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One sixth of properties not registered

Around one sixth of the 1.2 million properties in Cyprus were not registered with the Department of Lands and Surveys until the authorities carried out a revaluation exercise as part of the island’s bailout agreement.

Cyprus properties not registered for tax

BUILDINGS on 211,811 plots were found to have never been valued by the Land Registry Department with their owners not paying property tax or sewerage fees. The buildings were detected in the latest valuation process conducted by the Department.

Of these, 73,412 were found in Nicosia, 37,185 in Larnaca, 10,556 in the Famagusta district, 57,529 in Limassol and 33,199 in Paphos.

In the meantime, apartments in the Limassol Marina have been valued at over €17 million each by the Land Registry Department but although being spared the property tax – since its abolition by parliament – will pay higher sewerage fees in line with other owners whose houses and apartments are taxed as if they were plots.

Land Registry Department Director Andreas Socratous explained to the House Interior Committee how the 1,133,298 plots in Cyprus have been valued of which 433,212 are houses and 66,178 commercial units

A total of 5,000 houses were revalued by using Google while software was developed to locate plots and describe external characteristics of immovable property in 21 villages in the Nicosia district, while drones were also used to collect information.

A total of 58,808 photographs were taken during the valuation process.

A total of 40,387 applications were received to correct valuation mistakes valuations of which 84% (34,021) have been completed.

A total of 1,699 applications were submitted questioning the initial valuation of which 35% (588) have been completed.

Since 2014, vertical overview aerial photography has been used to determine surface area and elevation to determine valuations.

A total of 200,000 plots were re-valued especially in Aglandjia and Deftera where they were initially overpriced due to the area that they were in.

Members of the public can submit the characteristics of their homes and request the Land Registry Department to compare it with the characteristics used to determine the valuation. Those wishing to do so, are required to obtain a specific number for this at the Citizens Service Centres.

The next projected date for valuations will be January 1, 2018.

Senior Land registry Department official Varnavas Pasioulis said that any excess property tax which has been paid due to a mistake in valuation will be returned.

Copyright © 2017 Phileleftheros Public Company Ltd

Readers' comments

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  • embapaphos says:

    Gonna be cheeky here but the land registry has the meat and the knife in hand as they say in Cyprus, they price things as it suits them….my property was valued by them a good 60% over the price I paid for it (suits them as they were able to reap more transfer fees on registering to my name) When you wish to complain or object to the valuation the veiled the threat is thrown in, your objection may result in an even higher valuation! go figure!

    Also charging someone sapa sala etc even though they are not actually connected to any services (especially if they own an empty plot of land in town) again seems beyond me…

  • Johnny Cyprus says:

    It seems from the above that almost 50% of Cyprus property owners have not been paying IPT. They have never even declared their properties to the Land Registry to date and have now been found out.

    However the government in the meantime has decided to abolish IPT, so presumably the cheats will never pay their back taxes. Perhaps some of those servants of the state who voted to abolish it were amongst them.

    If householders paid on average the amount my wife and I have historically, then the government now has a 300 million euro hole in the budget.

    Another thing – can those apartments of concrete and glass on the Limassol marina really be worth 17 million euros each?

    And another – what is the status of the 633,908 plots that are neither residential nor commercial?

    I am not really expecting any answers; after all I am just one of the fools who paid PTT, VAT, IPT and local taxes, when clearly I could have dodged it all.

    Ed: The 633,908 plots that are neither residential nor commercial will be agricultural, etc.

  • Deanna says:

    If the ‘finish’ date of these unregistered properties can be established (ie a Developer-Contract) then shouldn’t the owners pay-up for the years they remained ‘hidden’?

    Ed: I expect the unregistered properties were built on land that was already registered in the name of the land owner (like myself who bought land and then built on it ten years later.)

  • steve r says:

    Can somebody help me with this article. Is there a difference between IPT and property tax and also village tax. My understanding is that IPT has been scrapped but this article states that there were a lot of properties that haven’t been valued and the owners have not been paying property tax or sewage charges. Very confusing.

    I live in new build property in a small village where the builder has gone bankrupt and left the site 40% not finished. I pay the village tax plus water and refuse charges. None of the 8 properties have ever had a completion certificate issued and the sewage is not connected to the main network. There are soak-away systems for each house and a main soak-away at the bottom of the site. We are all very confused and nobody has any answers.

    Ed: Immovable Property Tax, ‘local’ property tax and sewerage charges are all based on the 1980 taxable value of a property. (Immovable Property Tax has been abandoned – and sewerage charges and ‘local’ property taxes will be based on the 2013 taxable value.)

  • Mike says:

    Goodness, 1.2 million properties for a population far less than that. Is that right or are they considering garden sheds and agricultural stores as dwellings I wonder. However in any event notwithstanding the numbers I’m not surprised.

    Ed: The number of properties will include agricultural land and other plots that do not have anything built on them.

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