Analysis of the decisions by the Cypriot Parliament related to the last two Cyprus “town planning amnesty” bills to ease the Title Deeds issue for home-owners on the Island.
Last part of new Cyprus title deeds law passed:
On the 14th of April 2011 the Cypriot parliament passed the remaining two parts of the much touted “town planning amnesty” bill that is aimed at helping alleviate a clogged up and awkward system where home-owner’s can sometimes face occasional difficulty in obtaining title deeds for property’s already owned, and in some cases for man years.
So what has been passed exactly?
Immovable Property Sales
One law that has been approved by Cyprus MOP’s is the so called Immovable Property Sales (specific performance) Law.
This helps owners of property who will now have the law on their side if mortgages owed to the bank related to the land which they own property are called into question.
An owner of such property will have the land contract and will therefore not be liable for say a developers exposure or bad debt.
Changes to past system:
Historically the bank who loaned the money for the land would have owned the land and hence property that had been developed on this land unless the loan or mortgage had been fully settled.
This caused one of the many issues that left home-owners unable to complete their title deed request as the lack of clarity on ownership of land and property if the developers loan or mortgage was not paid in full caused beurocratic issues with the land registry even if owners had fully paid for their property to the developer or seller.
What was not passed?
Land contracts to be in writing in order to be valid.
This second bill was not approved by a majority vote with opposition coming from, EDEK, EVROKO, DISY and coalition partner DIKO.
Smaller amendments were also passed at the last minute.
The reaction to the new legislation from the Chairman of the House Legal Affairs Committee, DISY’s Ionas Nicolaou:
Ionas is quoted as saying:
“The new law will allow the buyer to have Title Deeds, independent of whether the seller owes money on that property,”
“It is a very important bill as it will help reactivate the property market in Cyprus.”
Adding that the new laws are reflective of the changes that are needed to respond to society’s demands for better protection of buyers rights in an open market based on European laws.
Hope for current Title Deeds applications:
There are currently some 130,000 Title Deeds application currently pending, and this is manly due to developers failing to pay their mortgages on the land and properties that buyers have already purchased.
The new laws passed will help legalise property that currently lacks a Title Deed due to what is termed “town planning irregularities” such as the one detailed above related to developer debt which is the main issue most property owners face.
Changes for future:
Money owed on property paid straight to banks not developers.
Buyers will have the chance now to pay what they owe on their property straight to the bank which will go some way to stopping the money owed to these institutions from being filtered out to a developers account and perhaps never seeing the banks account that loaned it in the first place.
Co-owned land changes:
Until now any land that was co-owned would need the agreements and signatures from both parties to build on their part of the land owned by both parties in any applications to build given to Cyprus Town Planning Departments.
Only actual landowners signature needed:
This will be amended now so that only the owner of the part that is to be built on will need to provide their signature and approval in any planning applications sent to he Tow Planning Department.