If you have purchased a property in Cyprus and the title deed has not been transferred to your name beyond a reasonable time then that could be an indication of a significant planning irregularity affecting the property or that it is burdened by mortgages or debts run up by the seller of the real estate.
To redress the inequity experienced by many buyers of real estate in Cyprus whose title deeds could not be transferred to them due to their properties being encumbered by debts of the sellers registered on the land at the Land Registry, the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus enacted in 2015 an amendment to the Property Transfer and Mortgage of Land Law 2015. This law is popularly known as the ‘Trapped Buyers’ law.
The specific amendment to the law aims to protect buyers’ rights to properties purchased in Cyprus from debts owed by the sellers of those properties who predominantly appear to be developers of real estate. The law enables the transfer of immovable property, in cases where the buyers have fulfilled their contractual obligations to the seller of that real estate irrespective of legal obstacles, or various encumbrances on the property.
Scope and pre-conditions
To take advantage of the provisions of the law certain conditions must be satisfied. To begin with, the trapped buyer would have had to have filed a written contract of sale for the property at the Land registry office by the 31.12.2014. In the event that the contract corresponding to the property has not been filed, then the buyer may apply to the courts for the issuance of an order to deposit the contract of sale at the Land Registry.
All buyers may submit an application to the land registry according to the ‘Trapped Buyers’ law but the transfer of the Property to a buyer can only take place subject to the examination of the application and fulfilment of the pre-conditions.
The pre-conditions are:
- The purchase price has been paid in full, and
- There is a registered separate title deed for the Property
- Payment of any pending taxes owed by the buyer have been settled,
- Payment of local council taxes executed.
If there is no separate title deed for the Property then the application by the buyer shall remain pending and the procedure for compulsory updating of the title deed shall be followed and its conditions fulfilled.
Transfer of Title Deed of Property into the Buyer’s name
If all the above conditions have been met, the Land Registry then sends a notice to the seller and to its creditors who have lodged encumbrances on the property granting them a period of forty-five (45) days to file an objection to the transfer of the deed to the buyer.
- In the event of an objection being raised then that is examined by the director of the Land Registry in the district in which the property exists.
- After consideration of any objections and their merits a notice is sent to the buyer and the seller by the Land Registry that they to proceed with the transfer of the property on behalf of the buyer within sixty (60) days from the date of service of the notice.
- If the seller is unwilling or unable to execute the transfer the Land Registry takes matters into its own hands and proceeds ex-officio to the process of the transfer of the deed to the buyer,
- The buyer is notified in writing of the sum payable as transfer fees and is required within a 60 day notice period* to proceed to pay the fees to the Land Registry so that the deed can be transferred to the buyer.
(*Within the above deadline the transfer fees are reduced by 10% or payable in twelve (12) equal monthly instalments.
- The Land Registry Department issues the final title deed on the buyer’s name within sixty days (60) of the payment of the transfer fees.
How can we help?
We can advise on issues concerning property which is lacking deeds and on securing those deeds in the most efficient way possible. Additionally, we can advise and execute the whole process of applying for our clients the process of securing title deeds through the ‘Trapped Buyers’ provisions of the relevant law.
We are clear with our fees from the outset. We are transparent with regards to costs at all stages of your case and we bill in stages as we progress with your case. We provide an initial consultation for free where we advise you on your options and we provide clear steps or measures that can be taken, bearing in mind your particular needs.
Call us on +357 22 3361 00 or email on email@example.com for more information.