Real estate market: buyers still at risk
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.
George Mouskides is of Director FOX Smart Estate Agency and Chairman of the Cyprus Property Owners Association (KSIA