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Numbnuts at Paphos Land Registry

Despite being put under pressure the Government reduce the backlog of Title Deeds, numbnuts at the Paphos Land Registry are refusing to accept current British passports as identification.

Paphos Land Registry office

Paphos Land Registry office

OF ALL the stories I’ve had the (dis)pleasure to report over the past ten years, none can match the gross stupidity of the numbnuts ‘working’ at the Paphos Land Registry!

Many foreigners and Cypriots have been advised by their developer that their Title Deeds have been issued and are available for transfer, which of course is very good news.

But when some of those who bought property in Paphos visit the Land Registry to pay the Property Transfer Fees to get Title to the property registered in their name and secure its undisputed ownership, they are turned away. Why should this be?

When visiting a Land Registry to affect the transfer, buyers are required to take their identity card or other documents, such as their passport and residence permit, to confirm their identity.

However, the numbnuts at the Paphos Land Registry refuse to accept a British passport to confirm someone’s identity unless it was the one they used when they applied for their residence permit.

British buyers will immediately see the obvious flaw in this logic, which appears only to be in operation in Paphos (hopefully the disease of the brain will not spread to the other Land Registry offices):

  • A British Passport is normally valid for a period of ten years (or five years for British citizens up to the age of 15.)
  • Shortly before its expiry a passport is renewed.
  • Once the ‘new’ passport has been received, the ‘old’ passport is usually destroyed to prevent the risk of it falling into the wrong hands and being used for fraudulent purposes (which carries a heavy fine.)
  • A ‘new’ passport is issued with a different number to the ‘old’ one.

So if you are British and have bought a property in Paphos, but have subsequently renewed your passport and sensibly destroyed the ‘old’ one, the chance of getting your Title Deed even though it is ready for transfer is zero! (Perhaps if you burnt your ‘old’ passport you could take the ashes to the Land Registry – you never know, the numbnuts there may accept it.)

Faced with this problem, one British buyer requested a copy of her ‘old’ passport from the UK authorities. I’m sure it will come as shock to many (in particular those working at the Paphos Land Registry to learn that Her Majesty’s Government, quite sensibly, will not produce a copy of an old passport as it would be invalid and could therefore not be used for identification purposes or as a travel document; attempting to use it in this way would result in a heavy fine.

Even though this British buyer reported the facts to the Paphos Land Registry, they refused to budge.

Readers' comments

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  • Evelyn says:

    Hello Nigel,

    This behaviour may have less to do with stupidity and more to do with a deep and lingering resentment of the British which goes back a long time. Ignore them; they’ll have to grow up sooner or later. The troika will see to that.

  • Helen Edwards says:

    You really couldn’t make it up!! Most UK councils are run more efficiently!

  • demetri says:

    Narrow minded, and will do anything to maintain control of their little empires and pen n paper pushing jobs and if this means pushing about members of the public then so be it….sad, very sad. I have to say that even Cypriots who were born raised in the UK and come over do face similar issues….a lot to do with jealousy.

  • demetri says:

    At the land reg is Limassol if they see you have purchased a property on an ‘old’ outdated passport then they add your Cyprus id card number (if you have one) to their systems online and also on your sales agreement.

  • Godfrey Hanley says:

    Yep, silly really. However, we all should be aware that utility companies and municipalities register new clients using their passports, and so all of these agencies will at some point invariably have old passport details on their systems.

    If you change your passport, perhaps you should keep the old one safely together with the new one, should you ever require it. If you keep it with the new one, it will be safe, and therefore there will be no need to physically destroy it.

    Future problems will therefore be avoided by adopting this precautionary measure.

  • Aggis Demetriou says:

    A bunch of racists, who a few years ago we’re picking potatoes in fields. Now they work in offices, given a title and they think they have arrived.

    Complain to the ministry of interior Mr Hasikos head of the plantation.

  • Pete says:

    Is this a decree by the government or just another peculiarity of the morons in Paphos? If it’s only Paphos that does this why haven’t the government slapped them down and told them to toe the line? It’s hard to imagine this lunatic asylum is a member of the EU let alone a commonwealth country so maybe it’s time to treat it the same way as Zimbabwe and throw it out of both.

  • Rosemarie says:

    Further to my post of yesterday, we experienced the exact same problem with cyta when we ordered their tv package.

    When my husband signed up for our phone more than 20 years ago, he had to give his passport number. Since then 2 new passports have been issued, but he had to dig out the old one to today to confirm the old number. They show no interest in updating their records.

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    Buying in 2004, we obtained out title deeds in Larnaca District in 2011 and were never subjected to such nonsense. During that period, I had four x 10 year British passports as a result of frequent business travel.

    The Larnaca Land Registry only asked for our current passports during the title deed issuance. Further, there was a change in title earlier this year and again it was only current passports that were asked for at the Larnaca Land Registry.

    This nonsense at Paphos just looks like local corruption and/or extreme incompetence in the Paphos Land Registry office.

    Of course, presumably they would be obliged to accept as ID a Cyprus Yellow Slip (MEU1 Certificate of Registration of Residency) which would include the individual’s original Alien Registration Number (but not their passport number). It is up to the individual to report to Immigration each time they obtain a new passport and this is then logged on their immigration/residence file against their ARN.

  • stroumpimango says:

    And yet, when you tell the people what’s wrong with this country sincerely , they get upset, offended, sulking, or in the end, they would lift the arms and shrug them, then say: “Elale compari mu, thinking about the beautiful sunshine here, we have it 360 days a year.”……which is another fairy.

  • Peter Davis says:

    @ G.

    The British tend to move house on average every 7 years, but you never have to deal with her Majesty’s Government Departments directly. All transactions are completed through a qualified solicitor who will give you title deeds at the same time as sale.

    Move home six times in 32 years and never a hiccough. Title deeds in hand before entering the home I’ve just bought. That’s the value of using a solicitor.

  • Andrew says:

    As others have pointed out CYTA and other bodies have the same approach. These authorities will accept an expired illegal document , but not a current legal one.

  • @G on 2014/09/17 at 9:42 am – If it’s “the law of the country” as you say, why is it only happening at the Paphos Land Registry? Is Paphos in a different country to the rest of the island?

  • T says:

    As ridiculous as it is, it’s probably just delaying tactics as they can’t be bothered to work at the level required to justify their income! The Cypriots have a saying “WHY BE DIFFICULT OVER SOMETHING WHICH IS STRAIGHTFORWARD” AS FOR comment made by G, its hardly the law of the country! But a procedure! Time-wasting more like!

  • Rosemarie says:

    Maybe the UK Passport Office has changed their procedures since 2012 when my previous passport expired and was renewed and they now destroy old passports.

    However, I hold two “expired” passports from 2002 and 2012 and both have their front and back covers clipped. Indeed on the documentation for renewing the passport the applicant was advised the old passport would be returned with the new one.

    I am sure if this silly rule made by Paphos Planning Office must be complied with I am certain the UK Passport Office would provide some documentation if the situation is explained to them. Won’t Planning accept photocopies of old passports for instance as most people have important documents copied.

  • UBoat says:

    Its another way of preventing you becoming the rightful owner of the land ……

    More stalling for time until they figure out how to get more money out of you for a document yet to be produced.

    Numbnuts is one way of describing them but I could think of a few more that would not make it onto this site …..

    Its just Disgusting how they treat people after the investment most of us have put into Cyprus.

  • Lynn WEST says:

    Why does this not surprise me. We had the same problem with Cyta. When my husband registered for our cyta account he used his passport as identity, he has since renewed it. When we tried to move from cyta to primetel all hell broke loose as the passport number was different. Do cypriot people not have to renew their passports. We had the same with electricity company. And people wonder why the island is in such a mess.

  • PAUL says:

    THE SAME THING HAPPENED TO ME SEVERAL YEARS AGO AT THE CUSTOMS OFFICE REGARDING MY CAR. THEY REFUSED TO ACCEPT MY NEW PASSPORT BUT FORTUNATELY I HAD MY OLD PASSPORT WITH THE CORNER CUT OFF AT HOME. I RETURNED HOME TO GET MY OLD OUT OF DATE PASSPORT AND LOW AND BEHOLD THEY WERE HAPPY AND ISSUED MY PAPER WORK FOR MY CAR. SO IT SEEMS TIMES HAVE NOT CHANGED IN PAPHOS.

  • Neroli says:

    Nigel I had the same problem a couple of weeks ago, my lawyer asked for our old passports, (which we had destroyed) or we couldn’t get our deeds. I rang land registry myself and spoke to a very nice woman handling the transfers and explained about British Passports,. I then asked if the L.R wanted our €18,000 or not?! She asked our lawyers name and we have our T.Ds after handing over a ridiculous amount of money that is!

  • G says:

    That’s the law of the country. Of you don’t like it don’t but a property in Cyprus. Buy a property in the uk and then you can deal with her majesty’s governmental departments.

  • Stuart says:

    And just to add insult to injury, they get paid to do this!

  • Costas Apacket says:

    What with numbnuts in Paphos and Arsikos going deep under cover after his promise about the potential for up to 50% off Title Deed transfer taxes, I’m going nowhere near until it’s sorted.

  • Mike says:

    Crass stupididy and a reflection of the general malaise inflicting those in positions of authority whose meagre and childlike abilities are far in excess of their dangerous ambition and demands to be seen as important.

    For decades an important position has been considered one in which one drives a pen and works in an office, the alternative would be mucking out goats or scratching an existence from the land (Cypriots of my age will know exactly what I mean). If you were able to sign your name as against making your mark and thumbprint you were considered well educated. As a consequence ability, common sense, comprehension of the situation and an analytical thought process were not developed.

    Perhaps the situation reported needs to be filed in court and if deemed unreasonable and unlawful Land Registry Paphos should be forced to comply with the governments expectations and the spirit of legislation but more importantly those who have taken it upon themselves to interpret this ridiculous rule in that way to be removed from office as being so obviously unfit for purpose and bringing the country and people of Cyprus into disrepute.

  • James Gibbs says:

    This nation seriously should not be in Europe.

  • Peter Davis says:

    Maybe if they turn up at a British passport control to enter the UK the Immigration Officer should refuse to accept any Cypriot passport as proof of identity.

    Cypriot mentality and thinking can at times be a wonder to behold. I have the same problem with Cytanet who want the number of my 20 year old passport.

  • Ronny Verhoeven says:

    Dear Nigel, the issue with the passport is of course of such immense stupidity that it can only happen here but why do they ask for a copy of a residence permit at all?

    Are EU Citizens allowed to buy property in Cyprus only if they have a residence permit? There used to be some rule that if a foreigner bought a piece of land larger than 4,014 sqm. he needed to be a Cyprus resident but I don’t know if that regulation is even still in force.

  • Peter says:

    To be fair, I run into this in many countries especially in banks. Its the UK passport office that are the numbnuts for issuing replacement passports with a different number from the old one and no reference to the old number at all. The DVLA issues replacement driving licences with the same number dunno why the passport office dont do this.

  • MartynG says:

    Only one word for this: OUTRAGEOUS!

  • Magda Chrysaphiades says:

    Just contact the British High Commission in Nicosia and they can help resolve the situation.

    Or the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London.

    Either one should be able to help.

  • The DJ says:

    Dear Nigel
    I think we should apply for independence and put you in charge – please re write article using “Doughnuts at Land Rgistry” I feel it will have much more impact.

  • mh says:

    Computer says no….
    Cyprus all over, numbnuts everywhere from top to bottom.

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