Cyprus Property News for home buyers & real estate investors in Cyprus

30th November 2021
Cyprus Property News logo
HomeProperty NewsPeople suffering at the hands of the Land Registry

People suffering at the hands of the Land Registry

The state of affairs at the Cyprus Land Registry is appalling, with people waiting many years to have their applications processed.

In its article “Golgotha of suffering for citizens in the Land Registry”, the Greek-language Phileleftheros summarises the findings of an investigation undertaken by the Internal Audit Committee.

The Audit Committee outlined the “labyrinthine procedures” and the large number of cases that have built up over many years. In particular:

  • A huge number of outstanding cases, which on 31/12/2019 stood at 42,590.
  • Long delays in completing cases. One case examined by the Audit Committee took 8.8 years to complete; 47.5% of the cases completed by the Nicosia Land Registry Office during the first 10 months of 2019 were submitted between 2001 and 2010 (processing time 9-18 years.)
  • Based on processing rate of applications, the Audit Committee estimated that it will take the Land Registry 39 years to complete them if it continues to use its existing procedures.

The investigation placed great emphasis on the mind-numbing bureaucracy that prevails in this part of government:

  • It identified 36 processes and 429 stages set out in the Department of Lands and Surveys’ Procedures Manual (ISO).
  • One case examined passed through the hands of 18 officials, 4 branches and 13 internal departments.

Not surprisingly, the Audit Committee Supervisor concluded that the Audit Service considered that simplifying and redesigning the Land Registry’s procedures would lead to substantial benefits in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.

Back in March 2018, staff of the European Commission and the European Central Bank “encouraged the authorities and other stakeholders to step up progress in other essential areas, including the implementation of the national healthcare system in a fiscally-sustainable way, the on-going reform of the electricity market, and the establishment of an efficient title deeds issuance and transfer system.”

It would appear that little (if any) progress has been made.

Maybe a new Director of the Department of Lands and Surveys could clear up the mess?

By an amazing coincidence, the position of Director is currently being advertised as the present incumbent is expected to retire on 1st November. The position carries a salary of €89,161. (The new director will have a massive job on his hands to get the mess sorted out.)

9 COMMENTS

  1. Paying to hand our apartment back to the bank. After 10 years we haven’t even been able to apply for title deeds because the developer has failed to complete the development and get a Certificate of Completion. Oh, and the cream of the jest is that we have to pay the developer for a list of dubious charges, in order to get them to confirm to the bank that no money is owed. Beyond livid, but just want out.

    • I understand how you must be feeling. Unfortunately disreputable developers often charge for fictitious extras. Friend of mine were in a similar position and, having taken legal advice, found it was less expensive to pay the rogue than sue him in court.

  2. It has to be labyrinthine to justify so many highly paid, highly pensioned non-jobs.

    The fear of making the LRO’s more efficient is felt by all those who hide behind the current complexities.

  3. I too am suffering for the last 16 years with the land registry all I want is a boundary my house is in someone’s garden. What hasas happened to human rights.

    • Settlement of Boundary Disputes

      Law Cap.224, Section 58

      Where any dispute arises as to the common boundary of two properties, any of the owners may request the Director of the Department of Lands & Survey to settle such dispute. No Court shall entertain any action or any other proceedings related to such dispute unless it has been settled by the Director of the Department of Lands and Surveys in the first instance.

      Requirements for the settlement of boundary disputes

      – At least one of the two adjoining properties must be registered (i.e. have a title). Such registration must be based on a plan prepared by the Director of the Department of Land and Surveys.

      – The dispute must not have previously been settled by the Director.

      Filing the Application

      The application for the settlement of a boundary dispute must be filed on Form N.268 obtained from any District Lands Office or downloaded from the webpage The application form is to be completed, signed and filed with any District Lands Office and shall be accompanied by the certificate of registration of the property or a photocopy thereof.

      It is the applicant’s responsibility to ascertain and mention in the application the name and the exact address of the owner of the adjoining property. For purposes of convenience of the public, the Director of the Department of Lands and Surveys may issue a search certificate upon an application made by any owner. The search certificate shall indicate the person(s) in whose name the properties adjacent to the applicant’s property are registered or recorded in the books of the Department. The applicant must also ascertain the true owner/party in such dispute.

      Fees

      All prescribed fees are payable upon filing of the application.

      Local enquiry

      The local enquiry is carried out after all interested parties have been notified of the exact date and hour of the enquiry at least 14 days in advance by means of registered post. The application will be processed only after ascertaining that:

      – The names of the persons mentioned in the application are the registered owners of the adjoining plots.

      – The notices have been sent to the correct addresses.

      – The aforementioned requirements are met.

      – At least one of the parties concerned has indicated locally the disputed portion of land.

      If all above requirements are met, the Land Officer in cooperation with the Land Surveyor/ Technician Engineer of the Department shall, after completion of the surveying work, indicate the position of the common registered boundary of the properties.

      After the boundary has been indicated and determined, the parties concerned are entitled to either accept this common boundary as indicated by signing a statement, or they may not accept the boundary as indicated. In both instances, the dispute shall be resolved by a decision of the Director of the Department of Lands and Surveys, notified to the interested parties. Any of the interested parties who does not accept the Director’s decision, may lodge an appeal before the Court of the District where the property is situated.

      The period, within which an appeal may be filed, is thirty (30) days from the date of posting of the relevant notice of such decision.

      The time required for completion of the procedure is estimated to 12-18 months provided that no appeal against the Director’s decision is lodged and varies according to the particularity of each case, the accumulated volume of work and the available personnel.

      Note

      Settlement of a boundary dispute is the only surveying work that cannot be delegated to a Private Licensed Surveyor.

      • I’m puzzled by the application-filing requirement for boundary disputes that the applicant must request DLS to search the (closed) register to determine the registered owner of the adjoining property and must also determine the ‘true’ owner.

        What is meant by ‘true’ owner? That wording may perhaps suggest that the beneficial owner must be identified as well as the (registered) legal owner but how can an ordinary individual hope to discover the beneficial owner of a registered plot?

        Perhaps DLS is hoping that applicants will help clean up the garbage data it holds by providing the true identity of some of the 262300 individuals who registered their property with fake ID (as reported here 24/12/2015: ‘Immovable property tax dodgers’). It knows the details it holds of any registered owner may be complete garbage so is asking whether applicants can somehow come up with better data. I’m not clear exactly how one may start (let alone win) a dispute regarding boundaries with properties registered using fake IDs such that mandatory notices can’t be properly served!

          • That doesn’t seem consistent with the English wording of the law as you provided – and which I’ve seen elsewhere so I’m not querying your source.

            The search certificate indicates the registered owner but the requirement is that the applicant ALSO ascertain the true owner. That surely means that they are NOT necessarily one and the same.

Comments are closed.

Sign up to receive our free Cyprus property newsletter

We guarantee that we do not spam and will not divulge your email address to any third party.

Read our privacy policy for more information.

Cyprus property transfer fees

Property capital gains tax (CGT) calculator

EUR - Euro Member Countries
GBP
1.1723
RUB
0.0120
CNY
0.1370
CHF
0.9487

Top Stories