EC urges Title Deeds

The European Commission has once again urged Cyprus to take measures to ensure reliable and swift systems for the issuance of Title Deeds, speed the reduction of non-performing loans together with a number of other measures by next year.

The measures are contained in a report issued by the European Commission on May 23d setting out its economic policy guidance for Member States over the next 12 -18 months.

Cyprus is experiencing excessive economic imbalances and the measures set out for the country are designed to enable them to achieve sustainable, inclusive and long-term growth.

What is a problem with the Cyprus property title deeds

When a developer constructs an apartment building, the developer has a title deed for the plot. Each apartment that is constructed in the building needs to be issued with its own title deed. But the problem is that until all the apartments are completed and inspected against the approved plans and permits, no title deed can be issued for the individual apartments. This process is lengthy and causes delays which the government argues is due to a backlog at the Cyprus land registry.

Without a certificate of approval a buyer of an apartment cannot legally live in the property. According to Cyprus legislation nobody can occupy or use any building unless and until a certificate of approval has been issued by the appropriate authority.

The title deeds process is being delayed by the local authorities who need to decide what type of certificate to grant to properties depending on their condition; a final certificate of approval, a certificate with remarks, or one with a prohibition.

The land registry is still waiting for local authorities to decide about properties belonging to buyers who have not received title deeds because of problems caused by the sellers. Head of the department Andreas Socratous told the Cyprus News Agency that they have conveyed around 75 per cent of the cases of so-called trapped buyers to the local authorities and were now waiting for them to issue certificates.

The specific recommendations for Cyprus are as follows:

Adopt key legislative reforms to improve efficiency in the public sector, in particular as regards the functioning of the public administration and the governance of state-owned entities and local governments.

Step up efforts to improve the efficiency of the judicial system by revising civil procedures, increasing the specialisation of courts and setting up a fully operational e-justice system. Take measures to fully operationalise the insolvency and foreclosure frameworks and ensure reliable and swift systems for the issuance of title deeds and the transfer of immovable property rights.

 

Source: “Cyprus Property News”

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