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Department of Land and Surveys Citizens Charter

The Department of Lands and Surveys ‘Citizens Charter’ provides information on the services it offers together with the procedures to be followed and the costs associated with various types of applications related to immovable property in Cyprus.

THE Department of Lands and Surveys provides services related to immovable property in Cyprus, including land surveying, cartography, registration, transfer and mortgage of property and the ownership of land.

Amongst other aspects, the latest issue of the Department’s ‘Citizen’s Charter’ published earlier this month, contains information about ‘The Sale of Land (Specific Performance) Law No. 81(I)/2011’ that came into force on 1st August 2011. This includes details of “Vesting Contracts” by which a property that has yet to be issued with its Title Deed may be sold without the involvement of its registered owner.

“Vesting Contracts” overcome the problems whereby unscrupulous developers demand outrageous sums of money from those wishing to sell a property before its Title Deed has been issued.

The latest issue of the ‘Citizen’s Charter’ advises potential buyers to proceed with a lot of caution and provides a checklist to help them avoid some of the more obvious pitfalls.

Download the Department of Lands and Surveys ‘Citizen’s Charter’ (87 pages).

Note that the information contained in the Charter does not constitute full and detailed interpretation of any Laws or Regulations. For more information, you are advised to contact the Lands Offices in each District, or the Department of Lands and Surveys website.

Readers' comments

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  • Costas Apacket says:

    Thanks for this Peter, I think I’m going deep under-cover, DEFCON 5 so you may not be able to reach me for a while!

    Or maybe I’ll just surf Currys and Amazon!

  • Peter says:

    @ Costa packet..

    I have a 2Realistic Micro 26 micro-cassette recorder with MC-90 tape. There is nothing secret agent about these items and readily available from any electrical shop over the counter. I bought mine at Currys over 15 years ago. “Amazon.co.uk” have several more modern such as “Olympus DP-20 – Digital voice recorder – flash 1 GB – WMA – display: 1.78” much the same size as mine at £35.00 and a Olympus ME-15 Tie Clip Microphone at £20.

    Normally I keep it in my car alongside a disposable and a digital camera in case of a road accident..again the ex-copper always looking on the positive side.

  • Gavin Jones says:

    Peter.

    A chastening tale and thank you for sharing it with us.

    Thousands of us have suffered from the effects of blatant corruption and downright lies that exist in Cyprus.

    Justice? I more than most know that it simply doesn’t exist here and that the judiciary, the dispenser of legal probity, is merely a cabal of individuals who collectively exist to extort the maximum amount of lucre from as many people as possible in whatever means at their disposal; that includes misinformation, out and out deception and theft.

    The current eurozone crisis has demonstrated the above ‘shortcomings’ on a much grander scale, particularly among countries bordering the Mediterranean littoral, and it’s time that countries such as Cyprus, where accepted norms of behaviour are anathema, should be forever cut loose.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Peter, I would appreciate it if you could let me have the make & model of the recording device that you used for this.

    I am due to get my Title Deeds in April this year, if all works out as planned, and I would dearly like to cover my rear as you have done so well.

  • Peter says:

    @Out of the frying pan

    Actually I did. As an ex-Met police officer I never went into a discipline hearing without being taped as I had no confidence in my senior officers, sad but I learnt that from experience. A small tape recorder fits into the pocket. An ‘active microphone’ clipped onto my watch strap picked up all the conversation in the room, useful as I don’t understand the Greek, and Greek was used as a ‘blocking method’ to exclude me from the conservation. My wife’s sobbing is clearly audible. So were her comments that after 10 years we could never afford ownership of our home, we would have to sell our home. (cost about €70-100)

    With the loss in value of sterling over 10 years and the IPT payable to our developer the deeds were now beyond our reach. Not ‘their’ fault sterling crashed, but the 10 year delay was? We now had to pay over twice what we had put aside in 2002.

    Another blocking method was misdirection. I was told that this woman was the head of the department, her boss was in Nicosia. I demanded and got his details and made an appointment with his secretary in the office so they could see I was serious. My developer then informed me she wasn’t the boss, she was no more than a pleb, a ‘bottom feeder’. There were three more, three levels above her in the building. So I was being sent to Nicosia for nothing. I thought I had done my homework in advance but even I had forgot to google http://www.moi.gov.cy or I would have seen the boss with his photograph and known where to go.

    I eventually arrived at an agreement where I paid more than I should but not as much as they wanted. The day was won by our developer who did the negotiations. Like Dimitris Christofias says to me negotiations are all about compromise on all sides.

    What the clerk doesn’t realise is that the refusal to issue the deeds at the correct price is extortion (Blackmail). It makes no difference if the gain is for herself or a Government who are short of funds. My first call would have been to the police station, followed by the Ombudsman as the police would have refused to record my complaint, followed by a second visit to the Ombudsman to make an allegation of discrimination. Three bed villas sold after mine in 2003 to Greek Cypriots were accepted by her at the contract price at a lesser amount than I paid in my contract. I had done my homework in advance.

    I have given evidence at Paphos Court in the capacity as an ‘Expert Witness’. What passes for justice is a joke. I needed to move them out of their ‘comfort zone’ and onto Europe. I specialised in EU Law and have given talks/presentations to groups such as the Rotary Club in Paphos.

    That is where I would have ended up. As for pay and appeal…..no chance as my developers says an appeal has never been won and you would waste your time.

  • out of the frying pan into the fire says:

    Peter is right take a tape recorder and a covert camera. Both my lawyers and Developer have lied to me. The more I think the more I realise that Peter is right. How I wish I had done just that.

  • Gavin Jones says:

    Citizen’s Charter?! Go tell the Spartans.

    Cyprus’ disrespect for the citizen knows no bounds and anything that is said or even written on tablets of stone is conveniently ignored or not enforced when it doesn’t suit.

    Doubtless this ‘charter’ has been drawn up by an army of lawyers, another grouping whose reputation has been irrevocably tarnished.

    Credibility and natural justice? A virtue long gone and unlikely to return anytime soon.

  • Mike says:

    At least the charter has been updated and can now be used as a yardstick.

    On the question of demarcation of land the previous charter quoted a time for completion of from 6 to 12 months. I waited 5 years and my neighbour 7 (both of us are Cypriot). Now on the same question the new charter, midway down page 32 states –
    “The time required for completion of this kind of cases, cannot be estimated due to volume of work accumulated as a result of cases that have been delayed”

    At least we now know where we stand and can adopt our expectations accordingly.

  • @Peter – There have been several complaints about this, some of which have been reported here.

    See page 78 of the Citizen’s Charter on how to proceed:

    “Where in the opinion of the Director, the declared sale price is below the market value (as at the date of the agreement), such market value, on which the fees are payable, shall be determined by the Director of the Department of Lands & Surveys.

    If the transferee does not agree with the decision of the Director regarding the determination of the market value, he/she has to nevertheless pay the fees as assessed on that value and to declare in writing his/her objection/disagreement. In this case, a local enquiry and valuation of the property takes place and the decision is notified to the interested person.

    The valuation must take place within three (3) months from the date of the transfer. The transferee is entitled to apply to the Supreme Court to contest the Director´s decision.”

  • Peter says:

    Just collected my title deeds after 10 years and was asked to pay €14,300 instead of the contract price of €10,300. I was told this was based on the cost of the land and house now at today’s price and not that of the contract in 2002, even though the value of the house and land is much less now. The Land Registry Paphos were just plucking figures out of the air. They couldn’t and wouldn’t give me anything in writing everything was done verbally. If I asked a difficult question or asked for them to justify their decision they just blanked me. It was take it or leave it.

    I would advise anyone going to the Paphos Land Registry to take a tape recorder and photo any paperwork with their mobile phone.

  • The views expressed in readers' comments are not necessarily shared by the Cyprus Property News.

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