Mortgages hidden by land registry

    And mortgages hidden by the very lawyers who were paid to represent us.

  • out of the frying pan into the fire says:

    And after the Title Deeds we shall sort out corrupt / dishonest lawyers, estate agents , O am I boring you .

    WAKE UP ! THE GOOD NAME , THAT CYPRUS IS A GOOD PLACE TO INVEST IS AT STAKE ! WE MUST ALL DO SOME THING.

    GET OUT THERE AND CON MORE PEOPLE.

  • baileyboy says:

    We have got to ask ourselves – Is the political will really there to resolve this problem? Where are the developers going to get the funds to pay off their mortgages? Do the 1000’s of Cypriots still waiting on their deeds really want them? Remember they don’t move around as much we do. How are the banks going to recover their money? The government must put this mess firmly at they banks door. Their greed has allowed developers to take out mortgages on property they knew had been already sold.

  • andyp says:

    Nigel. Same old water pistol then!!

  • @andyp & U Boat

    The Minister gave a similar speech in June 2009. See ‘Sylikiotis shoots from the hip‘.

  • James JH Lockhart says:

    Yes Minister ?

  • martyn benstead says:

    It’s all hot air again why should they change the way they scam its making them money and costing the ex pats there homes.

    They wont listen or learn til it’s to far gone.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Where are the 20,000 Title Deeds that Mr Silicosis promised would be issued by July 2010?

    Only 10,000 were actually issued so it’s all talk, again.

  • U Boat says:

    I agree with Andyp.

    I have definitely heard this a few times before. we all know if they sort it out then the hold over buyers by the developers would go they would lose their grip on the land and they could not extort any more money out of us.

    I really don’t think they want to sort it out, only cover up what has been exposed and carry on regardless.
    Ciao

    U Boat.

  • Mike says:

    andyP, Agreed. However I note the statement “We are trying, after many debates and delays in the House of Representatives, to amend planning and building laws. With the enactment of new laws, the burden of responsibility will shift to the shoulders of us all; the relevant town planning and building authorities, local authorities, business development, engineering consultants and buyers alike, for preparing and submitting all necessary documents for transfer of deeds”.

    No mention if incompetent so called lawyers and crooked developers colluding with Banks. So although the sentiment is there, at least in words if not will, does the minister have the foresight and support of the House to ensure the proposed amendments will in fact protect the purchaser without their need to the recourse of law which as we are all aware is a was of attrition not many could or wish to undertake.

    I will not hold my breath but pray that we at least get this right once & for all, for the purchasers and not the crooks you understand. It has always been right for them.

  • xxxxxx says:

    if they cannot sort a simple thing like the title deeds issue then what chance have the people on our development got.

    The developer is in liquidation ( no developer mortgages ). One plot not developed. One owner with an Alpha bank mortgage has left the island and the rest of the site has been left without roads, retaining walls and drainage. Sort the bones out of that lot.

  • Peter says:

    Too little too late. The word is out and I can’t see Cyprus or its reputation as an Island of dishonest and Mafioso Government, Banks and Developers recovering in the next twenty years. I make sure the word is spread as far and wide as possible throughout the hotels in Cyprus, so the visitors take the message back to their friends.

  • andyp says:

    Nigel. Surely this is an old story. I seem to remember the same speech or very similar over the last 5 years, at least twice per year. Progress? None.

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