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Tuesday 3rd August 2021
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HomeLegal MattersMPs pass unconstitutional Cyprus property law

MPs pass unconstitutional Cyprus property law

The Cyprus parliament passed an unconstitutional law that could have resulted in problematic and even dangerous properties being sold to unsuspecting buyers.

The law ‘The Immovable Property (Tenure, Registration and Valuation) Law (Amendment), (No 2)’, which was published 26 March, lifted the ban on the sale of properties that suffered from serious planning and construction infringements.

Such properties are issued with a ‘Certificate of Unauthorized Works’ by the Planning Department. This results in the Land Registry placing a note on the property’s Title Deed that prevents the owner selling or mortgaging the property.

President Nicos Anastasiades has referred the law back to parliament. The law in its present state would have allowed those who breached planning and construction regulations to obtain a ‘clean’ Title Deed but would have prevented those with ‘dirty’ Title Deeds from obtaining ‘clean’ title.

In 2011 there were approximately 100,000 buildings that could not be issued with Title Deeds as they breached planning regulations. In efforts to clear the backlog a ‘Town Planning Amnesty‘ was introduced that enabled such properties to be issued with Title Deeds.

Properties with ‘minor’ irregularities can be sold and issued with ‘clean’ Title Deeds once any minor infringements had been corrected. Minor infringements included changes to the internal layout of the building, changes to the doors and windows and other architectural features.

Properties with ‘major’ irregularities cannot be sold until the irregularities have been corrected and a ‘clean’ Title Deed issued. Major planning infringements include health and/or safety issues with the building, fire safety hazards, significant impact on the amenities and rights of others, significant increase in the area of the building permitted in the planning zone, encroachment on a neighbouring property, beach protection zone or road network and refusal to hand over the road network to the public.

New property law needed urgently

The Cyprus parliament should have passed a law requiring the person/company that caused a ‘Certificate of Unauthorized Works’ to be issued to pay for any remedial work necessary and compensate the purchasers were appropriate.

As the law currently stands people who bought these properties have to pay for the remedial work out of their own pockets. I.e. The victim (the purchaser) has to pay for the indiscretions of the cowboy builder (developer) in order to make the property saleable.

5 COMMENTS

  1. The law is not bad. In all cases Land registry should have a separate team for new buildings title deed process.

    The delays in issuing title deeds for new buildings is very bad for the construction sector in Cyprus.

  2. I don’t understand this statement: ‘ … The law in its present state would have allowed those who breached planning and construction regulations to obtain a ‘clean’ Title Deed but would have prevented those with ‘dirty’ Title Deeds from obtaining ‘clean’ title.’

    I can understand getting the ‘clean’ deeds with the infringements, but why can’t the ‘dirty’ deeds be cleaned?

    Given it has been passed back then we will have to wait and see.

    I did read somewhere that such a move for for the benefit of the banks so they could repossess and sell easier properties with the selling prohibitions.

    • What I understand from the article in Phileleftheros was that there would be no penalty or requirement to pay for any remedial work necessary. However those with ‘dirty’ deeds would still be required to pay to get a ‘clean’ title.

      • Thanks for that, although I don’t see the logic in supporting one deed over the other.

  3. Welcome to the shark tank. This article is further proof, as if anyone needed it, that the government and developers are simply out to screw people.

    With all of the negative publicity the property market here has had, it’s hard to imagine that people still choose to buy, albeit in ever decreasing numbers.

    Developers, estate agents, solicitors, bank managers ,all working together to fleece the unwitting would be buyer into parting with their hard earned cash for a usually crap product, with all sorts of potential problems as can be seen above. People have actually killed themselves and others forced into bankruptcy.

    Smiles and assurances that the law is the same as the law in England. Your money is safe. It simply isn’t.

    Advice to anyone thinking of buying? Don’t. If you decide to stay rent first. Talk to people. If you are then foolish enough to fall for the dream leave your English sense of fair play back in the UK.

    A handshake here means nothing.

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