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Interior minister calls for amnesty submissions

Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis has called on those whose properties suffer from planning irregularities to submit Letters of Intent under the provisions of the Town Planning Amnesty before 7th April.

SPEAKING at a press conference on the implementation progress of Town Planning Amnesty Neoclis Sylikiotis urged those whose properties suffer from planning infringements to submit Letter of Intent before the 7th April deadline.

Mr Sylikiotis warned that after the deadline the opportunity to legitimise planning infringements will cease and that legal action will be taken against those who continue to break the law. Filing a Statement of Intent is free of charge.

According to official figures 7,798 Statements of Intent have been submitted and those concerned have been sent a letter indicating the number to use when submitting their application.

To date, the Land Registry has received 1,058 Certificates of Approval:

  • 906 have been issued without notes and the properties will be issued with a ‘clean’ Title Deed.
  • 134 have been issued with notes detailing planning irregularities that will be recorded on the Title Deed of the relevant properties.
  • 18 have been issued with a Certificate of Unauthorised Works as the properties in question suffer from ‘significant’ planning infringements. This will result in a prohibition being placed on the Title that will prevent the affected property being sold, transferred, mortgaged, etc.

These Certificates will facilitate the registration of approximately 1,778 housing units; Title Deeds for 36 have already been issued – and the Land Registry in Larnaca is expected to issue 130 Title Deeds in the next few days for a large housing development..

Providing a Statement of Intent is submitted before 7th April, applicants will have until 7th October 2014 to apply for a Certificate of Final Completion for the building.

Readers' comments

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  • Spike says:

    The article states:

    These Certificates will facilitate the registration of approximately 1,778 housing units; Title Deeds for 36 have already been issued – and the Land Registry in Larnaca is expected to issue 130 Title Deeds in the next few days for a large housing development.

    Nice to know that the overworked civil servants are not being too stressed.

  • James JH Lockhart says:

    The Minister maybe wants to be a future president or a Hollywood actor.

  • Gavin Jones says:

    On an almost daily basis we are confronted with yet more proof that Cyprus truly is an unsavoury, diabolical, lawless society.

    One lives in hope that the EU will finally force the Cypriot regime to comply with the law – and I use the word ‘regime’ in its full pejorative sense.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    So the Government cannot or will not tell anyone if their property or development actually has any planning discrepancies but they then threaten – -“Whoever has a discrepancy and doesn’t make a declaration of intention, they will be forced to either demolish the construction or fix the discrepancy,” said Sylikiotis. “The declaration costs nothing.”

    If people knew whether or not they had a discrepancy then they would be more likely to make a declaration, or not, as the case may be.

    Surely if the planning authorities were on top of this situation they would have a list of properties where they know planning irregularities exist and they could then have written to the owners of these properties offering them the chance to file a declaration under the planning amnesty rather than leaving it all to guesswork?

    If these owners then chose to ignore this opportunity, or in cases where they themselves have made significant modifications after the original construction was completed, it would have been more reasonable for the authorities to take the action that Silicosis is threatening.

    So where are the planning authorites in all of this and why can’t they tell anyone if they have a discrepancy or not?

    Is it because there are no proper planning or building control systems in Cyprus and no inspections are carried out during the construction of any development to identify if any discrepancies exist before they complete the works?

    Nor does it seem that any planning or building control procedures are in place or enforced when any modifications are being carried out by individual owners.

    Is not this the correct way to identify any such discrepancies, and not wait until the works are completed and then expect individual property owners to foot the bills to put things right yet again?

    In the main this is nothing to do with helping individual property owners to legitimise their property, but is more to do with getting the Government’s mates, the Developers, off the hook at someone elses expense yet again!

    Oh and probably to provide further unneccesary funding to help the Architects and Legal robbers out of the hole that they’ve dug for themselves.

  • Steve says:

    I think we should start referring to the minister as Mr Slick. He has created a mechanism to force all without a final certificate of completion to pay whatever price the Republic of Cyprus demands, whilst letting off the system that caused the problems as well as the developers, lawyers, estate agents, architects, etc… scot free. He has also shown he can fend off the EU and MEPs from the UK, in fact anyone else who interferes.

    All in all a very clever chappie.

  • Peter says:

    Action must be taken against the owner of the land. So that will be the developer and the person who caused the building infringement, so that will also be the developer.

    There is no way the victim and hapless occupier who bought in good faith can be blamed for infringements.

    I hope that when Cyprus gets the six month EU Presidency we can cause it some embarrassment on its failure to get a grip on this situation.

  • Mike says:

    I quote “Mr Sylikiotis warned that after the deadline the opportunity to legitimise planning infringements will cease and that legal action will be taken against those who continue to break the law.”

    Presumably this legal action will be for occupying a dwelling without a certificate of final completion which is a contravention of the law and perhaps in some cases for renting out for gain a property which does not have a certificate of final completion and therefore a tourism certificate permitting such rental.

    Can I ask if the developers and builders will also have action taken against them for building property in contravention to the planning permit or in the absence of a planning and building permit.

    Is it only hapless foreigners who will feel the force of law as presumably it is predominantly they who have the majority of illegally built properties for which title deeds are sought, locals I suggest are not so concerned as in the majority of cases they own the land their illegally built house is on and have no wish to secure title for the house and invite the demand for transfer fees.

    All in all a pigs ear of legislation encouraging the continuation of fraud, lies, deceit and corruption and in no way addressing the root cause of the problem. But hey – this is Cyprus, we are immune from any prying EU eyes, our police are all busy building personal networks and securing their future and our politicians and legislators have pensions and seats on boards to arrange. In any event foreigners are all multi millionaires and can afford it so by definition are fair game. Nigerian logic springs to mind – if they weren’t here the problem wouldn’t arise…I give up!

  • Frank says:

    Will Neoclis Sylikiotis ever change his focus and start calling on the really guilty parties (the developers) to take some action (at their cost)? He, as usual, is directing his instructions and his threats (with associated expense) toward the buyers of tainted properties.

    It can only be the developer who has enabled the illegal occupation of a building which has no Certificate of Final Approval. Yet, we may safely assume that the threatened legal action and subsequent imposition of fines will somehow find a way to bypass the developers. After all, the developers are the true, and only, beneficiaries of this spurious amnesty; while the victims of their deceit have become ‘the guilty’.

  • Andrew says:

    Planning infringements would not occur if Cyprus had an effective system of building control. It is the Cyprus government who should face legal action for not properly overseeing developments during construction.

    When will Cyprus issue clean Title Deeds at the point of sale?

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

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