Cyprus Legislation | Purchasing Property
UK Government Releases Update for Cyprus Property Purchasers
It’s been a while since the UK government previously released advice online in 2013 for any expats who had purchased properties in Cyprus. 6 years later an update has finally been released; however, have there been any significant resolution to the title deed fiasco?
The government encourage buyers to exercise extreme caution when purchasing a property if the title deeds are not immediately accessible for viewing or transferring. Those who purchased land or property and who did not receive the title deeds are known widely in Europe as trapped buyers.
The British High Commission’s recommendation page still cautions that Cypriot developers take out home loans or property and that signing an agreement under these conditions makes the purchaser personally liable for any mortgage obtained.
Legal Advisors on the island are still not required to check the contracts to see whether the title deed are available.
While attempts have been made to settle the unbelievably unfortunate issue, in the beginning of 2018, there will still over 80,00 applications that had not been resolved, a huge number of people still waiting to receive their title deeds.
Andreas Kyprianou, House Interior Committee member commented on the situation: “the 2015 legislation is working well overall and numerous individuals have had their title deeds reestablished; as the bill is being enforced. The UK government has been cautioning buyers of the issue for some time, and maybe there are a few people with unresolved issues, however as far as anyone is concerned the bill is functioning as it was hoped to do,” he concluded.
The Head of the Cyprus Land Registry has been given special authority to absolve, transfer and cancel mortgages as well as other loans, contingent upon the case and under specific conditions, and has been working tirelessly to sift through applications.
Bank Claims of Illicit Lending
In any case, banks challenged the law and won decisions that it was illegal. Cyprus courts agreed that it violated Article 26 of the constitution, which grants individuals the right to enter freely into any contract.
In 2017, Larnaca Court of Appeal upheld the decision, permitting trapped property purchasers to receive their title deeds independent of the developers’ own liabilities with banks.
Many Properties Still Have a Dispute of Ownership
Regarding properties in the north of the island, the High Commission said it reiterated that the ownership of many properties is disputed, which is also causing delays for people.
They proceeded to state that individuals purchasing property in the north could face legal proceedings in Cyprus, just as “efforts to implement decisions from these courts somewhere else in the EU, including the UK.”