Latest Headlines

Town Planning Amnesty further extension agreed

A majority of Cypriot MPs have voted in favour of further extending period during which ‘Statements of Intent’ may be submitted under the provisions of the Town Planning Amnesty until the 30th April 2013.


YESTERDAY, at the plenary session of parliament, a majority of MPs voted approved two items of legislation further extending the Town Planning Amnesty to April 30, 2013.

The amnesty, voted through in March last year, is designed to sort out some of the problems affecting an estimated 130,000 properties that have yet to be issued with their Title Deeds.

The amnesty allows owners of houses and apartments to ‘legitimise’ planning infringements (on payment of a fine) and secure a Final Certificate of Approval and subsequently, the Title Deed.

Only ‘minor’ infringements – such as closing up a balcony or building a garage – may be legalized in this way. The amnesty excludes cases where irregularities affect third parties or encroach on state property, or for flagrant violations such as the building ratio having been exceeded by 30 per cent or more.

In cases of flagrant violations, the owner will be barred from selling the property although they will be able to bequeath it in their Will.

The amnesty only applies to “existing buildings” which, according to article 10D of the Streets and Building (Revised) Law 2011, are those that have a Planning and/or a Building Permit (although they may have expired). The building must have been completed before the above law came into force on April 7, 2011.

By May this year some 11,000 Statements of Intent had been submitted under the provisions of the Town Planning Amnesty and the Cyprus Interior Minister, Eleni Mavrou, said that “this cannot be considered satisfactory” when she spoke to the House Interior Committee.

Since May, a further 3,000 Statements of Intent have been submitted.

Readers' comments

Comments on this article are no longer being accepted.

  • @Whirlybird – I have already explained this to someone else on your development who sent me the correspondence from the architect you all engaged.

    This is the next stage in the amnesty process – submitting a full application.

    If possible, you should attend the monthly PICAS meetings where all these matters are explained and questions answered.

  • Whirlybird Rtd says:

    Nigel,
    On the subject of planning amnesty, my wife and I (plus five other residents) employed an architect at the cost of 250 euro at the beginning of this amnesty hoohaa on the recommendation of the government. It is only now 7 months later that there is some movement IE. pictures were taken of the various properties. We then received an e-mail to tell us that the first stage was complete and he then outlined the next stages and the costs involved. Briefly:-

    1- Deposit of statement of intent application 250euro

    2- Deposit to obtain final cert.of approval with conditions.

    A – plans which have not been changed after the approval given I pay 30euro to obtain replicas of the folders from the Competent Authority then 120euro for the expenses of the office for preparation.

    B – Plans which have been changed, plans prep of new build extension 40E/m2, if extensions do not count, No charge per M2 from interior ministry.

    If they do count you pay default charges depending on area of build this is after the the amount you paid for deposit of application therefore your charges will be 105E +A + B +(extra M2)don’t know where the 105Euro comes from.

    3- Horizontal division of the land plans into separate plots.

    4- Publish title deeds from land Registry with or without notes.

    This is what we have all been sent with the option of proceeding onto stage 2 If you would like a copy of the correspondence I can e-mail them to you.

    Regards.

  • Road Warrior says:

    Re. this amnesty, I can tell you that at least one developer in the Paralimni area who knows that his development has contravened the planning regulations has applied for the deeds to his properties under the amnesty. The worrying thing for the beneficial owners is, if the deeds are granted, they will not be, “first quality” deeds for want of a better expression, IE, they will be granted knowing that they are not, for whatever reason, up to code and therefore the properties will be harder to sell should the legal owners decide to do so in the future.

    I have always believed that the amnesty would benefit unscrupulous developers, more than owners, simply trying to get the deeds to what is rightfully theirs.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Gavin, thanks for the compliment, but I believe I’ve got some way to go before the crown fitting day arrives!

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Nigel, It would be interesting to know just how many of the 14,000 statements of intent, submitted to date, have been made without the purchaser using an Architect or Lawyer.

    I suspect, not many.

    The key question is, however, why is this Government going to all this effort to legalise the further fleecing of circa 14,000 property owners and not doing anything to speed up the issue of Title Deeds to the other 100,000 + owners and thereby receive the Transfer taxes it so desperately needs?

    It would pay the Government to employ a small team of ETEK registered Architects, on a fixed price contract, to visit a number of properties each day which do not yet have their Title Deeds, check them and report back as to whether or not they comply with the planning application.

    The Government could then fast track Certificates of Final Completion and Title Deeds for those properties that comply and send notification to the registered owners to pay up, or invite property owners of those properties with infringements to submit a statement of intent under the planning amnesty, but instead they would rather get out their begging bowl to the SGO pension schemes and the like.

    They can drill for Gas in the Med and agree all sorts of major infrastructure projects, but they seem strangely inadequate when it comes to moving on Title Deed issues.

    Hmmm …. wonder why?

  • @Costas Apacket – firstly, there is no need to use the services of a lawyer and Statements of Intent can be submitted without engaging the services of an architect.

    I know there are lawyers and estate agents charging like wounded bulls to do what anyone can do for nothing. I’ve published warnings about these in the past.

  • Gavin Jones says:

    Costas Apacket.

    Careful. You might be in line for wresting that infamous ‘award’ from me with your unsavoury comments.

    ‘Artful’? Perish the thought. Standard practice to be admired and nurtured for its creativity and manipulative nature.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    More unnecessary work created by the collusive Government so that under employed Architects and Lawyers can fleece property purchasers even further.

    What about just issuing the vast majority of the 130,000 outstanding Title Deeds for all the properties with no planning infringements, some of which already have their Certificate of Final Approval?

    Why does it still take a year, or more, from the issue date of the CoFA for purchasers to receive their legal Title Deeds?

    ‘Artful’ game playing at its best in Cyprus yet again.

  • The views expressed in readers' comments are not necessarily shared by the Cyprus Property News.

  • Text size

Back to top