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.