“Trapped” own­ers’ law on the right track

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The unan­i­mous adop­tion by par­lia­ment of the prop­erty buy­ers’ law was a wel­comed sur­prise.

The rel­e­vant leg­is­la­tion was nec­es­sary to reg­u­late and solve a prob­lem haunting Cypriot buy­ers for decades now.

The in­te­rior Min­is­ter is to be con­grat­u­lated for push­ing hard for the adop­tion of the leg­is­la­tion. It also de­fies logic why this sim­ple so­lu­tion had not been adopted 10 or 15 years ago. How­ever, the ul­ti­mate so­lu­tion will come about, once ti­tles are au­to­mat­i­cally is­sued, at the same time the devel­oper de­liv­ers the key to the buyer.


In or­der for the public not to be in the dark al­low me to present the ba­sic pro­vi­sions of the new law.

The term ‘trapped’ buyer refers to those who hon­oured the terms of sale or are will­ing to do so:

a) The leg­is­la­tion ap­plies to buy­ers whose prop­er­ties do not have a ti­tle deed;

b) It also re­lates to prop­er­ties for which a ti­tle deed has been is­sued to the name of the devel­oper but can­not be trans­ferred to the buyer for spe­cific rea­sons..

In the first case, when a deed has not been is­sued, when the buyer ap­plies to the Land Reg­istry Depart­ment, all fore­clo­sure pro­ce­dures are sus­pended. The ap­pli­ca­tion for ti­tle deed trans­fer re­mains pend­ing un­til the deed is is­sued. If ti­tle deeds have been is­sued the fol­low­ing ap­ply: - The trans­fer ap­pli­ca­tion from the devel­oper to the buyer can be ini­ti­ated by the seller, the buyer, the mort­gage len­der or other lenders re­lated to the prop­erty;

- This is another case when fore­clo­sure pro­ceed­ings are sus­pended un­til the ap­pli­ca­tion is ex­am­ined;

- For the ap­pli­ca­tion to be con­sid­ered, ei­ther the whole amount of the trans­ac­tion must have been hon­oured or the amount due to be de­posited toa spe­cial Lands and Sur­veys Dept. bank ac­count.


If all above cri­te­ria are met, the Lands Dept. will in­form the buyer, the devel­oper, the mort­gage len­der, or any other party who has placed a ‘memo’ on the prop­erty ask­ing them to come for­ward with ob­jec­tions, if any, within 45 days.

If there are no ob­jec­tions the Depart­ment will ini­ti­ate the trans­fer.

Another pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment is the fact that trans­fer fees have been re­duced by 50%, ef­fec­tive un­til the end of 2016. The buyer can choose to pay these fees at a 10% dis­count, if paid within 60 days, or in 12 equal monthly in­stall­ments (in­ter­est free), with­out a dis­count.

Peo­ple who fail to take ei­ther penalty.

This new leg­is­la­tion high­lights the fact that when all par­ties in­volved show a spirit of co-op­er­a­tion we can come up with good so­lu­tions to long-stand­ing prob­lems that will be ben­e­fi­cial for ev­ery­body. Hav­ing said this, it was our obli­ga­tion to fix this prob­lem un­der the mem­o­ran­dum signed with our lenders (the Troika).


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