INTRODUCED in 2015, the Trapped Buyers’ law was designed to enable those who had paid for their property in Cyprus to get their Title Deeds but were prevented from doing so because their developer had failed to repay mortgages on the land on which he was building and/or had failed to pay outstanding taxes.
Following recent decisions by District courts in Limassol and Paphos that ruled the law unconstitutional, the Land Registry suspended transfers until the authorities considered what to do.
Legal Services then directed the various departments to continue implementing the law pending the results of appeals filed at the island’s Supreme Court, which will have the final say on the matter.
In the meantime, lawmakers are looking to plug loopholes in the Trapped Buyers law and it is hoped that a revised law will be passed in September.
Trapped Buyers statistics
There has been much speculation as to the actual number of trapped buyers. But earlier today the Greek language newspaper ??????? (Daybreak) published statistics that it obtained from the Department of Lands & Surveys. These indicated that there are 71,000 cases currently in process involving 106,985 individuals and companies:
Applications from trapped buyers – 11,500 cases involving 15,640 purchasers (6,817 Cypriots, 8,146 foreigners and 677 companies).
Initiated by Land Registry directors – 28,000 cases involving 36,791 purchasers (12,216 Cypriots, 22,986 foreigners and 1,589 companies).
Applications from property developers – 6,000 cases involving 7,756 purchasers (2,363 Cypriots, 5,074 foreigners and 319 companies).
Title Deeds issued, transfers pending – 20,000 cases involving 38,970 purchasers (13,830 Cypriots, 24,003 foreigners and 1,137 companies).
The above are the cases where problems have arisen due to the court rulings; a further 165 court cases are pending.
Vendor documents filed after 1 January 2015 – 5,500 cases involving 7,828 purchasers (2,203 Cypriots, 3,937 foreigners and 1,688 companies). Note that these cases are not covered by the existing legislation.
Of the 106,985 persons and companies: 37,429 (35%) are Cypriot, 64,146 (60%) are foreigners and 5,410 (5%) are companies.