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Title Deeds for development projects

The latest monthly figures on the number of Title Deeds issued for development projects across the island during 2014 published by the Cyprus Department of Lands and Surveys in Nicosia.

THE department of Lands and Surveys is now publishing monthly statistics on the number of Title Deeds issued for development projects.

Under the terms of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) agreed with its international lenders, Cyprus must ensure that the Title Deed issuance backlog drops to less than 2,000 cases of immovable property units with title deed issuance pending for more than one year by Q4-2014 (backlog refers to (i) applications, (ii) units that are eligible for the “exofficio” issuance of title deeds, required certificates and permits).

At the beginning of July this year the backlog stood at more than 23,000. During July and August a further 3,334 Title Deeds were issued for development projects, reducing the number outstanding to below 20,000.

Title Deeds for development projects

But in addition to this backlog, many sale contracts have been registered for which neither an application to issue Title Deeds has been received nor units that are eligible for the “exofficio” issuance of title deeds.

Furthermore, although the Land Registries have issued 10,602 Title Deeds this year, there is no indication as to whether these properties are unencumbered and therefore available for transfer to their purchasers.

Readers' comments

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  • dimitri says:

    well wont be paying for sure….after nearly 10 years now turns of chasing the ghost title deeds turns out developer who built a project of 4 homes failed to get planning permission for one boundary wall …deemed as a major violation, so there will be not certificate of final approval until this is remedied….he gets deeds that are tainted with this major infringement and cannot do jack until he sorts out wall….it cannot transfer to purchasers etc…have proof the lack of title deeds is his fault, so he is liable for the tax even if it is in a higher band than it would have been had I stepped forward to pay my share! system is a joke!

  • Aggis Demetriou says:

    On the 12 February 2014, I submitted an application on a project of 9 houses my company built in Limassol, I owe nothing to the bank and I have obtained all licenses permissions etc, to date I am still waiting for separate Titles to be issued.

    The state will get in excess of €203,000 in registration fees, these guys really don’t care.

  • @Phoebe Vasiliou on 2014/10/27 at 8:41 pm – It typically takes 7 – 10 years for Title Deeds to be issued (assuming there are no problems). As for taking your developer to court, he’ll probably blame the planning department, land registry, the weather, etc. for the long delay and it’s unlikely you’ll achieve anything.

  • Phoebe Vasiliou says:

    We have a contract that states we will have our title deeds no later than 6 years. I have requested them several times from our developer, and it is now almost 7 years. Is it worth taking him to court for our deeds.

  • @Stelios on 2014/10/26 at 8:50 am – Thanks for your comments. Regarding comparable figures for last year, here’s a chart showing the number of Title Deeds issued for development projects between April and December 2013.

    Title Deeds issued for development projects April - December 2013

    Considerably fewer Title Deeds were issued in Famagusta over the 9-month period than the other districts.

    As I said in a reply to an earlier comment – These figures only relate to development projects. I’m sure Title Deeds will have been issued for other types of property such as land, individual houses, business premises, etc. that do not fall into this category.

    As for Tax Clearance I’ve had a few questions from people in the Famagusta/Paralimni area who are having to wait a long time for their developer to get the certificate.

  • Stelios says:

    We have the figures for 2014, but we do not have any comparables for 2013. Thus we do not know whether there has been an improvement.

    Furthermore, what was the department doing in the Famagusta region for the months of April and May…. try saying it out loud “Zero Title deeds issues”! Astonishing, with thousands of pending title deeds in the Famagusta region, “ZERO” title deeds were issued for 2 months! Surely, there must be an issue raised here! I find it impossible to believe that NO title deeds had been issued during those months!

    What strikes me more, is the fact that with Famagusta region, having, the most property pending title deeds to be issued in comparison with any other region in Cyprus, it has the least number of deeds, actually been issued!

    Out of the hundreds of projects developed since 2001 approximately when the property developing begun in large numbers in the Famagusta region, there are NO projects with title deeds! How do we expect to sell properties in this region, where there are hundreds of resale properties to match the demand of the investors, when there are no deeds. I sell property in all other regions, and at least we get a good selection of properties to show the clients with title deeds! We don’t have to worry about the properties’ paperwork and try to convince clients to buy without a title and that their purchase will be safe!

    We need these deeds to survive as real estate professionals! Half our time we “waste” it on trying to guarantee the potential buyers that their investments are safe, instead of spending it on marketing all these properties!

    One of the many issues we face within the real estate department is the very slow processing of the Tax Clearance form for Seller. The tax clearance applications for sellers, take for ages to be issued. One of my latest experiences, meant the the seller had to fly over twice in a month, as the tax clearance for was not issued in the Deryneia Tax office. We had to bed and sweet talk the staff there to put this case on top as a matter of urgency!

    There are so many issues to touch upon, which Nigel brings up quite often! Thank you Nigel for the coverage of most issues involved in the Real Estate field!

  • Chris Elliott says:

    Nigel
    Thanks for your words of encouragement from the MoU which in reality the so called Cyprus Government will not comply to protect the local establishment. I have been waiting fours years for my title deeds for a property paid in full that in Europe and even in Cyprus it is against the law to with hold title deeds for a property paid in full from the rightful owner. Unfortunately Cyprus in the past conduced it business for benefit of others where several thousand innocent people have lost there life savings.

  • @Andrew on 2014/10/25 at 12:10 pm – Please see my reply to Chris Elliott at 3:35pm.

  • @Chris Elliott on 2014/10/25 at 1:16 pm – Regarding the 100,000 or so properties there are some words of hope in the Memorandum of Understanding issued in September 2014.

    Section ‘C’, para 1.31 on page 9 requires that:

    “The Task Force on registered, but untitled, land sales contracts will, by end-September, finalise a study assessing the magnitude of registered, but untitled, land sales contracts and underlying mortgages, in close cooperation with the working group reviewing the issuance of title deeds under the MoU provision 5.3. Based on this assessment and the recommendations developed so far, the Task Force will coordinate the work of the authorities involved and develop, by end-October, an action plan addressing at least,

    (1) the removal of administrative hurdles for the transfer of title,

    (2) the provision of tools to encourage the release of encumbrances on properties to facilitate title transfer, and

    (3) the development of contractual standards for land sales contracts and connected loan and mortgage arrangements.”

  • Chris Elliott says:

    What ever happened to the so called MoU that Cyprus were expected to reduce the outstanding back log of title deeds to less than 2000 ? That is course only refers to the application that has been lodged at the Land Registry office.

    What about the 100,000 or so properties that have issues that innocent people have been duped by the so called Developers, Lawyers, Agents that in the real world would be flipping burgers for a living rather than destroying innocent people’s lives.

  • Andrew says:

    A encumbered title deed is worthless.

    Maybe that is why they do not indicate how many deeds are encumbered and are therefore unable to be transferred.

    If those figures satisfy the Troika then there is no hope whatsoever for home buyers.

  • @Stuart on 2014/10/25 at 9:56 am – These figures only relate to development projects. I’m sure Title Deeds will have been issued for other types of property such as land, individual houses, business premises, etc. that do not fall into this category.

  • Stuart says:

    Assuming the average backlog reduction of 1667 Title Deeds per month continues, there will still be at least 13,000 left at the end of Q4-2014. No doubt this will be heralded as another fine performance by Cyprus for reducing the backlog at this improved average rate of 20,000 TDs per annum but with new contracts being added all the time, Q4-2015 would be a more realistic expectation of finally reaching 2,000 remaining cases.

  • Jinx says:

    Obviously Famagusta land registry only work when they feel like it….. ???

  • @Costas Apacket on 2014/10/25 at 1:10 am – Please refer to No Property Transfer Fees reduction this year.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    I suppose this means 80% of the IPT was collected for those properties known to the authorities.

    In reality probably nearer to 40% if all the unknown properties were included in these totals?

    What happened to Hasikos’ promise to reduce transfer taxes by up to 50%?

    Everyone is waiting to know if this will come about.

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