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Progress on pending Title Deeds applications

According to the director of the Land and Surveys Department, the number of pending applications for Title Deeds is down to 20,000 – and the aim is to reduce this number to less than 2,000 by the end of the year.

title-deed-issuesPENDING applications at the land registry department to issue Title Deeds for properties with final approval have been reduced to around 20,000 and the aim is to cut them down to 2,000, a senior official said yesterday.

Land registry deputy director Vasos Petrides told the Cyprus News Agency that based on the terms of a bailout agreed last year, the objective was to cut down the number to around 2,000 by the end of the year.

Also pending were Title Deed applications submitted from buyers concerning 4,000 units in 350 developments, Petrides said.

He said that titles had not been issued for these units because the owners or developers had not supplied the department with the necessary documents.

Under a law passed in 2011, buyers who have submitted their sale documents can ask the land registry department to start procedures to issue Title Deeds

Buyers however, do not possess the necessary documents – building permits, final approval – which only the owner of the property has.

In these cases the department asks the owner to supply the necessary paperwork so that the procedure can go ahead.

Petrides said his department wants the help of the other authorities like municipalities, and district administrations to supply the final documents.

“We take the case to the final stage and wait for the final approval to issue the titles,” he said.

There were also a number of developments that no one showed interest in securing the deeds for.

After 60 days the department can start the procedure itself and it can seek the necessary information from the other authorities.

Editor’s comments

ALTHOUGH this news will be welcomed by thousands of those who have bought property in Cyprus and who are waiting for its Title Deed to be issued, the above report is only part of the story.

The Troika changed the target that it had originally agreed with the Cyprus government by redefining the Title Deed backlog to cases where:

  1. An application has been made to the Land Registry to issue a Title Deed for a property.
  2. A Certificate of Final Approval for a property has been issued.

There still remain an unknown number of properties waiting to be issued with Title Deeds that do not fall into either of the above categories. I.e.

  1. An application has not been made to the Land Registry to issue a Title Deed.
  2. A Certificate of Approval has not been issued.

To get a complete picture of the number of properties waiting to be issued with their all-important Title Deed, the Troika has asked the government to:

“establish a Task Force (comprising representatives of Central Bank of Cyprus, Ministry of Finance, the Law Office of the Republic and the Land Register) by end-March to prepare a study assessing the magnitude of registered, but untitled land sales contracts and underlying mortgages and develop recommendations by end-June.”

Hopefully, a more accurate figure of the number of properties waiting to be issued with Title Deeds will be available in July; it will be significantly higher than the 20,000 announced in the above report!

 

Readers' comments

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  • Liz says:

    Unfortunately, even if these deeds are issued many, if not most, will not be able to be transferred to buyers anyway because of developer mortgages.

    As an example, the individual title deeds were issued for a development in Paphos built by one of the larger developers some while ago but the mortgage (NPL?) has not been paid off. The few buyers who bought before the huge debt was secured on the land hired a law firm who managed to exert enough pressure to get these few unencumbered properties transferred to the rightful owners.

    The Troika still don’t know the half of it!

  • Phil says:

    You decide as my article is fact and not wishful thinking.

    Just to say that I applied to have my house placed on my title deeds, I understood to be a simple process. I provided all documents required, paid my dues and have made at least 4 visits to Land Registry to obtain an update and guess what I AM STILL WAITING and how long so far 2 years and 6 months.

    PL

  • Peter Davis says:

    @Denton.

    My understanding is the figure of 120,000 outstanding title deeds, which is often quoted, relates to 2007 and that not even the Land Registry has any idea how many are actually outstanding today, but far more than the original figure quoted. Given that 2007/8 were the height of the building frenzy. It must be far more than 120,000.

    But I could be wrong, hope I am.

  • Martin Brown says:

    You’ll probably find the reason that there are so many properties where no-one has requested Title Deeds is because the whole process of Issuing Title deeds is so confusing.

    We bought our Apartment off plan, back in 2006. We went through a Cypriot Lawyer so everything was submitted correctly, and our contract Stamped, and our payment/application lodged with the Land Registry. As yet we’ve not received any Title Deeds, but do we need to do anything else, or are we in the machine, and one of the 20,000 I have no idea.

    Like other peoples comments, it may well be because our developer has outstanding payments, even though part of the contract was the agreement that there was no outstanding Mortgage on the property, yes we may be able to negate our contract but at what cost, and we wouldn’t have our property.

    The property market can’t possibly settle down, nor the banking stabilize until Banks stop mortgaging properties which actually no longer belong to the developer to mortgage! – that was just a recipe for disaster waiting to happen.

  • Andrew says:

    Land registry deputy director Vasos Petrides, could you answer a simple question, I wonder.

    There are approximately 100,000 additional Title Deeds waiting to be issued. Many of these will have outstanding developer mortgages. Are these home buyers protected from losing their homes under Specific Performance Law? Yes or No?

  • Deanna says:

    Thanks Nigel; I will be seeing my lawyer when I come over, after Easter. When I saw him last October he got in touch with Land Registry and they said it would be ready this spring. But I won’t hold my breath.

  • @Deanna – As the Certificate of Final Approval has been issued for your house, you no longer have to wait for the developer to request the Land Registry to issue Title Deeds.

    Following the changes in the law back in 2011, you can apply for Title Deeds to be issued.

    I’ll publish an article in the next few days on how to go about this.

  • Deanna says:

    Things are on the ‘up’ are they mh?

    Well the upside hasn’t quite reached my end of Paralimni yet; my house was paid for, in full. in 1990. Contract of Sale was lodged at Land Registry and Final Approval obtained many years ago.

    So the reason for mine – and countless others, not being issued can only be that the Developer hasn’t paid his due taxes.

    Hopefully this year……………..

  • Pippa says:

    ‘PENDING applications at the land registry department to issue Title Deeds for properties with final approval’

    I think this first sentence says it all. After 5 years, we still waiting for the certificate of final approval, as are many property occupiers/buyers. Is there any chance of these properties being inspected and certificate issued in the foreseeable future? I think not. Lets continue to fudge the figures, and try and kid any potential buyers that the government is really addressing in the problems of the property market. Please do not be fooled, the property market here in Cyprus is dead, and will continue to be till the moon turns to blue cheese and pigs fly.

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    Deception alert! Deception alert! So, if there were some 120,000 properties still awaiting their title deeds, it now looks like 20,000 have been or are about to be issued this year. These are the ones where an application for issuance has been made to the Land Registry by the developer (in most cases). That leaves some 100,000 still in limbo where no such application has been made.

    The Troika has demanded a Task Force to look into the other 100,000. A Cypriot ‘task force’? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Moufflons will fly over the Troodos before those 100,000 ever get cleared.

  • Stuart says:

    Since we are now in April (and it’s not April 1st) does anyone know whether the ‘Task Force’ was, in fact, ever established and, if so, how it will ever manage to assess the magnitude of the problem by the end of June when the documentary evidence seems elusive to the extent that there are some developments for which no one has shown any interest in securing the Title Deeds!

  • mh says:

    Nigel, Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. We all know things are on the up in property wise ;)

  • andyp says:

    I got excited for a nano second and then it was back to reality.

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

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