Cyprus: Thousands of “trapped” homeowners may now claim their deeds

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Following the law that the local parliament passed is said to resolve the issue, homeowners will now be able to file an application to obtain their property’s title deed.
Approximately 4000 homeowners have filed an application so far in order to obtain their properties’ title deeds. The problem occurred while thousands of homeowners purchased a property from a developer but no title deed was previously given to them.

The reason for all this chaos lies behind the fact that property sellers in Cyprus had either previously mortgaged the deed or transfer would not be proceeded due to outstanding taxes owed on behalf of the seller towards the state, which in turn refused to transfer the title deeds to the new owners.

It is estimated that around 78,000 cases of buyers whose property was not transferred to their name exists in total. The law comes as a necessity to resolve this pressing issue that concerns both foreign and local buyers.

Depending on the case and under certain conditions, the head of the land registry department is granted with the new law the authority to exempt, transfer, eliminate or even cancel mortgages and/or other obstacles regarding the transfer of deed ownership.

The whole process takes around four months, provided local authorities issued the necessary certificates first, hence the various municipality authorities are urged to expedite their procedures.

“For the entire procedure to be completed, it goes without saying that first the title deed must be issued and the necessary certificates must be provided by municipal authorities and district administrations”.

– Andreas Socratous, Head of Cyprus Land Registry.

Any future applicants wishing to exploit the capability given by this new law should have either paid the seller in full or only a small outstanding amount. It also required that the sales contract must have been submitted to the land registry for inspection.