Real es­tate mar­ket: buy­ers still at risk

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - PROPERTY - By Ge­orge Mouskides

fails or does not want to is­sue a ti­tle, then the buyer will be in trou­ble. If there were ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the con­struc­tion process, it is pos­si­ble that the ti­tle deed may never be is­sued.

A sec­ond mes­sage is that no prop­erty (apart­ment, house, shop, of­fice) can be in­hab­ited or used un­less a fi­nal ap­proval cer­tifi­cate is is­sued. That is what the law is plainly say­ing. But who com­plies with this law?

Who waits for one to two years, for the cer­tifi­cate to be is­sued, be­fore mov­ing into the prop­erty? And, at the end of the day, what will the cost be?

A third mes­sage was that most con­tracts signed be­tween land de­vel­op­ers and buy­ers con­tain pro­hib­i­tive clauses which are in vi­o­la­tion of the con­sumer pro­tec­tion law.

All of these prob­lems could be solved in a sim­ple way, as they all have a com­mon point – none other than the de­lay in is­su­ing a fi­nal ap­proval cer­tifi­cate as soon as a con­struc­tion is com­pleted.

All of the above would be re­solved, as both the cer­tifi­cate and the ti­tle deed will be is­sued at the time of de­liv­ery of the prop­erty to the buyer, that is to say, upon de­liv­ery of the key the ti­tle deed will also be pre­sented.

This could eas­ily be achieved if checks car­ried out by the var­i­ous de­part­ments con­struc­tion is com­pleted.

Town Plan­ning, the Land Registry, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and dis­trict of­fices should get to­gether with ETEK and iden­tify so­lu­tions, bring about the nec­es­sary changes re­quired by leg­is­la­tion, so we can solve this very se­ri­ous prob­lem.

Cyprus has been se­ri­ously ex­posed both to the House of Lords and to the Eu­ro­pean Par­lia­ment for un­ac­cept­able de­lays in is­su­ing ti­tles. Un­for­tu­nately, we find our­selves to­day in the same spot we were ten years ago.

Un­til the above prob­lem is cor­rected, and tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion that buy­ing real es­tate is usu­ally the big­gest in­vest­ment in a per­son’s life, a buyer should con­sult ex­perts be­fore pro­ceed­ing with such a pur­chase.

And ex­perts, of course, are none other than pro­fes­sional real es­tate bro­kers, for most is­sues, and en­gi­neers for some tech­ni­cal is­sues. With a pro­fes­sional agent as a con­sul­tant, the above risks are re­duced to a min­i­mum in the case where there is no ti­tle deed and are nul­li­fied where there is one.

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Ge­orge Mouskides is of Di­rec­tor FOX Smart Es­tate Agency and Chair­man of the Cyprus Prop­erty Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (KSIA

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