Right of Access Disputes in Cyprus Property Law
Actions aiming to abolish the right of access to land or property in Cyprus are considered to be a violation of the right to possession of land or property.
This automatically extends in favour to the owner of the dominant property whereby the right of access works is protected on the basis of an illegal civil offence, which is registered both in the land registry and the title deed of the dominant and the servient property to be interference & nuisance.
Similar remedies can also be granted to the owner of the servient property in the event of any action taken by the owner of the dominant property which prevent him from using such right of access.
The right of access is an easement recognised as immovable property which is registered both in the land registry and the title deed of the dominant and the servient property.
Resolving disputes of this nature on the island may not be recognised as tort law i.e concerning civil offences, as a breach of the right of possession in Cyprus is enough to establish unlawful interference and nuisance. In common law this is classed as a civil offence, so is usually settled as such via an injunction or fine rather than criminally, if it were dealt with as inheritance or equity and trusts.
The distinction between the two offences is only hypothetical, since any remedy available to the Cyprus Court are contingent on the severity or nature of the intervention. However, the right of access is usually settled in 90% of cases, by an order to restore the contract to the state in which it was prior to the occurrence of the illegal interference.
The right of access is not an independent property right; its granting is linked to the ownership of the dominant property which expands and it establishes a burden limiting the right of ownership of the property containing the easement.
The interesting feature in immovable property law was recently examined by the Cyprus Supreme Court regarding rights for both the owner of the dominant and servient estate (or property) and the legislation in The Companies Act 217/2017, particularly when observing right of access disputes.