When purchasing a property in Cyprus, the title deeds are important legal documents that secure and clarify ownership of the land/building. You may also hear them being referred to as Certificates of Registration of Immovable Property or simply a Certificate of Ownership. In the event of a dispute arising over ownership rights (which is more common in Cyprus than you might think!) these documents will ensure you have legal standing over the land or house.
When Cyprus became a member of the European Union in 2004, there had to be significant changes to the local laws to incorporate the EU treaties and directives, which meant that limitations were placed on other EU members and non-Cypriots investing in property on the island.
Why do You Need a Title Deed?
Essentially, whoever’s name is on the title deeds can make decisions regarding the property, without the approval of the monetary owner, which means full or even partial payment on a property doesn’t secure ownership rights. If you do not acquire one then you are not able to legally own a property in Cyprus and won’t be able to use the advantages of being a permanent resident in Cyprus unless the rightful owner’s permission is asked. Finally, when selling your property or land, without a title deed the sale cannot take place unless the Land Registry and registered owner go through a formal, lengthy process.
Transferal of Ownership
For a transferal to occur, the Cyprus authorities require two permissions from:
- The Council of Ministers
- The Central Bank of Cyprus.
Only then the transferal from Vendor to Buyer can be carried out easily by the Cyprus Land Registry Office. The buyer can then submit the application to them or a PoA (Power of Attorney) can take the buyers place.
Protect your Interests
In the event that the property being purchased is a newly constructed building, or still under construction, in order to protect the interests of the buyer, if the title deeds are not yet available, then a sales agreement can be drawn up by the Cyprus Land Registry Department in order to protect the interests of the buyer.
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