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Valuation appeal deadline extended again

In the wake of around 22,000 individuals who filed objections to the Land Registry’s valuation of their property, the government has extended the deadline for receiving objections until the end of the year.

Valuation appeal deadline extendedPROPERTY owners and buyers have until the end of the year to appeal the government’s valuation of their real estate and correct any other mistakes made in the process of fixing immovable property tax (IPT).

The extension – the previous deadline was end of April 25 – was approved in a law passed on Thursday by the House plenum.

It is the second extension given since November last year for filing objections.

Thousands of owners have complained of errors made by the land registry in valuating real estate based on the new, 2013 prices.

MP said that some 22,000 people have so far filed forms challenging the land registry’s valuation.

Owners can file an appeal by paying a fee that depends on the value of their property.

As part of Cyprus’ bailout agreement with international lenders, authorities here completed the revaluation of some half a million properties in June. It was initially planned that IPT for 2014 would be levied based on the up-to-date values, but the new rates will now apply for IPT payable in 2015.

Editor’s comments

If you wish to appeal their valuation you may phone the Land Registry help line on 77777730 and follow the instructions.

You will need to have your passport and details of the property handy. The Land Registry officer will check if there has been a mistake in the valuation while you wait.

If they say there is nothing wrong and you then decide to object to the valuation you may file your objection on the relevant form, which you or your representative must submit to the District Land Office in which the property is located with the appropriate fee based on the 2013 valuation of their property:

  • For properties valued up to €100,000, the fee is €37.50.
  • For properties valued between €100,001 and €500,000 the fee is €75.00.
  • For properties valued between €500,001 and €1 million, the fee is €150.00.
  • For properties valued in excess of €1 million, the fee is €357.00.

(Note that you will need Adobe Acrobat to read the relevant form and to display an approximate English translation of each field, float your mouse over the yellow speech bubbles.)

The latest property valuations can be found on-line by following my guide at Cyprus property valuations now online.

Readers' comments

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  • @Steve R on 2015/04/28 at 9:32 am – The Streets and Buildings Regulation Law CAP 96 (Article 10/1) states: “No person shall occupy, or use, or cause, or permit, or suffer any person to occupy or use, any building unless and until a certificate of approval has been issued in respect thereof by the appropriate authority”, and “any property which is delivered (hence the act of passing on the keys to the buyer by the seller) and received (hence accepted and occupied by the purchaser) prior to the issuance of the certificate of approval is an illegal act in both civil and criminal law”.

    This is a very long-standing issue that has been widely reported in the past; there must be thousands of people living in properties without a completion certificate. I took delivery of my home in 2004 and it wasn’t until 2012 that the planning authority got off its backside, check my home and issue a completion certificate.

    The chances of being taken to court are slim (I know of only one case involving people who bought homes in Paphos from the Church and the cases against them was dropped).

    As you may know the courts in Cyprus close for business at 14:30 and close for Christmas, Easter and summer holidays. They are ineffective and inefficient.
    Even if you were taken to court you’d probably been pushing up the daisies by the time your case was heard.

    A director of well-known property development company in Paphos wrote to two clients who had raised the matter of ‘Completion Certificates’. The director stated, “the said legislation although in force, in practice is inoperative” – and went on to say reassuringly, that as many Cypriot house owners did not have certificates (also known as Certificate of Final Approval), he doubted that the authorities would prosecute everyone!

    Like many laws and regulations in Cyprus, this is universally ignored (unless the authorities wish to make a point).

    As for Immovable Property Tax, I raised the matter about bankrupt/insolvent developers with Mr Christofi at the Tax Office when I contacted him last year, there is no escape. Please see Paying Immovable Property Tax.

  • Steve R says:

    Our development (7 properties) was built in 2006 but the road, boundary walls were never completed. It took us a further 3 years of pleading with the electricity company before they installed mains electricity. The builder has fled the island and the company is in administration and a receiver has been appointed.

    All of these properties were paid for in full but all we have is specific performance registered against the site. Before the builder fled he allowed people to move into the properties and they have lived there ever since.

    We were horrified to learn a while ago that under CAP Law 22 we are living there illegally as we shouldn’t have been allowed to move in without a completion certificate.

    We have been in touch with various structural engineers who are just not interested whatever the cost. My point in all of this is that the properties are worthless as far as resale value is concerned. How would we stand regarding IPT?

  • @Hilda Nixon on 2015/04/27 at 10:56 am – The law changed last year and it now requires those who have taken delivery of a property and who have not received its Title Deed to register with the Tax Office. More information at Paying Immovable Property Tax.

  • Hilda Nixon says:

    I live in a complex in Ayia Napa of 9 houses. I’ve been living here permanently since May 2014, the house was bought in 2006. Since I bought the house I have had no correspondence at all from the revenue, lands registry, solicitor who handled the sale regarding IPT. I went to the developer’s office and enquired about the IPT, I was given a completed form (in Greek) and the accompanying correspondence had another developer’s company name on it. Since then I had a short letter from the developer saying the IPT was due to be paid December 2014.

    Until i hear from one of the “government” offices” above I don’t intend to pay anything, who on earth pays a bill without an invoice?

  • @Phil on 2015/04/27 at 7:53 am – I suggest you get in touch with a couple of members of the Valuers & Property Consultants Association and get competitive quotes.

    I imagine the cost will be somewhere in the region of €300 – €400.

  • Phil says:

    Hi Nigel

    Any idea of the cost for an Approved property Valuer?

    Thanks

    Phil

  • J S says:

    I expect my property has been overvalued. However as I have not received my title deeds and therefore not the legal owner of my fully paid up property, there is no point in getting a valuation done. If 22,000 have objected I assume there are at least 22,000 with deeds. Lucky owners.

  • Steve R says:

    I have a feeling that this deadline will keep getting extended. They send out a valuation which they know is far and beyond reasonable, knowing the owner will come along and pay his €75.00 along with a valuation report paid for by the house owner. Eventually all the properties on the island get valued at no cost to the land registry.

    It worked the same in the UK with the gas and electricity. They send an estimated bill which is over the top. The customer reads their own meter and sends that into the company. No meter readers are required any more saving the company millions per year. It’s quite novel to see meter readers in Cyprus.

  • @Steve R on 2015/04/25 at 9:44 am – This is Cyprus where ‘victims’ are often called on to pay for the mistakes and misdemeanours of others – and the fee is payable to the Land Registry not the District Office.

  • Campbell Findlay says:

    Cynical old me but is this another wizard wheeze to screw money out of “the people” by over valuing property and obliging people to pay to get a true valuation?

  • Steve R says:

    Why are we all surprised that there would be a fee attached by the District Office for something that will almost certainly prove to be the fault of the District Office. Would they return the fee if it was found to be their fault.

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

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