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25th February 2024
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HomeLegal MattersApplying for Title Deeds (update 17 May)

Applying for Title Deeds (update 17 May)

SINCE publishing details of the ‘trapped buyers’/’hidden mortgages’ law ((Immovable Property Transfer and Mortgage Law (Amendment) (No. 10) Law of 2015) in the article ‘Apply for your Title Deeds now’, I have been inundated with questions and requests for further information.

This article endeavours to respond to those requests and questions.

I am grateful to Irene Anastasiou and Charalambos Charalambous of the Department of Lands and Surveys Head Office for their time in explaining the provisions of the ‘trapped buyers’ law and the processes involved to me at our recent meeting in Nicosia.

Objective of the ‘Trapped Buyers’ law

The objective of the law is to a transfer property to its purchaser(s) who, although they have fulfilled their contractual obligations to the vendor, are unable to obtain its Title Deed. Typically this occurs when a developer has mortgaged the land on which he is building or a memo or any other encumbrance has been registered on the property, which is the object of the contract of sale, and the developer is unable or unwilling to repay this mortgage and any other debts.

Who can apply for Title Deeds?

Any buyer who has yet receive the Title Deed to the property they purchased may apply for its Title Deed regardless of whether its Title Deed has been issued; the fact that there may be mortgage etc. preventing its transfer is immaterial. In cases where the title deed has yet to be issued, the applicant has the right to apply to the Department of Lands and Surveys for the compulsory acquisition of title according to the provisions of Part VI of the Immovable Property (Tenure, Registration and Valuation) Law, Cap. 224.

In addition to any buyer, the following are entitled to apply:

  • The vendor of the property. This could be a private individual or a company – typically a property development company.
  • The mortgagee under the mortgage contract deposited at the Land Registry.
  • The lender who granted the loan to the buyer to purchase the property.
  • The buyer who purchased the property via an assignment/vesting contract deposited at the Land Registry.
  • The Director of the Depar