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New Law In Cyprus Will Leave Up To 100,000 Property Owners With No Title Deeds

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New law in Cyprus will leave up to 100,000 property owners with no title deeds

New legislation in Cyprus aimed at clearing up years of problems with title deeds will only apply to new purchases, leaving tens of thousands of property owners without legal documents.

It is a major blow for property investors on the Mediterranean island, many of them foreigners, as the government has promised to sort out the mess which dates back decades in some cases.

The Cypriot government confirmed that the new law will have no bearing on old transactions which means that buyers remain at the mercy of the developer who sold the property to them and the banks that hold their title deeds as collateral for loans.

It is estimated that up to 100,000 buyers may have paid fully for their properties but have no legal document to prove that they own it. This also means they cannot sell it. Around 30,000 of them are foreign investors most of whom are British.

They believe that the government has not only ignored their plight but has gone back on a pledge that the new law would help everyone.

Campaigners described the revelation as a 'bitter blow' which leaves them with no option but to seek some kind of redress through the courts system which is likely to be lengthy and expensive.

They also hit out at the fact that they heard about the situation via the House of Lords in London. They believe that the Cypriot government had no intention of clarifying the position until British peer Lord Jones of Cheltenham demanded clarification.

As a result British High Commissioner Peter Millet sought a written response from Neoclis Sylikiotis Minister of the Interior. A statement said; 'The Minister was fully aware of the problem of obtaining title deeds, an issue which also affects a large number of Cypriots. The Cyprus Government will introduce legislation to speed up the issuing of title deeds, but this legislation will only apply to future cases.'

In February British Foreign Secretary David Miliband revealed that the British High Commissioner to Cyprus had 'received assurances' from the Cypriot Interior Ministry that they would introduce a bill to address the situation soon. At that point there was no mention of the new law relating only to future transactions.

Oh deary me.

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I know that there is expectation that this will be applauded but I class this action with the Spanish property theft that has been happening.

Just because I would never buy a foreign property doesn't mean that I regard anybody who does as BTL scum. There are retiree British couples out there who will now have huge problems as a result of this. Maybe the government should be doing something more to help (n.b. - not giving huge bail-outs though).

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I know that there is expectation that this will be applauded but I class this action with the Spanish property theft that has been happening.

Just because I would never buy a foreign property doesn't mean that I regard anybody who does as BTL scum. There are retiree British couples out there who will now have huge problems as a result of this. Maybe the government should be doing something more to help (n.b. - not giving huge bail-outs though).

What can they do other than put a warship in the harbour?

Greeks don't like being told what to do, and they don't especially like the British.

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I know that there is expectation that this will be applauded but I class this action with the Spanish property theft that has been happening.

Just because I would never buy a foreign property doesn't mean that I regard anybody who does as BTL scum. There are retiree British couples out there who will now have huge problems as a result of this. Maybe the government should be doing something more to help (n.b. - not giving huge bail-outs though).

+1

It's one thing to be anti-BTL, it's another thing to rejoice at people being robbed.

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+1

It's one thing to be anti-BTL, it's another thing to rejoice at people being robbed.

Yes, but it is also another thing for people to understand the risks before dropping big money into a foreign country.

Ignorance is no excuse.

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Yes, but it is also another thing for people to understand the risks before dropping big money into a foreign country.

Ignorance is no excuse.

Especially a foreign country that has been occupied and partitioned and is now contested, with many people living as exiles from their former homes

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Guest happy?
+1

It's one thing to be anti-BTL, it's another thing to rejoice at people being robbed.

The people being robbed of course were those dis-possessed by the war of 1974. Those who were foolish enough to imagine that others' legitimate claims on the property they 'bought' could be ignored are now reaping the reward of their ignorance. There are tens of thousands of greek-cypriots and turkish-cypriots who have waited a generation to get back their land - looks like they may be getting their way at last.

Those with long memories know who the robbers are and the courts are now recognising their claim.

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There is something to be said for starting Land Registration from scratch rather than expecting the state to sort out historical problems with all the financial consequences.

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The people being robbed of course were those dis-possessed by the war of 1974.

From our perspective, the question boils down to just how much due diligence you expect someone contemplating relocation abroad to carry out.

Given that Cyprus has been the subject of political unrest since Grivas was kicking off, part of me thinks that this should have been a great big 'keep out' sign for anyone contemplating expatriate retirement there. But there was no official Foreign Office advice to that effect and the domestic economic climate has rather encouraged such blue rinse emigration in the last few decades. A difficult one.

Edited by The Ayatollah Bugheri

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But there was no official Foreign Office advice to that effect and the domestic economic climate has rather encouraged such blue rinse emigration in the last few decades. A difficult one.

You mean this warning from the FO?

On 20 October 2006, an amendment to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code relating to property came into effect. Under the amendment, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the permission of the owner (the person whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. The maximum prison sentence is 7 years. The amendment to the law also states that any attempt to undertake such a transaction is a criminal offence and could result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years.

(A European arrest warrant can be applied for)

http://ukincyprus.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-b...buying-property.

As you know ignorance of the law is no defence, even if the British criminals buying the stolen property were unaware that it was stolen. That is extremely unlikely becuase the land is cheaper and classified as 'exchange land'.

Even aside from this, the rule of Caveat Emptor applies - you are responsible to check what you are buying.

Better discussion on this subject here -

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...howtopic=113075

New law in Cyprus will leave up to 100,000 property owners with no title deeds

Hang on, they are missing the point, Cypriots will be able to sue for compensation from foreign owners as well. So as well as losing their North Cyprus property they could lose their UK homes as well.

Edited by Peter Hun

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never understood the brits who bought without title deeds... what a stupid thing to do. you dont ever buy a car without a logbook, so why would you spend your life savings on a property without a title ?

stupid, stupid, stupid

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never understood the brits who bought without title deeds... what a stupid thing to do. you dont ever buy a car without a logbook, so why would you spend your life savings on a property without a title ?

stupid, stupid, stupid

They have title deeds, but from the Turkish authorities, which are useless as they don't have the rights to the land in the first place.

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We have property in the north of cyprus.

There is no problems with obtaining title deeds as long as you are carefull and are aware of the scams, much like anywhere else.

If you purchase pre 1974 turkish or expat owned title deed property then it is internationaly recognised. There is no claim to be made against it.

Its the exchange land, which was never legally exchanged that is the problem.

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I would not have bought in either part of Cyprus.

There always seemed to be the potential for one side or the other to claim that your land was "stolen", or for the "Northern Cyprus" entity to just cease to exist.

We bought in Spain (Ibiza) and then only a place built in the late 1970s, so we felt pretty safe from any weird claims that the place was built in defiance of some law and had to be demolished.

Stick to older, well-established places in Spain is my motto - avoid being "sold" new-build developments - you will overpay, get ripped off, and are more likely to find problems a few years later when they arrest the entire town council for accepting bribes from the developer to allow the place to be built against the rules!

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The problem in S Cyprus is exacerbated by the ineffective legal system, especially where buyers use lawyers who are often also acting on behalf of the developers from whom they are buying! Unbelievably, there are thousands of Brit buyers in this position, having been duped into believing that the lawyers working for them were independent. The trusting Brits were victims of elaborate marketing scams (Cypriots are excellent at these scams with their easy going Mediterranean charm) and the misleading claims that Cyprus law is almost the same as English law. All the egentsd and developers pump this line and iy=t is sa heady mix.

I lived in Cyprus for 4 years and saw a good number of scam cases myself.

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