Details of title deeds amnesty for buildings in Cyprus now available

Discussion in 'Cyprus Property' started by Nicholas Wallwork, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. Nicholas Wallwork

    Nicholas Wallwork Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Premium Member

    [​IMG]More details of the Cyprus government's proposals to solve the*Mediterranean island's property title saga have been revealed.

    Its draft bill sets out the case for an amnesty for illegal*buildings. Where they do not affect the interest of nearby*properties a special committee will give permission for title*deeds to be granted.



    [​IMG] Click Here to Read The Full Story and Add your Own Comments to Details of title deeds amnesty for buildings in Cyprus now available
     
  2. dmitrimko

    dmitrimko New Member

    Greetings to all!!!

    Greetings to all. Who knows where quickly and not expensively to buy tablets without leaving the house?
    Has bothered to walk on drugstores :-((((((
     
  3. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

    Initial verdict............

    Property group condemns title deeds laws
    By Charles Charalambous
    (archive article - Saturday, 7 November, 2009)

    DRAFT legislation to deal with the estimated 130,000 unissued title deeds fails to “grasp the nettle” of the issue as it does not address in any way the main issue of developer mortgages, a leading property action group said yesterday.

    In a statement to be circulated today to British and Cypriot MEPs – a copy of which has been obtained by the Cyprus Mail – the Cyprus Property Action Group (CPAG) contends that the government’s proposed legislation currently before the House Legal Affairs Committee “in effect is merely an amnesty for developers who have failed to adhere to planning/building permits issued or even built illegally without these permits”.

    Consequently, it fails to address the main problem of “developers taking mortgages on properties they have also sold to unsuspecting buyers”. Buyers then “wait years to obtain title deeds and stand to lose their homes should the developer go bust and if the buyers cannot then pay off ‘their’ portion of the mortgage”.

    After arguing that successive governments have “totally abandoned” enforcing the Completion Certificate law “which is designed specifically to protect buyers and the integrity of the planning system”, the CPAG statement also says that by creating three categories of title deed “the proposed legislation in our view also seriously undermines the rights of the buyers who may be subjected to the effects of such provisions.”

    The three new categories defined in the draft legislation are: “complete” or clean title; “imperfect” title, presenting minor irregularities in relation to the building permit; and “limited” title, presenting substantial illegalities in relation to the building permit.

    In CPAG’s view, anything less than a complete or clean title deed in practice would prevent a buyer from selling a property or taking out a mortgage. Since Article 23 of the Constitution (Property Rights) guarantees every owner the right to dispose of their property, CPAG considers “this particular amendment as being totally unconstitutional”.

    “The Government could appear to be colluding with dishonest developers to breach bona fide sales agreements through their ability to apply for these inadequate type 2 and 3 title deeds.”

    The statement also quotes a press announcement issued by the Cyprus Bar Association a month ago, which said that “there is concern that the amendments will not solve the problem, but add to it”, and recommended opposition to the three amending bills.

    CPAG accuses the Cyprus government of “consistently misleading” the UK government and the EU – which have applied pressure for a resolution to the problem – by suggesting that the proposed legislation represents “action to address the serious issues raised by these bodies.”

    The statement concludes: “Sooner or later they will have no choice but to address the issue of developer mortgages. The question is: just how much damage to the economy, the image of Cyprus and people’s lives will have been caused before the Government shoulders its responsibilities?”

    Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2009

    http://www.cyprus-mail.com/cyprus/property-group-condemns-title-deeds-laws
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  4. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

    Official response.

    Working together for proper title deeds law
    By Neoclis Sylikiotis
    (archive article - Thursday, November 12, 2009)

    I WRITE in response to the Cyprus Mail articles on November 7 under the title ‘Homeowners broaden fight: title deed legislation fails to tackle developers’ and ‘Planned title deed law misleads EU: categories of ownership are ‘unconstitutional’’. I would like to clarify the following:

    1) Since the completion of the drafting of five legislations concerning property registration and building procedures, I have called for a dialogue with all the political parties and interested professional bodies or other organised groups in order to have their proposals and comments.

    In addition, the Ministry has uploaded all five proposed draft bills on its website for any interested party. In this context, I have already met the leaders of all Parliamentary political parties, as well as many groups. At the moment, we are re-drafting the proposed bills in line with some of the suggestions we have received. I am sorry to say, that we have not had any feedback from the CPAG.

    2) Irrespective of the above, the buyer’s interests are safeguarded against any mortgage taken out by the seller, as long as that mortgage has been registered with the Lands and Surveys Department after the signing of the contract between the buyer and the seller.

    3) In addition, according to the proposed legislative amendments, any aggrieved buyer will have readily available the option of applying for a court order, which in effect will order the seller to transfer the title deed to the name of the buyer. If the seller is not willing to co-operate, the court orders another party to compulsorily transfer the title deed to the buyer. Furthermore, amendments will allow authorities to proceed with procedures leading to the issuing of all permits and certificates, as well as separate title deeds for individual property units (i.e. flats, attached holiday villas etc.), even without the consent of the original owner-seller. Authorities will also have the power to enforce a penalty on any unwilling original owner in order to encourage timely responses and the co-operation of original owners, while the Minister will have the power to publicise the names of sellers who are not co-operating with authorities in line with procedures defined by law. These significant improvements will undoubtedly benefit not only new buyers, but also people who have already signed such a contract for buying a residential unit, and find difficulties in having their title deed.

    4) I do not agree with the CPAG’s opinion that the provisions of proposed legislation are unconstitutional. Despite the fact that I respect any opinion put forward about the constitutional soundness of these bills, even when this opinion comes from non-experts, I would suggest that the legal vetting of draft bills by the Legal Service of the Republic will guarantee for this issue. I would not consider the CPAG as an expert body on constitutional questions.

    I will repeat that the Ministry of the Interior has put in a serious effort in order to bring about a drastic and definite solution to the long existing problem of the issuing of title deeds.

    That is why I believe that this is not the right time for complaints of this nature. On the contrary, I sincerely believe that this a good time for all to work together in order to solve this Gordian situation.


    n Neoclis Sylikiotis is the Interior Minister of the Republic of Cyprus

    Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2009

    http://www.cyprus-mail.com/opinions/working-together-proper-title-deeds-law
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  5. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

    Interesting press interview.

    Minister confident title deed changes will work
    By Charles Charalambous
    (archive article - Sunday, November 15, 2009)

    Interior Minister Neoclis Silikiotis answers questions on proposed legislation designed to improve the title deeds situation

    Could you start by clarifying what the new title deeds legislation is about?

    There are five draft amending bills. The proposed legislation is not just about the town-planning amnesty. Although these bills also deal with a town-planning amnesty, they deal mainly with making issuing of title deeds easier, with the buyer at the very heart.

    To give one simple example: Currently, if there is a property development involving 100 flats or houses, even if the majority of those units do not have a town-planning problem, the fact that a Completion Certificate cannot be issued for the whole development means that title deeds cannot be issued for those units. This is why we came up with the idea of differentiating between categories of title.

    Let’s be clear: we are not talking about three separate title deeds – there is only one title deed. What we are simply saying is that in particular cases, any [building permit] irregularity will be recorded as an appendix to the title, which is why that title will be designated “incomplete”. This will help the buyer because it will allow us to issue the Completion Certificate. So in my earlier example, say 70 property-owners will receive clean title, say another 20 would get an “incomplete” title due to the minor irregularities. With a lot of developments involving apartment-blocks, these irregularities are often no more than parking spaces not having been designated, or the use of common areas not being clearly defined. But these are the kind of irregularities which don’t affect neighbouring units.

    In cases where there are major irregularities or illegalities, then a “limited” title will be issued, in other words a title deed with an appendix of the illegalities which typically affect neighbouring units. This means that the owner cannot sell or otherwise transact unless he ends the illegalities.

    This is being done in order to enable title deeds to be issued for the whole development, to limit the problem of any illegalities with a few units. So in my example 70 titles are clean, 20 are “incomplete”, and the remaining 10 “limited”.

    Apart from the various provisions for a town-planning amnesty, something which appears for the first time in the new legislation is the “special execution” order. A buyer will no longer depend on the developer – he can apply directly to the Director of the Land Registry office, who will have the right to consider whether to issue the title deed without having to wait for the land-owner. Today, that possibility is only available after you have applied to a court for a special execution order, but with the new law the buyer will have this new right.

    But where does the problem of developers’ mortgages fit in? The laws create a right, but there are debts hiding behind that right.

    That is irrelevant. Under the special execution order process, if the buyer can prove he has paid what he was supposed to, the title deed can be issued, and let the bank solve its problem with the developer.

    So the new law will protect the buyer?

    That’s exactly the point – the special execution order process applies to a specific property unit. The provisions also include an obligation on the developer to comply with the process and they give the authorities the power to impose a fine if the developer does not fulfil his obligations. The developer will be obliged to apply for a Completion Certificate, and once this is issued, there is the obligation to apply for the title deeds to be issued. This is the point where the mortgage question sometimes comes in. Up to now the developer could hold things up by saying “I have a mortgage, I can’t get the title deeds issued, because I would have to pay off the mortgage.”

    But now there will be the burden of possible fines, and secondly there will be “naming and shaming” of developers who offend repeatedly. A company that is serious about its business will avoid this.

    http://www.cyprus-mail.com/features/minister-confident-title-deed-changes-will-work
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  6. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

    Update............

    Interest groups doubtful on title deeds legislation
    By Charles Charalambous
    (archive article - Friday, 27 November, 2009)

    INTERIOR Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis briefed a meeting of interest groups yesterday on the latest amendments to the five proposed bills aimed at easing the title deeds problem and ultimately creating healthier conditions in the property market.

    Some 25 people attended the meeting, representing all the relevant government departments, the Technical Chamber (ETEK), the Cyprus Land & Building Developers Association (CLBDA), the Cyprus Land and Property Owners’ Association (KSIA), surveyors and other property sector professionals.

    It was not clear whether the banks were invited to the meeting, but KSIA President Giorgos Strovolides said that “nobody from the banks was there”. The Cyprus Bar Association, which issued a statement last month recommending opposition to three of the amending bills, was invited, but did not attend.

    An estimated 130,000 units (houses, flats, hotels) are currently without title deeds, while only 25,000 applications for title deeds have reached the Land Registry. The proposed legislation has been designed to ease this bottle-neck by providing a town-planning amnesty and strengthening the position of property-buyers when applying for title deeds.

    Strovolides told the Cyprus Mail: “It is very positive they realised that they need to bring all the interested parties together to try to solve the problem.” However, he still felt that the main aim of the legislation is the town-planning amnesty.

    He said that the “special execution process” – which would allow the owner of an individual property unit to apply directly to the Land Registry for the title deed rather than depending on the developer of the whole project to do so – “makes sense, but we’ll have to see how it works out. There is a difference between theory and practice.”

    Regarding the estimated number of properties for which title deed applications have not yet entered the system, Strovolides said: “They should have given numbers. They talk about 130,000 titles not being issued, but they don’t give a breakdown which identifies the specific reasons for non-issuance. Having real numbers under different headings – or at least accurate estimates – would allow targets to be set. How long will it take to clear the backlog? One year or 100 years? I don’t understand how we can try to solve the problem without establishing exactly how big it is first.”

    He added: “With all the bureaucracy that affects every area at the moment, I’m not sure to what extent the system will be able to cope with the extra workload.” That said, “this is a step in the right direction. How small or big a step it is will become clear later.”

    http://www.cyprus-mail.com/cyprus/will-it-all-take-one-year-or-100-years
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  7. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

    Update............

    ‘Buyers’ rights at centre of new law’
    By Charles Charalambous PIC
    (archive article - Saturday, 28 November, 2009)

    CONSULTATION on the draft legislation designed to ease the title deeds problem and ultimately create healthier conditions in the property market has now been completed “within an open, democratic and transparent process” aimed at creating the “broadest possible political and social consensus”, Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis said yesterday.

    “For the first time and in a holistic manner faces up to a lingering problem, a Gordian Knot which has prevented thousands of Cypriot and foreign property-buyers from obtaining title deeds,” Sylikiotis said.

    The Minister spoke to the press after meeting with representatives of the main political parties yesterday to discuss the draft legislation package. He said the aim was to facilitate the bills’ speedy passage through the House in early 2010 following their approval by the Council of Ministers before the end of the year.

    An estimated 130,000 units (houses, flats, hotels) are currently without title deeds, while only 22,000 applications for title deeds have reached the Land Registry, with a further 4,000-5,000 being processed in recent months. The proposed legislation has been designed to ease this bottle-neck by providing an “amnesty” for minor infractions of town-planning regulations and strengthening the position of property-buyers when applying for title deeds.

    The consultation process began with the publication of the five bills in July. A first round of meetings was held with various interest groups such as the Technical Chamber (ETEK), the Cyprus Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KEVE), the Employers and Industrialists Federation (OEV), the Cyprus Land & Building Developers Association (CLBDA), and official representatives of surveyors, civil engineers and other property sector professionals.

    This first round of consultation meetings produced written proposals for improving the bills. The second round took place over the last two days, when Sylikiotis briefed all interested parties – this time including the Cyprus Land and Property Owners’ Association (KSIA) and the Cyprus Property Action Group (CPAG) – on what will most likely form the final version of the draft legislation.

    The Minister emphasised once again yesterday that “strengthening the buyer’s rights lies at the centre of the amendments”. One set of new provisions will make it compulsory for the sale & purchase contract to be registered with the Land Registry, and for the Completion Certificate to be applied for and obtained by the developer. In practice, the lack of compulsion on such matters has acted against property-buyers’ interests.

    Sylikiotis said that this new process will bring the problems to the surface, and forcing them through the system will facilitate the issuing of title deeds.

    http://www.cyprus-mail.com/cyprus/buyers-rights-centre-new-law
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  8. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

    Interesting idea............

    ‘Outsource title deeds procedure’
    By George Psyllides
    Published on December 17, 2009

    THE ISSUING of title deeds for new properties currently takes up to 20 years in some areas of Cyprus with thousands pending, the island’s developers association said yesterday.

    Lakis Tofarides, the chairman of the Land and Building Developers Association said between four to seven years are needed to issue a title in the Nicosia district while it could take 10 or 20 years to issue a title in the coastal areas if there are no irregularities or changes to the property.

    “I assure you, in most cases there are changes and irregularities,” Tofarides told reporters.

    An estimated 130,000 titles are still pending, though many concern privately owned houses, the developers said.

    The association suggested allowing private certified experts to carry out 11 of the 12 procedures currently needed to issue a title, letting the land registry handle the final approval.

    This, the developers said, would enable the state to issue 30,000 to 40,000 titles annually, without an additional cost and receive at least €30 million more a year from transfer fees.

    It will also free the property market from rigid bureaucratic procedures and Cyprus will stop being discredited abroad as a problematic property market that does not issue titles and traps buyers.

    ?Outsource title deeds procedure? - Cyprus Mail
     
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