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Illegal building extensions amnesty

The Cyprus government is to introduce new measures to legalise formerly illegal building extensions by allowing people to add 20 per cent of their building’s co-efficient until the end of 2020.

Illegal building extension amnestyTHE GOVERNMENT has decided to introduce special measures that will allow town-planning authorities to approve certain existing or planned constructions that would otherwise be illegal.

The amnesty involves additions or changes to existing structures and must have taken place before the end of 2020.

“With a simple application the town-planning authority, which will be obliged to issue a permit inside three months, all illegal cases will be legalised,” Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos said on Wednesday.

And it does not only involve verandas turned into rooms or construction of garages or sheds, which traditionally resulted in the owners being deprived of a title deed.

“We are giving our fellow citizens the right to add up to 20 per cent of the (building) coefficient,” he said. “They can add a small flat above their home, add a room, and so on.”

He said the measure would help people because it would offer them a better quality of life and afford them a title, allowing them to mortgage and sell their property.

The measure involves existing industrial and commercial units.

Asked what the gain for the state would be, Hasikos said this was not about the state.

“Honestly, this does not aim at compelling people to issue title deeds so that we can have revenues.”

He added that the government afforded incentives for large developments because of the economic crisis, and it was now also offering the same to ordinary people,

The government has recently decided to reduce transfer fees by 50 per cent until the end of next year.

Readers' comments

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  • houlou says:

    called ‘them’ town planning dept central office Nicosia, they said call back on the 17th when our manager is back, doesn’t seem to many dept are clued up on this yet?

  • houlou says:

    Nigel you are welcome, Gonna give em a buzz see if the amnesty covers and can legalize my developers planning infringement that is preventing us from getting cert of final completion and hence deeds…..

  • houlou says:

    @Nigel
    think I found details as you suggested but in Greek:

    Μέηξα γηα ηε λνκηκνπνίεζε/αδεηνδόηεζε απζαίξεηωλ/λέωλ θαηαζθεπώλ ζε εγθξηκέλεο αλαπηύμεηο

    (Editor’s comment: Thanks houlou. Here’s a rough translation:

    Measures to legalize / licensing arbitrary / new constructions sanctioned deployments *

    The Cabinet, for recovery purposes of development activity, decided on 29.07.2015 to adopt specific measures for legitimation / authorization arbitrary existing and / or proposed new constructions sanctioned developments, which provide the Planning Authority, the to approve existing arbitrary and / or proposed new construction, with conditions and for a specified period of time without requiring the submission request for derogation under the provisions of Articles 26 (2) and / or 45A (Town planning amnesty) of the Town and Country Planning Law, as follows:

    (A) Additions / Changes to existing deployments

    (I) Housing Development

    Where existing Approved residential units, which horizontal extensions have taken place (eg integration of auxiliary Rooms / Part hangars parking, covered terrace the organic space, and / or limited extensions except those shell, and / or housing uncovered terraces / shades), which constitute exceeded the permitted building factor of the current Zone or Approved with the prior authorization will be allowed increase in the rate building 20% of the above sizes, or 60 square meters, any increase is greater. Where existing additions except shell of the building and, where necessary, allow a proportional increase in maximum allowable coverage ratio. It is also possible to allow such new additions to existing sanctioned independent dwelling units.

    Said, above measure, applies to residential cases apartments in existing buildings, exclusively for purposes money or adopting new structures relating to integration covered terraces, on the site of the apartments or in the housing and integration unsecured, provided that it is submitted to the application written consent of all co-owners of development (in cases They will not apply the provisions of section 90 of the Town and Planning Law).

    The Planning Authority may allow vertical extension of existing Approved residential unit by increasing the permitted or sanctioned by prior authorization building factor, with a view to improving functionality of the dwelling or to create a new residential unit It will serve the housing needs of children or the owner’s parents piece.

    (Ii) Industrial, craft, storage, livestock / agricultural development Since, on the basis of prejudice to Article 21 of the Town and Planning (Exemptions) Regulations, may not apply provisions for the transfer / compensation limited scale overruns the permitted building coefficient where these instructions relating to the industrial production sector (industrial, craft or storage unit), or livestock production unit or concentration or Packaging agricultural or livestock products, may authorized by the Planning Authority increased by 20%, maximum allowed building ratio and coverage ratio (where required) where additions are necessary or desirable for the improvement of functionality or safety of the plant or the upgrading of aesthetics the building.

    The referenced above measure applies to existing cases authorized licensed deployments, even if they are sited outside the designated industrial, craft, livestock zones /regions, respectively.

    (B) Change of use of part residential unit in the premises Permitted use change independent unit housing segment for creating professional unit limited roof area (around 60 m) to the owner of the activity purpose of the respective housing Unit without reduction for the building factor in 70% of maximum allowable for residential use, and without requiring hint additional parking space. This Measure will apply only in relation to service occupations, eg office, professional office, tutorial a class and / or laboratory Class C (very limited degree of annoyance).

    Provided that those activities do not relate to retail or leisure/entertainment, which may arise impact on road safety or unfavourable Effect of amenities in the area.

    The measure does not apply to cases of residential units in apartment buildings.

    2. Measures implemented provided that compliance with the following terms / conditions and special arrangements:

    (A) prosthikometatropes, outside and inside the shell, would harmonize with the form and character of the existing building of Approved and become with acceptable aesthetic materials and quality.

    (B) ensuring the local amenities of introduction of incompatible uses the character and physiognomy of this.

    (C) provided for the purpose of speeding up and simplifying procedures licensing, the ability to Planning Authority to judge valorem and It allows, regardless of the regulatory provisions content (Figures Development, Orders etc) without requiring the consent of the Local Authority justified and limited scale and importance Technical deviations in regards distances from building block boundaries and between themselves building, increased auxiliary contact length building a common border, exceeded the maximum permitted level and / or number of floors main and auxiliary buildings, etc., and after ascertaining that amenities are unaffected adjacent blocks / uses.

    (D) provided the Planning Authority the ability to activate the mechanism acquisition of additional required parking spaces (where they are not can be sited in order to develop property), even if the growth falls within the range where the promotion is not possible parking spaces redemption procedure without requiring – where developments within Local Plans – approving deviations from the Minister of Interior.

    (E) These Measures shall apply in cases of requests submitted until 31.12.2019.

    * Note

    Existing sanctioned growth means building which is based on planning permission and building permit on the date of publication of this Decision, as well as growth for granted and still valid building permit or planning permission, on the same date.)

  • houlou says:

    @Nigel or anyone, has anyone managed to get hold of details of what is possible to make legal via this amnesty?

    (Editor’s comment: The amnesty allows an extra 20 percent of the building coefficient, up to a maximum of 60m2. Keep an eye on the Ministry of Interior website, I expect there will be a formal announcement.)

  • Pebbles says:

    Nigel,

    I am a little concerned. We live in an old stone house which we have renovated over a period of years. Which includes building an extra bedroom on the rear side of the property, well within our boundaries.

    The builder was an English guy who had plans drawn up, and proceeded to build, we bought all the materials and assisted in the labour. It appeared to be a good job, with all relevant lintels and wiring etc. however, in spite of numerous requests we never got a copy of the plans, and, whilst he told us that he had seen to the technical side, we are now not sure whether he had actually informed any relevant authorities. We now find that he has left the island (?!) and our extension does not show up on our title deeds. Do we need to panic if we have to sell the property. Should we put in for retrospective stuff. How do we get the extension on the deeds? Etc etc.

    Many thanks for your brilliant web site, I have recommended you to numerous people for having your finger on the pulse.

    (Editor’s comment: I suggest you check with your local planing office to see whether the builder applied for a planning permit and/or building permit. If he didn’t then you really should apply for these retrospectively. As you do not have the plans you will probably need to have them drawn up by a qualified architect who will be able to submit the plans and obtain the necessary permits on your behalf.

    You may have problems when you come to sell – it all depends whether the lawyer acting on behalf of your purchaser spots that the extension isn’t included on the deed.)

  • Steve R says:

    All illegal cases will be legalised was part of the statement issued. It seems that the Courts are following a similar line of thinking. Just go back a few days to the Aristo case.

    Break the law (Planning or other) and this is how you are rewarded. Having been in Cyprus nearly 10 years I have never seen such a lawless state anywhere in the world. Even when the eyes of the world are looking on they still continue, as do the thousands of people who keep investing in property. The sun must bleach their brains. It did mine

  • houlou says:

    Thanks Nigel, as for why any laws exist?, that is a good one, seems they are there to be selectively applied depending on the size of your wallet….slightly beyond me who the law works out here, but if legalizing these planning violations means deeds for everyone who is stuck due minor violations I am all for it….

    (Editor’s comment: Cyprus is unusual inasmuch that the laws do not allow you to make external alterations to your property. Compare that to 20 Things You Can Do, No Planning Required.)

  • houlou says:

    Nigel, any idea specifically what is actually covered? or is it early days yet?

    (Editor’s comment: It’s early days yet, we’ll have to wait until the law is in the public domain.)

  • Frank says:

    Why do they bother to have any laws?

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