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Final solution for trapped buyers?

The Finance Ministry is seeking a final solution that will enable trapped buyers who were duped into buying property built on land that their property developer had previously mortgaged to the bank to get their Title Deeds.

Cyprus: Final solution for trapped buyers?THE FINANCE Ministry is in contact with banks and land developers as it seeks a final solution to the problem of trapped buyers who were duped into buying property built on land that its developer had previously mortgaged to the bank to get their Title Deeds.

Earlier efforts have been thwarted by the banks who claimed successfully in the courts that the ‘trapped buyers’ law, which was introduced in September 2015, was unconstitutional.

The underlying principle of the new draft bill is that there should be an agreement between all parties from the beginning of the procedure that someone who bought and paid for a property in good faith should get its Title Deed.

It is anticipated that the parties affected will submit their proposals on the draft bill after the summer parliamentary recess. The government wants to exhaust all possibilities of dialogue before the draft bill is tabled in the House with the hope that it can then secure a quick passage.

The government plans to have legislation passed by the end of this year. Meanwhile a number of bills submitted by AKEL, which is also looking at ways to resolve the problem, are already pending debate in the House.

Political parties want the issue resolved by the end of the year as thousands of ‘trapped’ property buyers are affected. They have indicated that they will go ahead with their own proposals if there is further delay.

According to statistics from the Department of Land and Surveys about 28,000 properties are affected.

Readers' comments

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  • Penny Kyriacou says:

    Waiting for the Cypriots to deal with any corruption issue is like waiting for God.

    I wouldn’t hold my breath that this will be resolved as the developers are in the pockets of the bankers and the banks are in the pockets of the courts.

    It’s the ordinary person who suffers for the greed of the developers and banks.

    Don’t believe for one second any of these people have learnt anything.

    For the ordinary people the lesson is very clear don’t buy property in Cyprus unless you want to spend the remaining years of your life paying high interest rates or high solicitors bills to get your basic rights.

    This can only happen in a country that on the face of it wants everyone to believe it’s fair and reasonable in its approach to criminal activities. However behind the scenes it’s no more than a third rate backward county full of corruption.

  • Who Gives says:

    @ ED A Title Deed in reality does not mean anything in the modern world who ever name on the land registry should be the legal owner of the property with the exception of the Republic of Cyprus.

    The only people who will continue to suffer are the unfortunate buyers who have paid for their property in full. The withholding of title deeds to a buyer who has paid for a property in full is in breach of European law which Cyprus should be held accountable.

    Ed: A Title Deed means everything. As I said earlier it’s a legal document confirming ownership, etc. of a property + liens associated with that property.

    The term ‘conveyance’ describes the legal process of transferring a property from one owner to another. That process is completed when the deed to the property is registered in the name of the second owner. (This is known as ‘completion’.)

    As it takes the Cypriot authorities many years to issue a title deed for a new property the conveyancing process also takes many years before ‘completion’ can take place.

    In the UK, for example, ‘completion’ occurs when a property is delivered and accepted by its owner or a few days later even for a new property. This is because the process used in the UK and other countries to issue Title Deeds is much more efficient than the antediluvian process used in Cyprus.

  • LT says:

    This bill would be so bad for trapped buyers. I mean who is determining that we “paid for a property in good faith”. They may say we paid in full in bad faith. What kind of descriptive terms are those? Everyone who paid for their property in full, whether is black or white, in bad or good faith, or whatever, should be legally entitled to the Title deed.

    Title Deed is like a receipt for a property purchase. How they are even allowed to speculate, who is going to get it?

    This is much worse than the previous law for consumers. so, upsetting.

    FROM: trapped buyer over 10 years and counting. wish I could sell the dar* thing.

    Ed: Perhaps if I’d used the phrase ‘bona fide’ it would have been better that ‘in good faith’ (but I don’t know how many readers would have been familiar with the term.

    A Title Deed isn’t a receipt – it’s a legal document showing ownership, rights, obligations, liens and mortgages on the property. A receipt is evidence that you’ve paid for something.

  • Henryj10 says:

    I have been in the UK for 2 weeks can you tell me what happened to the gentleman’s agreement with the banks was that not the solution to end the problem.

    Ed: This is legislation that will enforce the gentlemen’s agreement.

  • Gary Petrie says:

    And the Cypriot Parliament continues to try and have friendly chats to the banks. Seeking goodwill from the banks despite their fraudulent activity. Get heavy handed. Threaten massive fines and legislation if they do not resolve the matter. Or are you just trying to kick the can down the road again?

  • Deanna says:

    Only 28,000 properties? I’d have thought – over the thirty years it’s been going on (to my knowledge) you could put a ‘1’ in front of that…

    Ed: This isn’t the number of trapped buyers. It’s number of properties whose transfers have been blocked by the banks. The number of trapped buyers is in the region of 70,000.

  • scott Stanfield says:

    Just shows what a joke of a corrupt country Cyprus is. Regardless of what they say I still advise people not to purchase properties in Cyprus.

  • Magic Roundabout says:

    No mention of criminal prosecutions for the Banks, Developers and in particular the lawyers concerned with each transaction for allowing this fraud to happen ?

    I suppose the Finance Ministry would claim they were unaware to cover themselves but the Banks and Developers could produce evidence that they were, I suggest this may be the reason behind them seeking this agreement route rather than bringing prosecutions ?

    Collusion and Fraud all the way to the Heart of Cypriot Governance appears rife here and the court would “protect their own in any event”.
    I can’t believe how easily fooled the EU were when donating bailout rescue money in return for reforms.
    My thoughts are this process will not speed anything up in the near future but only time will tell

  • Mike says:

    Believe it when I see it

  • Richard says:

    @Pippa. Probably not – at least not until the corrupt financiers work out a way they can make even more money out of people they’ve already conned blind.

  • dagwood says:

    I am reminded of that old song: “Where have all the gentlemen gone?”

  • Mike says:

    How many years have we been hearing this and how many times have people been told that the politico’s have introduced a solution only to find either an objection from a vested interest in keeping the status quo or the so called solution being deemed unconstitutional. Lets see how this effort fares.

  • Nikos Theodoulou says:

    Cypriot politicians never but never tell the truth, they are All “Criminals”

  • Pippa says:

    It would be a relief to many of us if it were true but we can we actually believe the Cypriot politicians actually mean what they say for once?

    Ed: Q. “How can you tell if a politician’s lying?”.
    A. “Their lips move.”

  • sensible says:

    We will see?

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