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Cyprus building permits bureaucracy

The World Bank ‘Doing Business’ report for Cyprus highlights the mind-boggling level of bureaucracy in dealing with building permits involving several government and local authority departments.

Cyprus building permitsACCORDING to the World Bank ‘Doing Business’ report for Cyprus, dealing with building permits requires eight procedures and takes a mind-boggling 507 days!

This ranks Cyprus at 120 out of the 190 countries that were surveyed. According to the World Bank’s analysis it takes 240 days just to update the Title Deed!

In Germany, dealing with building permits takes 126 days, in the UK it takes 107 days, while the average time in Europe and Central Asia 168 days.

As we reported in September, Cyprus’ planning and building permit processes are  (hopefully) being overhauled with the ultimate goal of creating a modern legal framework for development licensing, significant strengthening of building control and reducing delays.

Cyprus has been working with the Austrian Finance Ministry to develop proposals and recommendations based on best international practices to rationalise Planning and Building Permits, Certificates of Approval, the enforcement of building control, the issuance of Title Deeds. (It takes the Austrian authorities 222 days to deal with building permits, which require eleven procedures.)

Cyprus also comes in at number 92 of the 190 countries surveyed regarding real estate registration. It involves seven procedures and takes 9 days, but of particular concern is the high cost; 10.4 per cent of the cost of the property compared with the average cost in Europe and Central Asia of 2.5 per cent.

Readers' comments

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  • steve r says:

    It has taken 12 years so far to get our plots divided. The thing is that we still do not seem to be any nearer. Once that monumental task has been completed we will have to start applying for the title deeds. Nobody seems to be able to tell me what will happen if anything happens to me before the tasks are completed.

    Ed: You can apply for your Title Deeds NOW; you don’t have to wait until the land has been divided – see Applying for Title Deeds. If you die before the deeds are issued, your interest in the property will pass to your heirs.

  • Zemo Munro says:

    Cyprus has been working with the Austrian Finance Ministry to develop proposals and recommendations based on best international practices to rationalise Planning and Building Permits, Certificates of Approval, the enforcement of building control, the issuance of Title Deeds.

    This only proves one thing that Government departments in Cyprus are so bogged down in decades of their own mess and bureaucracy that whist they are scratching their heads and chewing pencils they have got to rely on another country to dig them out of the mire of red tape!…Shame they chose Austria to do the streamlining for them when it, on average only takes Great Britain 107 days to issue permits. Looking forward to the day!…Wow Cyprus without Red Tape!…What dreams are made of!

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Why employ one person to do a real job when you can employ 10 people to do non-existent jobs which complicate and lengthen the process?

    I suppose there are votes to be had?

  • Pippa says:

    How about issuing clean title deeds at time of purchase? or is that a step to far? Along with dividing plots to individuals quickly without the need for the roads and pavements to be completed, which are not part of the plot to be finished? Until Cyprus enters the 21 Century in property purchase it will remain in the financial doldrums.

    Does any other country, (Greece not being included in the question) issue ‘unclean’ title deeds which prevents those who have paid for a property in full or who are servicing their mortgages from selling the said property?

    Sorry about all the questions!

    Ed: Title Deeds cannot be issued at time of purchase (unless they already exist). But it is eminently possible to issue them on delivery of a property to it’s purchaser or a few days later. I know of no other country that issues ‘unclean’ Title Deeds.

    The timescales discussed in the article assume that a Title Deed for the land already exists, where the process merely involves adding a building to that deed.

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