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Property transfer fee reduction

A 50 per cent reduction in the Property Transfer Fees is being considered by government to help clear the Title Deed backlog as part of the changes designed to rationalise property taxation.

Cyprus Property Transfer FeesTHE GOVERNMENT intends to promote a regulation for the reduction of the property transfer fees by 50%, which had been previously announced by the Cyprus Interior Minister but was not promoted due to objections of the troika, within the framework of the bill for the single property taxation.

In statements on his way out of the Cabinet meeting, Interior Minister Socrates Hassikos said it was considered that the draft law on the single tax is better to be submitted to the Cabinet at its next meeting, next week, indicating however that this does not mean that it will be abandoned.

“This bill and the reduction of transfer fees by 50%, an announcement that had been made by the Interior Minister but had been rejected by the troika, are going to be implemented with the agreement of the troika”, he added.

Readers' comments

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  • Mike Richards says:

    Hi Nigel, just to bring you up to date on our problem with the Land Registry. We paid the correct fee on Monday, thanks in the main to the efforts of Aristo Developers fighting our case. Relief all found as I did not fancy another ‘punch-up’.

    Regards

    Mike

  • houlou says:

    Got to agree with Staurt’s last comment….OK so you have the deeds for the land and so by default what’s built on it is yours too….but the days when someone owned a plot that was still registered as such with the land registry yet had a block of flats built on it….(and owner was paying peanuts taxes on the land only) are over since the land regi. valued most plots and the info went to the irs to charge everyone accordingly….

    Yup 50pounds is nothing to add you home to the title deeds…just be happy to get your deeds…due to my vanished developer leaving us with no certificate final approval
    I am looking at either waiting FOREVER for him to turn up, or forking out hmmmm
    600-1000euros for a planning permit(to legalise/fix an illegal building infringement)
    3000-4000euros repairs to fix the infringement
    500 for final completion certificate
    up 2000euros for division permit and division
    then up to 2000euros on a lawyer getting a court order that will allow me as the buyer to get deeds in absence of developer…..and if all goes well to top it off have to pay transfer fee and also the IPT that I am not paying as it is the developers fault I have no deeds and my sales agreement does not stipulate I am responsible for the taxes on the sold property at all…

  • Stuart says:

    @Mike on 25 June at 9:44 am. – My astonishment (along with that of others) derives from the fact that these columns have for years contained heart-rending accounts of legitimate buyers who, having paid in full for their properties, have never been able to fully enjoy their purchases for lack of the security that Title Deeds would have provided.

    It is also astonishing that, but for the simple expedient of paying around £50, some people are quite happy to dispense with the security that legal entitlement would give them in a country notorious for its corruption and nefarious activities of banks, lawyers and developers. My advice is to follow Nigel’s example.

  • houlou says:

    @Nigel, has Hasikos replied to your open letter?

    @houlou – not yet (Nigel Howarth)

  • @John Mann on 2015/06/25 at 7:25 pm – If you have the Title Deed for the land you can apply to the Land Registry to have the house added to the deed (regardless of whether you’ve paid the developer’s tax). I did this myself a few years ago as I bought land and then built my house a few years later – it cost me around €60.00, but I cannot remember the exact figure.

    If you want to do this it is quite straightforward. The process is described in section 2.3 Updating Title on pages 12 and 13 of the Department of Lands & Surveys Citizens’ Charter. (In my case it took them just under a year to update the deed.)

  • John Mann says:

    Hi Nigel
    In your answer to Mike, are you actually saying that if you have the title deeds to the land and have paid the developers tax on it like we did that you only have to pay €60.00 to add the house to it and that is it?

  • @houlou on 2015/06/25 at 2:02 pm – We’ll have to wait and see the government’s proposals. In the past they have announced Property Transfer Fee reductions for contracts of sale deposited after a certain date.

  • houlou says:

    Have a query, IF this gets voted in and IF you are a way off getting deeds due to no certificate of final approval, but delay is due to state issue reviewing planning permit etc can you register your intent to acquire deeds and still be eligible for the discount after the 2 years are over?

    With the building amnesty I was told if you showed your intent to the state that you wish to go down the building amnesty route- that even 3 years after it was over i.e now you could apply to rectify any issues under the building amnesty

  • @Mike on 2015/06/25 at 9:44 am“We have title for the land we built our houses on and paid the taxes for that, why pay more for no tangible benefit.”

    If you have the Title Deed for the land, there are no more Property Transfer Fees to pay; you only pay it once. The cost of adding a house to the deed for the land is about €60.00.

  • houlou says:

    Yup tax payers are always the ones punished….either way if the 50% reduction is enforced it will only be for 2 years, Hasikos words this a.m…..he also agreed with presenter on the fact that the state should have afforded its citizens some sort of protection against developers BUT he did say buyers were to blame also for not checking and just paying for properties…..It seems they will push to finally rectify the injustice against those who have paid and are stuck due to someone else’s debts…..it just did not make sense!

  • Mike says:

    Stuart @0908 – why do you find it astonishing that some aren’t bothered about receiving title deeds for their house? I don’t want mine because as you rightly say it will involve paying for them. I suggest there are tens of thousands thinking the same (all local I would think). We have title for the land we built our houses on and paid the taxes for that, why pay more for no tangible benefit. We generally, not exclusively, don’t sell our houses, we pass them on. I can see the need for a North European wanting title and I agree they should have them and it being a disgrace if they dont but I suggest it is to enable legal ownership as title for the land it is built on is not held & enable a future sale. I may be wrong but it seems the sensible thing to do to me. Why pay for something you don’t need. It has served us well enough for decades. Obviously for town and on grid properties title would be necessary for utility supply. Those of us inland and off grid have no need.

  • Stuart says:

    Astonishingly, we learn that some residents aren’t bothered about getting their Title Deeds as it involves paying money in the form of property transfer fees for the home they currently occupy and hence feel no incentive to disturb the status quo.

    Others have been quite content to sit and wait for transfer fees to be reduced by 50% and may now decide the time has come to take advantage of the discount being offered. They are the bargain hunters who will be rewarded with Title Deeds at a hefty discount.

    The ‘trapped buyers’ are those who are at the mercy of newly proposed government legislation which has to break up the current log-jam created by the unscrupulous banks, lawyers and developers who have blighted the Cyprus economy and deprived buyers of legitimate Title to their properties.

  • Peter Davis says:

    So it’s the taxpayer who is on the short end again?

    Why should people receive a discount? Particularly when others have been overcharged.

  • houlou says:

    I think govt is finally waking up to the fact that you cannot get blood out of a stone….

    Let’s wait and see though…the other bill regarding trapped buyers today, did not seem to have opposition MPs appearing on TV to argue against it….as opposed the bill to do with the education reforms that is drawing criticism….hopefully both the trapped buyers bill is approved and also this one re transfer fees…..

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