DAMN TITLE DEEDS! - any answers???

Discussion in 'Cyprus Property' started by susieV3, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. Nigel Howarth

    Nigel Howarth Member

    The UK Government has replied to the two written questions concerning the problems with Title Deeds tabled in the House of Lords by Lord Jones of Cheltenham in November:

    Asked by Lord Jones of Cheltenham
    To ask Her Majesty's Government what advice they are offering to United Kingdom citizens who have bought property in Cyprus but have not received their title deeds. [HL239]

    The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice for Cyprus, available on the FCO website, advises British citizens who encounter difficulties as a result of purchasing property in Cyprus to seek qualified legal advice on their rights and methods of redress. This would include difficulties in obtaining deeds to property to which the purchaser is entitled. Although the Government are unable to become involved with individual cases, our High Commission in Cyprus does support community associations in Cyprus that are dedicated to resolving the problems of property buyers, and gives details of those associations on its website, accessible via the Cyprus travel advice.

    Asked by Lord Jones of Cheltenham
    To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make representations to the Government of Cyprus over the practice of allowing developers to use title deeds of completed houses as collateral for future loans, with reference to Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus. [HL240]

    Lord Malloch-Brown: Our High Commissioner in Cyprus recently raised the issue of title deeds not being supplied to purchasers on completion of a property purchase in Cyprus with the Republic of Cyprus Ministry of the Interior, and received assurances that the Cypriot Government intend to introduce a Bill to address this issue. The Government recognise that this issue has the potential to affect a large number of British citizens who have purchased property in Cyprus, and will continue to take a close interest in the measures by which the Cypriot Government attempt to resolve this problem.

    For more information see British property buyers come one step closer.

    I'd appreciate your thoughts and comments on these answers. Lord Jones has asked me to let him know people's reaction.

  2. kismet

    kismet New Member

    Thank you for this update. I am not being cynical when I point out that Greek Cypriot's politicians find it very easy to say " the matter is being closely looked into" etc but the reality is that since the 1980's GC developers have been using their freehold ownership of land ,containing completed and sold dwellings, as security for further bank loans. Hundreds of Brits's lost their homes this way in the last 25 years. The GC Government have had these complaints for 25 years+ and apart from " the matter is being closely looked into" and other insincere rhetoric, the laws were not amended to correct this injustice. The fact is that GC politicians are in the pockets of the large developers such as Leptos, Aristo, Lanitis etc. I'm not holding my breadth!
  3. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member


    Britain keeping watch on title deeds fiasco
    By Jean Christou
    (archive article - Saturday, 17 January, 2009)

    BRITAIN will take a close interest in measures taken by the Cyprus government to sort out the problems of home buyers left without their title deeds, a written answer to the House of Lords has said.

    Two questions were placed before the Lords last November detailing the concerns of some property buyers worried about the implications of not holding legal ownership to their properties.

    For them, the issue became more urgent as the global credit crunch began to bite into the real-estate sector with the possibility of foreclosure by the banks on the developers who still hold titles.

    The average wait for title deeds in Cyprus is 10-15 years, and there are around 100,000 home owners still waiting, 30,000 of whom are foreigners.

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  4. Nigel Howarth

    Nigel Howarth Member

    Stay tuned for further developments - in the next few days you may read about some further developments
  5. Nigel Howarth

    Nigel Howarth Member

    Lord Jones of Cheltenham has tabled three follow-up questions in the House of Lords; answers are expected by 4th February:

    * How the UK Government will monitor the measures to be introduced by the government of Cyprus to address the practice of property developers using title deeds of completed houses as collateral for future loans, in order that the interests of United Kingdom citizens with property in Cyprus are protected.

    * Whether the UK Government will discuss with and provide assistance to the government of Cyprus to ensure legislation is introduced to protect the interests of British citizens who have bought property in Cyprus and who are unable to obtain the title deeds to the properties they have purchased because property developers who hold the deeds have mortgaged the land on which their properties are built.

    * Whether the UK Government will have further discussions with the government of Cyprus to ensure British citizens who have bought property in Cyprus receive their title deeds immediately after purchase has been completed.

  6. kismet

    kismet New Member

    Hi Nigel,

    Thats very good progress. The GC's in the past have ignored a lot of adverse publicity regarding this matter and the GC justice system is corrupt. Foreigners rarely win cases against GC's and Mr O Dwyer's situation is by no means an exception. I have had a property in Cyprus for 25 years and inthat time I have seen so many Britons, particularly pensioners, cheated out of their money by the corrupt Developers, lawyers and, most of all, the HGC Government.

    The local grapevine expects a lot of Cyprus developers to go bankrupt in 2009 and only then will the gravity of this corruption be felt.

    Many thanks for your efforts.

    Captain William Cronin
  7. Nigel Howarth

    Nigel Howarth Member

    Hi William,

    I've been looking back through the archives and the government here has been making empty promises since the mid-1980s when a company by the name of Pieris Estates collapsed.

    Back in 2005 it promised to "arm property buyers with an arsenal of weapons against unscrupulous property developers" and has made numerous vacuous pronouncements on the subject - but it's not lifted a finger.

    The Government is not going to be allowed to get away with it for much longer! Questions have also been raised in the EU and the pressure is mounting.

    Tomorrow, a peaceful protest is planned to take place outside the office of a law firm in Paphos that's been cited in the O'Dwyer case and another case where a property developer sold a house twice.

    Many will welcome the shake-up in the industry, which will hopefully result in many of the rogues masquerading as property developers being forced out of business. But when this happens the banks to which they have mortgaged their land will look to recover the debt, and those who have bought property on that land are at risk of losing their homes.

    Just last week I heard that the administrators had been called into a property developer in the Larnaca District. Could this be an indication of worse things to come?

    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  8. kismet

    kismet New Member

    Hi Nigel,
    I'm afraid the nightmare scenaerio has already begun. The only ray of hope is that government rules prevent banks from foreclosing for several years and this will force the banks to offer something to the occupants. This will be the cheaper option for the banks. However, it stills means the "occupant owners" having to buy the unit again. Its hard to imagine a more corrupt country and the fact that Cyprus is an EU member makes it more difficult to swallow.

    Good luck on Monday


  9. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

    To the barricades!!

    Paphos title deeds demo targets law firm
    By Bejay Browne
    (archive article - Tuesday, 27 January, 2009)

    ANGRY demonstrators converged on the offices of Pittadjis Law Firm in Paphos yesterday, protesting the lack of proper legislation concerning developers and title deeds.

    Denis O’Hare of the Cyprus Property Action Group (CPAG) told the Cyprus Mail, “We’re here because we were asked by the victims of this lawyer – it’s not organised by us. We would usually contact the press in the UK, and give a month’s notice. But we’re here today to lend our support.”

    “This law firm has given out bad information in many property purchase cases, and these people here today are just the tip of the iceberg. The system here is wrong,” he added.

    “There are thousands of people without title deeds to their properties, and lawyers fail to inform purchasers’ about the situation in Cyprus. Many wouldn’t have brought here if they’d known,” he said.

    “You would have to be slightly crazy to buy from a developer now. Cyprus is still a wonderful country, with a great climate and people, but unfortunately, developers and the legal fraternity have ruined it for everyone.”

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  10. grumpy001

    grumpy001 New Member

    Kismet, although I agree with much of the sentiment in your postings, I would suggest a little caution in the assumptions of developers and hands in pockets etc. Although it may (or may not) be the case, it would be a great shame for any unfounded statement to bring the forum into disrepute and lose the tool.

    Some of these companies are rsorting to action very quickly so we need to be careful.

    The govt, will be forced one way or another to come into line with the bulk of europe. there will be a realigning of prices (not before time) and a normalising of property processes. Lets hope it happens before there is too much more misery and loss.
  11. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member


    Britain waits for Cyprus title deed action
    By Nathan Morley
    (archive article - Wednesday, 18 February, 2009)

    PROTECTING the rights of property buyers in Cyprus is being discussed by some of the most powerful names in UK politics, after a stream of disgruntled home owners have been forced to plead to British MPs for urgent assistance.

    Most pleas come from residents that remain stuck in limbo with no end in sight to their title deed saga. A staggering 80 per cent to 90 per cent of all owners of properties still do not have their deeds.

    In two letters seen by the Cyprus Mail, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Chancellor Alistair Darling have been in communication concerning the ongoing saga within the past ten days.

    Darling, representing two of his constituents that are fighting for the deeds for a property they bought on the island, received a lengthy response from Miliband last week which stated:

    “I understand the concern about the practice in Cyprus of title deeds not being supplied on completion of a property purchase. The practice of property developers not supplying title deeds to purchasers has the potential to affect a large number of British citizens as well as other foreign nationals living in Cyprus.”

    In the letter Miliband also states that the British High Commissioner to Cyprus had “received assurances” from the Cypriot Interior Ministry that they would introduce a bill to address the situation soon.

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  12. Nigel Howarth

    Nigel Howarth Member

    Another update:

    UK Govt taking keen interest in Cyprus property issues
    By Nigel Howarth

    BRITAIN is taking a very close interest in the progress being made by the Cyprus government to resolve the “Title Deeds-cum-fraud mess”.

    Seeking further clarification from the UK Government on how it intends to ensure that the Cyprus Government keeps its promise to resolve the long-standing Title Deed issues, Lord Jones of Cheltenham tabled three further questions in the UK House of Lords in January.

    More at UK Govt taking keen interest in Cyprus property issues
  13. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

    All talk but no action............

    Home owners call for direct action
    By Nathan Morley
    (archive article - Sunday, 5 April, 2009)

    “Title Deed plans are nothing more than hot air”

    HOME buyers have accused the state of misleading the British government by giving assurances of new legislation to tackle the title deeds issue when no such plans exist.

    Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis was invited to a meeting of home buyers last week in Paphos but opted instead to send Andreas Symeou from the Land and Surveys Department. During a short speech by Symeou the atmosphere soon turned sour when it became apparent that no new legislation for existing owners was actually being drafted.

    “During the meeting Mr. Symeou was forced to disclose that the only legislation under review was another amnesty for developers who had broken the planning laws and were unable to obtain a Final Certificate of Completion; plus legislation to protect future buyers was being developed. We note that an amnesty was tried three years ago and produced no tangible results in the issuance of Title Deeds then, as the overriding problem is the developer loans, currently these are estimated at €4 billion,” said Denis O’Hare, who leads the Cyprus Property Action Group (CPAG).

    “The Ministry misled the British Government and the thousands of worried buyers who had been promised suitable legislation. But this irresponsible Cyprus government was now admitting that many buyers were being left to sink with their developers who will surely go bust in today’s economic climate.”

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  14. grumpy001

    grumpy001 New Member

    This situation is not going to go away and the sooner the Cyprus government realise it the better.

    In my humble opinion, a slump/recession like we are currently in is the best time to make reparations and lay the foundations and guidelines for the future.
  15. susieV3

    susieV3 New Member

    Damn title deeds.........

    Thanks Corholio

    Shame the Cyprus Govrment isn't that bothered as the Developers are ripping them off too!.........as it not paying IPT to, but still charging clients for it under the name of "Gvt Tax",surely there must be some Laws to get the theives back!?

  16. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

    My opinion............

    Well, if the Cyprus gov't doesn't get its act together & sort this mess out PDQ, then I guess it's only a matter of time before an individual test case and/or group action lawsuit arrives at the European Court of Human Rights, in which case I can well foresee the ECHR coming down on the Cyprus gov't like a tonne of bricks, shaming it into cleaning up its act & forcing it into line with the rest of the EU in this regard.

    I sincerely hope it doesn't come to this............

    Cornholio :)
  17. susieV3

    susieV3 New Member


    Well its a shame they are killing the geese that lay the golden eggs! (their customers).....it will bite them in the backside, people talk, who will be buying in Cyprus after all they do & have done to rip people off in the property market?, its not impressive for tourists either!...... think they need to learn what "marketing", "customer care" and "service" really means!
    Such a beautiful island..........run by idiots, bit like the UK I suppose! lol!

  18. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

    Here, here!!

    State inaction over title deeds is irresponsible
    (archive article - Tuesday, 7 April, 2009)

    ALTHOUGH the problem of the title deeds is not of this government’s making, its handling of the matter could not have been worse. Without properly studying the matter, it made promises to interested parties that it could not keep, given the complexity of the matter.

    It turns out now that the legislation the government had promised to pass to help owners obtain title deeds for their properties is only targeted at a select group of buyers: those who had properties in buildings for which the developer had not obtained a final certificate of completion because certain planning laws had been violated. With the new legislation, a final certificate of completion would presumably be issued irrespective of the illegalities so that people can receive their title deeds.

    This law will be of no help the majority of the 30,000 foreign home-owners who cannot obtain title deeds because their properties are technically still owned by the banks and being held as collateral against loans given to developers.

    It is a scandalous state of affairs that fully protects the interests of the banks while leaving ordinary people without any protection. Cyprus is probably the only country in the developed world where a property seller is not obliged to hand over the title deed to the buyer as soon as full payment is made.

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  19. Matt-Man

    Matt-Man New Member

    Property Deeds In Cyprus I Know!!!

    I was an estate agent in Cyprus until two years ago. I know exactly what goes on.

    Depending where you purchased the property;
    Nicosia area - you get deed in 6 months

    Famagusta area - you may never get them.

    I have experianced developers maintaining their mortgages or guarantees to other mortgages on the land your home is on.

    If anything on the development is as not as on the plans the municipallity planning will turn the deeds down.

    If anyone builds an external building - swimming pool - semi permanent shed, cover fixed to the walls. pergula. or anything that is not on the origional plans.....NOT only will they not get the deeds BUT they will hold up the proceedure for everyone on that develpment.

    I personall have three properties in Cyprus. One I purchased with title deeds the other two I have had for 7 years - and still no deeds in sight.

    What to do?

    You have to go to the developer; BUT he will for sure fob you off with anything he thinks of that will sound plausable.

    LOOK - I have dealt with over 80 different developers, BIG and small ones... Not one I have found that I would trust.

    Although on the face of it they will still invite you into thier homes for dinner.

    A strange lot.

    If you go ahead with the purchase then you have to be aware that you may have to wait up to 10 years or even never get deeds.

    Go to the land registry office. For Famagusta and Larnaca these are in Larnaca.
    Although there is a local one in Paralimni.

    They have always been very helpful to me.

    You have to then go back to the developer with the information from the land registry.

    The developer will always blame them....and never expect that you have the real info.

    Get in writing from the developer what he has done and will do and a time schedule

    THE FAMOUS "dont you trust me" when they say that and they do a lot. Just say yes I trust you but I am inpartnership with this property with my "sister" "accountant" "lawyer" "bank" in the UK and they need documentation to advance me a loan or deposit.

    You still wont get the deeds - "trust me" :)!

    So what does it mean? well you can ask for the properties on the development to be on a shares basis - which means that each individual house has a seperate share holding related to the land of the developement.

    This at least means that you can get a bank loan without a developers guarantee.

    BUT this is not title deeds and you cant extend or modify anything outside.

    Yes is complicated and yes CRAZY too. But thats how it is.

    If you would like any further details. I would be happy to respond,

  20. susieV3

    susieV3 New Member

    Property Deeds

    Matt -Man....

    Maybe you can help me here?..........the complex my place is on is Leptos owned and the last part of the complex is finished approx this May, I have had the property for one year, been asking for information off Leptos such as;

    Exact amount of IPT on their last bill
    (only usually listed as "admin" or "other", which explains nothing)

    How much they pay from that to the Government

    Of course I haven't had an answer Ha ha............my Solicitor says pay it (I am having interest put on of course by the load..CPAG says don't pay it, I shouldn't have to pay it anyway as my property was less than cy100,000, but because Leptos has mortgaged the land of course they want to make everyone on the complex pay (except themselves!)..though I might be safer going with one of the larger, well known property companies, but of course not!....I hope anyone thinking the same will think again!

    When this final bit of the complex is finished shouldn't this mean I should be nearer to getting deeds?..........shouldn't Land Registry be able to then give me an AX number at least?..or Leptos at least!

    any advice please, to stop this open and blatent theiving from people?


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