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More work needed on Title Deeds

There is still considerable work to be done on what the EC refers to as “the currently dysfunctional Title Deeds issuance and transfer system” in its post-programme surveillance report on Cyprus.

Title Deed Gordian KnotTHE EUROPEAN Commission’s post-programme surveillance report on Cyprus acknowledges that although some progress on the thorny issue of Title Deeds has been made there is still “considerable work to be done”.

Here are some pertinent extracts for the European Commission’s post-programme surveillance report on Cyprus:

The reform of the system of Title Deeds transfers has been constrained by lack of support from private stakeholders. A substantial number of property buyers, despite having paid the full purchase price, still have not yet received their Title Deed.

The adoption of the legacy cases law (for property sales up to end of 2014) created some momentum but more steps are needed to have a new system of swift, safe and automatic transfers of titles. Out of the 11,000 applications received as of end August 2016, nearly 4,000 Title Deeds were issued which led to approximately 800 transfers of titles.

This progress may be considered as positive, and actions taken by the Department of Land and Surveys have been very supportive, including website information, training, and an instruction manual sent to all relevant staff. However, despite the promising start and efforts, results are not as positive as hoped, due to several legal actions taken by banks claiming that the legacy law is unconstitutional.

Substantial effort is necessary to engage stakeholders to agree on a new system for the transfer of future Title Deeds. There is general agreement that a future system should ensure that buyers who pay the full purchase price will get their titles quickly and have no possibility to refuse them. The Ministry of Finance is continuing to examine proposals, but with little apparent progress in recent months, in part due to the political sensitivity of this issue.

There is still considerable work to be done to address the backlog of issuance of new Title Deeds. The Ministry of Interior has made some progress, with the completion of a comprehensive report on the streamlining of issuance procedures in 2015. The Council of Ministers also approved measures to assist the issuance and, thus, the transfer of Title Deeds where relatively minor breeches of planning conditions have occurred.

The currently dysfunctional Title Deeds issuance and transfer system is deterring potential investors and thus, weighing on the liquidity of the property market. Although some measures were taken to streamline the issuance of Title Deeds for new properties, no new measure was announced to provide for a sustainable system of transfer of Title Deeds.

Readers' comments

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  • Phil says:

    Hi All

    Quote from above

    “This progress may be considered as positive, and actions taken by the Department of Land and Surveys have been very supportive, including website information, training, and an instruction manual sent to all relevant staff”

    Instruction manual anymore than two pages they would not bother to read and what is meant by “relevant staff” has it been disseminated down to them on the ground or is it gathering dust somewhere in a office marked for your eyes only.

    Phil

  • stanno says:

    29 years and still waiting for our tittle deeds!!!!
    Disgusting!!!
    Its what we can expect from a country of dysfunctional government, koumbaros system and in short a real island of banksters, and thieves

  • Who Gives says:

    @Dr. Alan as a way of trying too explain please be advised that in your ‘words’ I am not shooting the innocent messenger just putting across my point of view.

    Fully aware of the due diligent, efforts, that the Ed has contributed working tirelessly to support thousands of innocent people that have had the nightmare experience of being miss sold properties.

    If you have read my earlier correspondence the frustration is at the so called governance not the Ed which has turned a blind eye to the un professional way that banks, Developer’s, Agents conducted there business during the property boom years that is long gone.

    As you commented the Ed was very much involved with the Cyprus Property Action Group that did a great job supporting Dennis O’Hare up until 2011 before Denis departed Cyprus to live in a more regulated EU country.

    I am one of those victims like Tony who has paid in full for my property, have no deeds, due to Developer anomalies until a transparent process in put in place nothing with ever change.

  • Howard Skelton says:

    The system is still draconian “Cyprus”..

    1. We need to see proof of payments”

    Bank statements produced…..

    2. “Not acceptable, we need to see the cheques”

    Certified copies supplied by the Bank….

    3 “Not acceptable we need the originals!”

    Banks quite rightly refuse to issue original…

    4. “We don’t need cheques, provide an affidavit”.

    But we are in the UK. Will you accept a Power of Attorney from UK so our Lawyer may sign on our behalf?

    5. No. We cannot accept a UK POA.

    6. Can we sign an affidavit at the Cyprus Embassy (High Commission) in London. Yes. That is acceptable.

    Affidavit duly submitted to Land Registry.

    7. We cannot accept that affidavit as it has not been notarised by the Cyprus court.

    Need I go on.

    This system is as useless as always and no one seems to care.

    We submitted our papers over a year ago and we are no further on with the process.

    But we live in hope….As long as we live long enough.

    Ed: I published a detailed article on how to apply for your Title Deeds earlier this year – Applying for Title Deeds.

    Whoever advised you that bank statements would be acceptable clearly did not know what they were talking about.

    Even if you provide an affidavit you will still need to provide evidence of payment such as:

    • Original receipts or photocopies of receipts showing the property has been paid for in full. If the vendor is a company, including a land development company, these receipts must bear: the company logo, the amount paid, the signature of the company representative and the company stamp.
    • Proof that the money for purchasing the property was deposited in a financial institution (e.g. a bank), showing that the deposit was paid in cash or cheque – or details of the transactions confirming the transfer of payments from the purchasers account to the sellers account.
    • A signed certificate from the vendor or the financial institution confirming that the full payment of the purchase price has been made or that the buyer has fulfilled his contractual obligations.

  • Dr Alan Waring says:

    Perhaps Who Gives is unaware of the unique role as an ‘independent force’ that the Ed has created over many years (at least 10 to my personal knowledge) in fighting for the rights of Cyprus property buyers. I use the term ‘fighting’ advisedly, for although he may not be bellicose in his language he most certainly has been fighting for other people’s rights both in public and behind the scenes.

    Nigel was a key player in the former Cyprus Property Action Group along side Denis O’Hare and together over the period 2004 to 2011 they forced the whole problem area onto desks and agendas of Cyprus government ministers, MEPs, UK MPs, the European Parliament and the EU Commission. There is no question that without his efforts before and since 2011 none of the albeit defective Cyprus legislative changes on title deeds would have surfaced. It was he that the Troika consulted directly on these matters and I believe still does. The same goes for HMG.

    The point is that his great strength is precisely because he does NOT take orders from anyone and has no conflicted interests. As far as I know, he does all this unpaid work for the rest of us because he believes it is the right thing to do and has the skills and facilities to do it.

    He may often have to be the conveyor of uncomfortable facts but please, don’t shoot the innocent messenger.

  • Tony Goss says:

    Thank you for your informative postings. I am one of those who has paid in full, has no deeds, road not completed and cannot sell.
    Your information keeps me hopeful.

    Merry Christmas to you all.

  • Who Gives says:

    Dear Aggis the only hope we have left is if or when TROKIA come back to finish off the roadmap to implement the necessary regulations, and controls by putting a structure in place that works literally.

    The title deeds fiasco, transfer of ownership is completed flawed will never work if left to the Government as under resourced to process title deeds in a timely manner.

    Property transfers that buyers have paid in full but trapped from receiving their title deeds due to Developers related issues.

    Example:- NPL, no planning permission, building related issues anomalies should be issued by the Land registry office should start a fresh with a 21st Century process that is fully regulated and transparent.

  • Aggis Demetriou says:

    Forget your ranting and time wasting sue the minister of interior for false hopes and promises anyone interested to come on board ?

  • who gives says:

    @ Mike for the record I am not been disrepectful to the Ed just highlighting my point like the Ed not answerable to anyone.

    The point I was making was that continous correspondence highlighting that the title process will be streamlined is all hot air waste of time.

    Like the Ed Cyprus do not answer to anyone they are a law to themselve that until they require a further bail out of monies from the IMF, EU.

  • Mike says:

    It seems the self serving pseudo elite are protecting their and their ‘friends’ nice little earner. The comments below seem to follow a theme BUT I do feel that ‘Who Gives @ 8:08 am’ is somewhat disrespectful to a man (the editor) who for years has selflessly provided invaluable information and support for vast numbers of both locals (of which I am one) and ex pats and saved thousands from heartbreak and financial loss.

    We can sympathise with those who did not heed his past advice or chose to ignore it believing they knew better – and lost, but to claim he follows orders or provides “more worthless updates” is an insult to a man without whom we would all be the poorer for.

    Ed: Thank you Mike

  • john says:

    Isn’t it time that the European courts come down hard on Scamprus! This title deed fiasco – one couldn’t make this up if one tried.

    We are still awaiting title deeds to be issued since 2003 – shambolic!

    I love the country but I am afraid the amount of corruption from top to bottom is unbelievable!

  • Who Gives says:

    @ Sunny Further to your comments does the President read these posts if so let us here from him himself his views.

    The same should be said of the Ed just following orders to the provide more worthless updates on the out dated title deeds process that time forgot in the 70s.

    In a perfect world the title deeds fiasco would not be a real show stopper as the person or persons registered at the Land registry office should be the legal owner.

    Ed: I don’t take or follow orders from anyone. These articles are also published to caution others who are thinking of buying property in Cyprus that does not have a Title Deed.

  • Chris H says:

    As like many people we submitted our application to the Land Registry last year with FULL proof of ALL payments but no title deeds to date.

    I am told there are outstanding elements of work on our site that need completing and it is down to the local council to deal with the developer. So we have had a Mexican Standoff as our developer like others NEVER wants or has wanted to spend a Euro on anything that doesn’t bring a greater financial return to them. Words escape me to the open fraud committed in Cyprus that is obvious to many and the authorities take little or no action.

    Shame on you in authority, Cyprus is a beautiful country and one I have a long relationship with but spoilt by some of its citizens.

  • Steve says:

    I applied long ago for title deeds under the “enclaved buyers law.” Our solicitor tells us all is in order with our documentation but there has been no progress. The developer has offered to obtain title deeds for us within THREE WEEKS. We just have to pay Euros 1000 that he claims we owe.

    Ed: If you do owe the developer any money, this should be paid to the Land Registry who will place it in a special account until the deed has been issued & transferred. Only then will it give it to your developer.

  • Frederick Dallas says:

    Nearly 11 years on after paying by increments per stage building with no real problem and having all receipts. One of developer partner’s has passed away. Does this cause a problem with regard to the issue of my title deeds.

    Ed: You may have to wait until probate has been granted.

  • sunny one says:

    Does the president read these posts if so let us here from him himself his views.

  • Who Gives says:

    Dear Ed as you rightly comment substantial number of property buyers, despite having paid the full purchase price, still have not yet received their Title Deeds which is against the EU law

    Regardless of all the broken promises in a nut shell is an out dated, inadequate process with lack of manpower or skills to fast track the title deeds.

    It is quite unbelievable that even with the high debt the Government seems not committed to changing the current dysfunctional issuance and transfer system which does not work.

  • steve r says:

    And so the story goes on with nothing much done to bring it to a conclusion. Having waited for nearly 10 years now this sort of article has become tiring.

  • Martyn says:

    I got my title deeds yah 😄after 10 years wait😡 And it cost me 5000euros for the privilege. 👎

    Now I am claiming back my IPT only 50euros to do so 🤔 But been told by my solicitor it will take 18months to 2 years to get back 😡👎

    What a sham of a government country should be renamed ” Scamyprus “

  • Sandra says:

    Being one of the “owners” still caught up in this fiasco, and coming into our third year of retaining a lawyer, it looks like we are no further on. We bought outright in 2008, but have a problem with a missing so called proof of payment. The lawyer at that time worked as 3rd party, so after much to-ing and fro-ing, the sellers lawyer now does not have the 8 year old documents. Now waiting, still waiting, for receiver and land registry to decide what will constitute enough proof! So yes, this mess is still no nearer being sorted as those who have sailed through the new procedures, might imagine! There are still all sorts of hurdles being put in the way of innocent victims, I mean buyers, before some can get their deeds. Not good enough Cyprus! My advice, don’t touch property without deeds including new ones unless you have a cast iron proof that the title deeds are waiting for transfer!

  • James Irvine says:

    I was assured that my deeds had been issued but the developer has still not released them. Why then has the government conned another 30+ euros out of me with an assurance that the developer will be fined for non release. Cyprus you are a joke.

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