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Cyprus property title deeds backlog

The unacceptable delays in issuing property Title Deeds by the Cypriot authorities is in the spotlight once again with MEP Vicky Ford requesting an update on progress from the European Commission.

Vicky Ford MEP quesions Cyprus Title Deeds in European Parliament

Vicky Ford MEP for the East of England

CYPRUS agreed to reduce the Title Deed backlog to less than 2,000 cases outstanding for more than a year by the fourth quarter of 2014 under the terms of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) with its troika of international lenders.

Although the troika completed their most recent review of the Cyprus Economic Adjustment Programme last month, whether the Cypriot authorities kept their side of the agreement has remained a mystery until now.

Vicky Ford, MEP for East of England, recently asked the European Commission if Cyprus the target to reduce the Title Deed backlog by the agreed deadline:

Question for written answer E-005685-15
to the Commission
Rule 130
Vicky Ford (ECR)

Subject: Cyprus property title deeds        

In answer to a previous question regarding the backlog in issuing title deeds in Cyprus, the Commission indicated that Cyprus was making progress towards meeting the deadline of the fourth quarter of 2014. Can the Commission confirm that the deadline was met?

As this is monitored and assessed closely, can the Commission give an indication of the current situation regarding the outstanding issuance of title deeds?

I understand from constituents who purchased a property 10 years ago that they are still desperately trying to obtain their title deeds, without success.

The situation is unacceptable and it appears that the monitoring and assessment process may be doing little to alleviate the backlog. What further action is the Commission able to take to ensure a satisfactory outcome for the many people awaiting title deeds?

Answer given by Mr Moscovici on behalf of the Commission

“Compared to early 2014, the Cypriot authorities indeed made significant progress and reduced by more than half the backlog of title deeds that were outstanding for more than one year as a result of slow administrative procedures in Cyprus’ land registry.

“Despite the progress, the target was not reached.

“The issuance progress can be followed on the website of Cyprus’ land registry, which provides monthly statistics.

“Following discussions with the Commission, the Cypriot authorities have committed to prepare recommendations on ways to streamline the procedures from the planning permit application to the issuance of title deeds.

“This should help to make further progress to reduce the backlog of title deeds’ issuance.

“The authorities are also working on a comprehensive reform package to ensure that newly-issued title deeds will be swiftly transferred to buyers who have purchased their property already.”

Editor’s comment

Those visiting the website of Cyprus’ land registry may (not) be surprised to see that the land registry has not published Title Deed issuance statistics since August 2014.

Readers' comments

Comments on this article are no longer being accepted.

  • @Aggis Demetriou on 2015/06/15 at 8:08 am – The link to the Land Registry statistics is in my comment.

  • Aggis Demetriou says:

    Dear Nigel
    Land registry statistics?
    Would you be kind enough to see if these monthly stats are on site?
    As I have looked on the L R site and nowhere to be seen.
    Thanksj

  • Jan says:

    Hi,
    I am sick and tired of all these promises and deadlines that Cyprus is supposed to keep. I signed my contract for my house in November 2003, it being a shell then and was finished in June 2004, or should I say I eventually moved in then, with the garage still to be built, and I paid cash!!! In my contract it said “Title Deeds to be issued within 3 years or a reasonable time, and the developer would do everything to expedite” now 11 years later I still do not have them…the Final Approval Certificate was issued in November 2013. The Land Registry tell me that the file is now in the rechecking department but will not be rechecked until next month and then it has to go on to the valuation department then they would be issued. God knows how long this will take!!!! Then on top of all this what taxes will I have to pay??? Perhaps I should them a bill for all the phone calls I have made….not a happy lady to say the least and the house is up for sale…the question I am asked is have you got the Title Deeds????

  • chris says:

    The ducking & diving and political spin will continue on with the delay in the title deeds fiasco until the pay master has enough of all the broken promises and little Cyprus will head for the EU exit door.

  • Deanna says:

    My little house was finished and paid-for in 1990. After all these years I am now worrying about the bill I will have to pay for back-years of sewerage, IPT, and then transfer fees if and when the Title is produced before I expire this life!!

  • Stuart says:

    @ Steve R. You are absolutely right, Steve. There has been a succession of revisions to the original MoU mainly due to the failure of the Cyprus authorities to comply with the deadlines set for them to complete various key activities. Not only do these failures go unpunished but the goal posts then get moved or even the stadium changed to accommodate this ineptitude.

    One might well ask why the Troika is so tolerant of the woeful lack of progress by the Cyprus authorities in many key areas of urgently needed reform until it becomes apparent that the EU itself is not beyond reproach. The EU auditors have refused to sign off the EU accounts for the last 19 years due to the level of rampant corruption that exists within its administration.

  • sandra says:

    Well, I for one, wish they would hurry up and sort it out! Our developer has gone into receivership and we are in limbo. Despite our property having clear and free title deed given to the developer we don’t seem to be any nearer getting them! I do feel luckier than some who have mortgages etc on their property, but it is scant comfort. What an unmitigated mess!

  • @mr j robinson on 2015/06/12 at 8:03 am and @Carol on 2015/06/11 at 9:43 pm – I suggest you read Mike’s comment.

    There is some hope that the problems will be eased (assuming Hasikos keeps his Pledge to protect paid-up buyers).

  • Steve R says:

    The MOU target regarding Title Deeds has not been met as directed by Troika. This has gone unpunished. Why bother making these MOU laws in the first place. If you break the law (Lets say you get convicted for drink driving) and you walk away from court without a fine or a driving ban then what would that say to you. All Troika are interested in is getting back the bailout money and making sure that Cyprus can keep paying into the system after the loan has been repaid. Anything there after is an internal matter for the Cyprus government to sort out.

  • mr j robinson says:

    I agree totally with carol, been waiting too long, what do you say Nigel.

  • Mike says:

    And so the Kleptocratic circus and state sponsored verbal deflections continue. Sadly it would appear that we are incapable of developing and passing transparent and effective legislation to benefit honest citizens or visitors but are more than capable of passing legislation that encourages and protects embezzlers, liars, fraudsters and those intent on cheating fellow citizens and the state.

    The question must surely be asked as to whether our legislature, judicial system and senior civil service are fit for purpose. I appreciate the majority of the civil service are charged to carry out the government of the day’s policies without political bias but senior civil servants are charged to advise. They are either not advising morally and ethically or consider the protection of big business and sources of income before the well being and protection of citizens. There is no other explanation – apart from just being inept that is.

  • Carol says:

    That’s fine but what happens to the people that are already waiting and have been waiting years and also to the fact that Cyprus would not get any more bail out monies until they got it sorted. All gone by the board yet again why do we believe in any of them we still wait after 10 years to find out if the house we paid for in full will ever be our own to pass on to our children as their rightful inheritance with out any encumbrances from developers etc. please some one wake up and sort this out.

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