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
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.”
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.