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Property Transfer Fees reduction

A temporary fifty percent reduction in Property Transfer Fees is being considered by the Cypriot government in an effort to help clear the backlog of around 28,000 Title Deed applications.

Cyprus Property Transfer FeesTHE GOVERNMENT is looking into the possibility of reducing Property Transfer Fees by 50 per cent to help clear a backlog of some 28,000 Title Deed applications.

Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos said the cabinet was close to approving the change but noted that it would be a temporary arrangement.

“One the hand the reduction to Property Transfer Fees will help people get their title deeds … on the other there will be income for the state,” he told state radio. This would also help in clearing a backlog of 28,000 applications.

The arrangement will be in place for one or one and a half years, the minister said.

Clearing the backlog is part of the island’s bailout terms. Cyprus must cut down the number to around 2,000 by the end of the year.

Yesterday, the Cabinet approved a bill that aims at resolving aging problems relating to demarcation and development of jointly owned, unallocated and enclosed housing plots.

Papadopoulos said that the bill also simplified the process of examining town-planning amnesty applications, and reduces the 30 per cent offset cost payable by applicants who have exceeded the total area allowed by the building permit.

Asked to elaborate on the bill’s provisions, Papadopoulos said that until now, in case a plot of land was owned by two or more people, if at least one did not consent to its development or demarcation nothing could be done.

“The new bill will allow demarcation given the consent of 60 per cent of the owners,” he said.

Papadopoulos added that the bill would address issues relating to roads and passageways for enclosed plots.

“If the owners of a plot surrounding an enclosed plot do not consent to demarcation, the Land Registry head will be allowed to examine the applicant’s request to build a road and develop the property,” he said.

Cyprus Mail

Readers' comments

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  • @sabine on 2014/07/06 at 10:36 pm – Unfortunately the court judgement is of little value as the Inland Revenue will not permit the transfer of the properties to their legitimate owners until your ‘crook’ of a developer pays the taxes he owes.

    The system here is absolutely crazy and totally unfair – you are being punished for the misdemeanours of your developer.

    Hopefully the truth will one day dawn on the lunatics elected to run the asylum that the antediluvian pro-developer laws have contributed to the demise of the island’s property market.

    You can, of course, pay the developer’s taxes to secure ownership of the property you have purchased – and then you can sue the developer to recover the money!!

    It’s a complete shambles!

  • Costas Apacket says:

    @ sabine says – July 6, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    Sabine, if you have any family maybe you could consider adding them to the deed?

  • @singlelady on 2014/07/08 at 1:26 pm – Taxation is rarely equitable. Property Transfer Fees are a personal tax levied on the value of property transferred to an individual. If a couple purchase a property then they will each be charged on their share of the property (usually they will each own a 50% share).

  • singlelady says:

    Nigel, Can you tell me why the government think it is fair for single people to not only pay more for their Title Deeds but also be penalised on their IPT tax. They are supposed to be property taxes not personal taxes. I only have one income source whereas a couple can possible have two. Is it possible to contest this?

  • sabine says:

    The developer owes a lot of taxes, the reason he does not give the flat owners their individual titles. Owners have taken the developer to court which decided that that the developer has to give the flat owners the titles as soon as he pays the taxes. But what is the time frame here? Flat owners are without titles for the past 30 years. What does such court decision mean?

    How long can the developer still keep the titles and not pay his taxes? Why do the tax authorities not set a time limit? Why isn’t there not any punishment after 30 years? The building meanwhile, 30 years old, is unsafe and in dire need of repairs, is this neglect not punishable by law, caused by the developer?

  • @Neroli on 2014/07/06 at 9:52 am – There is currently no time limit or penalty for delaying payment of the Property Transfer Fees.

    However, until you pay the Transfer Fees to secure ownership of the property, the developer/vendor retains ownership and will therefore be responsible for paying all the property-related taxes. Obviously they will not be pleased about this and could make your life ‘difficult’.

  • Neroli says:

    If your transfer deeds come up and can’t afford to get them is there a time limit or penalty imposed?

  • Andrew says:

    The government talk about a backlog of 28000 unissued title deeds. How did the other 100,000 title deeds come to disappear.

    Do properties encumbered with developer debts not count any-more. Are these 100,000 properties being set up as sacrificial lambs, I wonder.

  • @Martin Bean on 2014/07/04 at 8:35 am – The troika is aware of the Title Deed issues and the problems. I had a meeting with them in May.

  • @Costas Apacket at 2014/07/03 at 8:48 pm – We’ll have to wait and see the precise wording of the law assuming it all goes through.

    But I expect this announcement will cause people whose Title Deeds are available to wait a little longer before paying their Property Transfer Fees.

  • Martin Bean says:

    Yet again, the point is being missed. It’s the ponderous and unwieldy system here that has caused the backlog and it will continue to do so until there’s a radical change in the procedures. Those who have applied for their deeds are clearly ready and able to pay their Transfer Tax, the mooted reduction is a nice bonus for them, but I can’t see how it will speed anything up.

    Another point missed altogether is that the backlog being talked about all the time is only those who have applied for their Title Deeds, what about the other thousands who because of the system are unable to apply.

    The Troika need to be made aware that the Cypriot Authorities are fudging the issue to avoid admitting the real number of unissued Title Deeds.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    An obvious question will be, will any transfer tax reduction still apply if the Title Deeds have already been issued to a developer who has yet to transfer them to the property purchaser?

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