Are you planning to buy a property in Cyprus? The first thing you need to pay attention to is if this property has a Title Deed. This document is also known as an “Immovable Property Registration Certificate”. It’s a formal document that serves as an evidence of property ownership. Each piece of immovable property has a relevant Title Deed which contains registered owner name, size, location and the Lands’ Office reference.
Title Deed for a new property
In case of purchasing a newly built property, as a rule, it will yet have no Title Deed in place. At present the process of issuing a Title Deed for a property is a long bureaucratic procedure lasting 1-3 years. Nevertheless, this very prolonged and thorough governmental inspection of validity of all the aspects related to construction makes Title Deed a document that irrevocably guarantees your ownership rights.
This spring the European Commission has urged Cyprus to take measures to ensure reliable and swift systems for the issuance of Title Deeds. Recent changes to the law have helped to reduce the risks when buying property in Cyprus. But significant problems still remain.
Once completed, buildings are inspected to ensure they comply with the various permits and approved plans for their construction by the planning authorities, fire services, etc. These inspections also ensure fire doors and other vital health and safety measures have been incorporated in the building. After issuing, the “Certificate of Approval” together with the plans and permits is passed to the Land Registry. And only after all these procedures the process of issuing the buildings Title Deed can be started.
But still there are cases when people buy a property in Cyprus without a Title Deed. Problems arise when developers fail to complete developments, leaving roads, pavements, green areas, etc. unfinished. In this case buyers have to pay for any outstanding work to be completed before they can get clean Title Deeds. And in some cases, the planning infringements may be so severe that Title Deeds may never be issued!
What property is safe to buy?
It’s usually safe to buy a property in Cyprus that has been issued with its all-important Title Deed. But you should be careful when looking for a house in a village. Encroachment, where a property has been built on a neighbor’s land, can be a problem there. The best way out is to have its boundaries checked by a registered surveyor. And in all cases please make sure to use an independent lawyer to protect your interests and carry out due diligence on your behalf. A lawyer has to be licensed by the Cyprus Bar Association.
The source: Cyprus Property News
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