There is an email being sent to many Cyprus property buyers and sellers by one of the largest property sales companies on the island. The email states that because of new legislation that passed recently, buyers can now skip the developers when acquiring their title deeds, even if the property has been mortgaged by the bank. They claim that their dedicated title deeds department and the “First in Cyprus” can pave the way for a speedy title deeds delivery. This is just NOT TRUE.
My lawyer in Paphos confirmed that the email is terribly misleading. He advised that the new laws, DO NOT give the right to get your deeds without the involvement of the developers. The right is given to the individual buyers in cases where the developers either do not proceed to secure the final completion certificate for buildings forming part of developments, or in cases where the are irregularities in relation to the buildings, to apply for the issue of the deeds IN THE NAME of the developers, with or without the irregularities. The transfer of the deeds will still require that the builders/sellers go through the same procedure as before! In cases where the property is sold before the deeds are transferred into the names of the buyers, you will still need to pay cancellation fees.
I also did some research of my own and found that the real estate company that is making these claims is charging between 3000 – 4000 Euros plus VAT for the “service” of submitting the application to the authorities on their behalf for the issuance of the title deeds. But, to secure deeds buyers will also have to possibly pay some of the following depending on the situation:
1. Developers mortgage on the land, for example, if the developer owes €1 million on a development of 10 properties, each buyer could offer to pay €100,000 to obtain a mortgage release from the bank.
2. A fee to fix any planning irregularities imposed by the authorities dealing with the planning amnesty.
3. When the developer is unwilling or unable to provide a ‘tax clearance certificate’ to the Land Registry, buyers will only be able to obtain their Title Deeds if they pay the developers’ tax liabilities themselves.
4. The usual Property Transfer Fees to the Land Registry Office.
You could recover some of these costs, except for the Transfer Fees, by suing the developer, however, this will cost you legal fees and there is no guarantee that the time and money would be worth it in the end IF the case wins.
We will update this with more details shortly, but in the meantime, please contact us if you have any questions about the matter.