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Title Deed applications exceed 8,000

More than 8,000 trapped buyers of property in Cyprus have applied for their Title Deeds under the provisions of the ‘hidden mortgage’/’trapped buyers’ law that was introduced last September according to the Cypriot Interior Ministry.

Title Deed applicationsALMOST 8,500 buyers whose properties were used as collateral for loans by insolvent developers have applied to have them released, the interior ministry said.

A law allowing ‘trapped’ buyers to have their properties disengaged from developers’ obligations to banks was passed last September.

The bill was designed to sort out the mess created by the failure to issue Title Deeds to people who paid for the property, either because the property was mortgaged by the developer, or the state could not go ahead with the transfer because of outstanding taxes.

In other cases, Title Deeds have been issued to the developer but lenders’ claim on the property forbid the transfer to the buyer.

The law grants the head of the land registry department the authority to exempt, eliminate, transfer and cancel mortgages and or other encumbrances, depending on the case and under certain conditions.

78,000 cases

The matter concerns some 78,000 cases of buyers who either do not have a Title Deed for various reasons or the property has not been transferred to their name.

“As of today, 8,430 applications have been submitted, of which 3,000 relate to properties for which a Title Deed has been issued,” the statement said.

“Of these, 2,000 have already been processed and are in the process of being transferred.”

A total 80 Title Deeds have been irrevocably transferred, while in another 80 instances the parties involved arranged for a private transfer between them, and thus these applications are considered settled, the Interior ministry added.

The remaining 5,500 applications relate to properties without Title Deeds.

“It is noted that 30 per cent of Title Deed applications are with the relevant local authorities for the issuance of completion certificates or division permits,” the statement noted.

It added that significant delays are observed at local-authority level, owing to various irregularities, such as pavements, green areas, etc.

“With a view to facilitating and expediting the issuance of Title Deeds, we stress that as soon as the law on streets and buildings is passed, decrees on how to handle irregularities delaying the issuance of Title Deeds will be issued by the Interior ministry to local authorities,” the ministry’s statement said.

“It is hoped that in this way the issue will be regulated once and for all, and the issuance of Title Deeds for all property buyers will be expedited drastically.”

Readers' comments

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  • Andrew says:

    (Editor’s comment: As you should know by now developers can do whatever they like regardless of any laws”. Why is that I wonder?

    There appears to be a common thread here. Why are people just allowing these, so called developers, to go AWOL or wash their hands of their responsibilities.

    Hunt them down and bring them to justice (wherever or whatever that may be).

    These rogue builders have entered into legally binding contracts with buyers. They will walk away from their obligations while ever the buyers allow them to. How many of these rotten apples are still trading, I wonder.

    Those dodgy traders who have not yet done a vanishing act will happily drive their Mercedes back to their big house in order to demonstrate their poverty.Where they will then invite some new unwary punters to the “barbecue”.

    These shysters are laughing in the faces of buyers ,knowing full well that the buyers will not, in most cases, sue them for the works needed to complete a development.

    Take the fight directly to these so called developers and force them to fulfil their obligations through the courts. It might not be the easy option.It might not work. But it is the righteous way to deal with these wasters.

    Unless, sensibly, the authorities remove the burden from the buyers. Because without proper remedy from government this painfully slow issuance and transfer, of outstanding title deeds will continue for decades to come.

  • embapaphos says:

    Hello all, just curious, query to all readers, has anyone received deeds yet via the trapped law process that are not ‘clean’? i.e deeds registered to your name but have mention of a planning infringement in essence meaning you cannot sell or re-mortgage the property until this is rectified ?

    I believe am on track for my deeds (believe it when I see it) but looks like will inherit the problem created due to a planning (lack of) infringement again created by the a.w.o.l developer.

    Developer is a.w.o.l and as far as I know skint, so pursuing him through the courts is flogging a dead horse. Land reg. advised to gang together with other buyers on the plot to resolve this and get clean deeds, but this is going to be just as tricky as the other home owners are being chased by the bank as the home loans they took out are now NPLs now!

    I am wondering whether I should approach the lending bank and tell them it’s in their interests to get clean deeds for ‘their’ properties or else they are left with virtually unsaleable & non-transferable properties, and hopefully this is incentive enough for them to act and share some of the burden.?

    I will keep everyone posted on whether I get the deeds despite the planning issue…and maybe Dave and others can cite my case to highlight their own and again a big thanks to Nigel for all the help.

  • Dave D says:

    Dear Editor,

    Having applied for our Deeds last November, we now are told by our Developer he is wiping his hands of our estate even though he has never finished it….we still have no Green area (just a large rubbish tip) no Street lighting, which we where promised, and indeed no lighting of a pathway at the back of the estate, which apparently has to be lit. Does this mean we won’t be getting our Deeds any time soon ? ….and indeed can he do this by law?

    (Editor’s comment: As you should know by now developers can do whatever they like regardless of any laws.

    As it says in the article “decrees on how to handle irregularities delaying the issuance of Title Deeds will be issued by the Interior ministry to local authorities”. This may include how to deal with the problems your developer has left you with but we will not know until the decrees have been published. The original announcement in Greek refers to pavements, green spaces, etc.

    If the new planning laws do not cover your situation I’m afraid the only option will be to pay for the work to be completed and then sue the developer to recover the costs. If everyone on the estate contributes (as they have done in developments elsewhere) it will spread the cost.)

  • Gary says:

    Sheri, I’m sure we are not the only ones facing these kind of issues. The authorities just transfer the ownership of the problems from the developer (in most cases is now history) to the residents. If progress is to be made to complete developments then concessions will need to be made. They need to work with the residents to find a solution.

  • Sheri Bowditch says:

    We as residents have spent 4 years trying to satisfy Peyia Municipality and acquire our Building Certificate. Now having to build a 2m wall, cost 18k ! We already paid for the access road, cost 4700, fireproofing to the building, re wiring, pool fence ……. Never ending hassle and expense.

  • Gary says:

    Dear Editor, with reference to your reply to Pippa… Our development is also incomplete but the residents are actively working together to complete the work to gain final certificate. We have been told the original drawings stated a public footpath would need to be built. Cost is estimated at 4000 euros. We see no value in this path. There are no existing footpaths it will connect to and, in addition it will restrict the width of the road so two cars will struggle to pass. Could this new law help us potentially meaning we do not have to build the path?

    (Editor’s comment: I don’t know whether the new planning laws will help – we’ll have to wait and see. As soon as I have any details, I’ll publish an article.)

  • Barbara G says:

    160 title deeds considered settled out of 78,000!

  • Pippa says:

    As someone who has a house on an unfinished development is there a time scale for the law on streets and buildings to be passed?

    (Editor’s comment: It will happen this year (soon I hope) and will include delays due to lack of pavements, green areas, etc. according to the announcement posted in the Interior Ministry’s website.)

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

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