THE GOVERNMENT’S town-planning amnesty bills will be put to the vote in parliament early next month as MPs aim to conclude discussion of two other bills designed to regulate mortgage issues before the May 22 parliamentary elections, it emerged yesterday.
Chairman of the House Interior Committee, AKEL MP Yiannos Lamaris said discussion has been completed and the bills were going to be submitted to plenum on March 3.
“A chapter concerning thousands of people is closing,” he said.
Apart from town planning matters, the government has also drafted two bills to regulate mortgage matters, currently under discussion at the House Legal Affairs Committee.
Committee member, DISY MP, Tasos Mitsopoulos said the aim was to bring the two bills before the plenum before parliament dissolves to the May elections.
On Friday, Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis accused DISY MPs of stalling, something rejected by opposition legislators.
“The Interior Minister is being unfair when he criticises the legal affairs committee,” Mitsopoulos said. “If we had approved the bills as they were we would have caused a bigger problem.”
Mitsopoulos said the drafts had a lot of holes and omissions and the committee held many sessions to correct things.
Many people, including foreign buyers, have been left without deeds even after paying for their houses because developers did not pay the mortgage to the bank.
Thousands more remain without Title Deeds to their property due to irregularities at the time of construction or changes later on.
The legislation headed to the plenum on March 3 seeks to sort this problem out by legalising irregularities – under certain conditions – but Green party MP Giorgos Perdikis has his misgivings.
Developers should be held to account
Perdikis had proposed adding a provision to go after developers responsible for irregularities but it was rejected by the Town Planning Department.
He suggested fining developers who did not show interest in legalising the irregularities “or else there is no pressure on the party who did the irregularities”.
Perdikis said some 30 per cent of properties that cannot get a deed have irregularities created by the construction companies.
His suggestion was rejected because buyers could now apply themselves to legalise the wrongdoings and then take the developer to court to demand the money they paid in doing so.
“But when are they going to get their money and at what cost?” Perdikis said.
New laws suit developers
He added that the law was structured in such a way that it suited the developers who sold the houses.
“Only those (buyers) who need the title will do it,” Perdikis said, adding that many will be discouraged by the procedures and the cost.
Under the legislation, irregularities carried out by the current residents after the purchase – like closing balconies or building garages – can also be legalised, for a fee, as long as they do not affect third parties or encroach on state property.
Over 100,000 Title Deeds are currently pending with the government expecting to make some €150,000,000 per year from transfer fees if affected people apply en masse.