I am in the process of buying an off-plan Cyprus property from a developer and the lawyer acting on my behalf has advised me that:
“The bank which has a mortgage on the project will issue a declaration confirming that the separate Title Deed issued for the property will not be burdened with the existing mortgage which is currently filed on site.”
Is this OK? I have read accounts of people having their homes sold to pay back the bank and I’m concerned this may happen to me.
It’s a common practice for developers to mortgage the land on which they’re building to ‘kick start’ the development.
You need to proceed with caution. As the bank will not issue a declaration until separate Title Deeds are issued, you are at risk if the developer goes bankrupt or if the bank calls in the loan in the meantime. Bear in mind that it can take many years to get your Title Deeds in Cyprus; I know of people who have been waiting more than 20!
What your lawyer needs to do is obtain a “release” from the bank stating that the part of the property you’re thinking of buying is free of a mortgage. In addition, you must ensure that the “release” is given when you sign of the Contract of Sale, or you may find it’s not issued.
If your lawyer is unable to obtain a “release”, do not proceed with the purchase.