OF ALL the stories I’ve had the (dis)pleasure to report over the past ten years, none can match the gross stupidity of the numbnuts ‘working’ at the Paphos Land Registry!
Many foreigners and Cypriots have been advised by their developer that their Title Deeds have been issued and are available for transfer, which of course is very good news.
But when some of those who bought property in Paphos visit the Land Registry to pay the Property Transfer Fees to get Title to the property registered in their name and secure its undisputed ownership, they are turned away. Why should this be?
When visiting a Land Registry to affect the transfer, buyers are required to take their identity card or other documents, such as their passport and residence permit, to confirm their identity.
However, the numbnuts at the Paphos Land Registry refuse to accept a British passport to confirm someone’s identity unless it was the one they used when they applied for their residence permit.
British buyers will immediately see the obvious flaw in this logic, which appears only to be in operation in Paphos (hopefully the disease of the brain will not spread to the other Land Registry offices):
- A British Passport is normally valid for a period of ten years (or five years for British citizens up to the age of 15.)
- Shortly before its expiry a passport is renewed.
- Once the ‘new’ passport has been received, the ‘old’ passport is usually destroyed to prevent the risk of it falling into the wrong hands and being used for fraudulent purposes (which carries a heavy fine.)
- A ‘new’ passport is issued with a different number to the ‘old’ one.
So if you are British and have bought a property in Paphos, but have subsequently renewed your passport and sensibly destroyed the ‘old’ one, the chance of getting your Title Deed even though it is ready for transfer is zero! (Perhaps if you burnt your ‘old’ passport you could take the ashes to the Land Registry – you never know, the numbnuts there may accept it.)
Faced with this problem, one British buyer requested a copy of her ‘old’ passport from the UK authorities. I’m sure it will come as shock to many (in particular those working at the Paphos Land Registry to learn that Her Majesty’s Government, quite sensibly, will not produce a copy of an old passport as it would be invalid and could therefore not be used for identification purposes or as a travel document; attempting to use it in this way would result in a heavy fine.
Even though this British buyer reported the facts to the Paphos Land Registry, they refused to budge.