Government ready to look into speeding up title deed issue

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By Stelios Orphanides

The chairman of the Cyprus Land and Building Developers Association (CLBDA) Pantelis Leptos said that that while investor interest in real estate on the island is unprecedented thanks to the state’s efforts, the government is ready to discuss ways to speed up the issue of title deeds.

Leptos who was commenting after a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia on Monday, said that while the real estate market was out of the woods and the situation was currently better compared with three years ago, there is still way to go to improve the quality of the services and the product offered by Cypriot developers.

The chairman of the business group told reporters following the meeting, also attended by Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides, that he discussed “the matter of the timely issue of various permits to avoid delays and the overhaul of the title-deed issue system,” according to a message emailed by the Press and Information Office.

Delays in the issue of title deeds to buyers, usually resulting from town planning violations by developers or outstanding in their financial obligations, has tarnished the reputation of the island’s builders abroad, as it relies on property sales to foreigners to support economic growth and prevent property prices – which stabilised last year for the first time after the crisis – from further decline, which would in turn negatively affect the balance sheet of fragile Cypriot lenders.

Government policies, such as the Golden Visa scheme which allows investors to acquire either a Cypriot passport or a permanent residency and tax breaks and town planning relaxations, have helped increase both demand and supply on the real estate market as well as construction activity.

A study carried out by the CLBDA, showed that outsourcing preparatory work required for the tittle deed issue, such as permits and certificates, to the private sector, “mainly civil engineers,” could help both property buyers and sellers.

The government’s reaction to the proposals of the CLBDA, whose deputy chairman is Yiannis Misirlis, son-in-law of President Anastasiades, was very positive, Leptos said that added that there will be further meetings with the interior minister and officials of relevant government departments.

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About Author

Stelios Orphanides is a journalist at CyprusBusinessMail.com. To contact Stelios Orphanides: [email protected]

  • Speeding up deeds with memos or clean titles ? Making it faster isn’t the main problem although all deeds should be clean of encumbrances and available at point of sale.

  • Cynic

    Brilliant….. More words but still no deeds….. Didn’t somebody say that deeds speak loader than words…..

  • Geoffreys

    I thought the bailout was conditional on this issue being settled. No more bailouts should be agreed by the IMF/ECB until it is sorted.

    • Σπιραλ

      Cyprus doesn’t owe any money to the IMF.

      • Neroli

        It does, troika involves the IMF

    • Bob Ellis

      None of the conditions of the bailout have been met. As others have asked here, what has changed since 2013 ? without change another crisis is assured.

  • Bob Ellis

    Lol again. The ‘Cyprus Land and Building Developers Association’ membership lists the villians who duped people into buying properties without title deeds, with the collusion of their retained duplicitous lawyers, in the first place.The whole article is littered with lies, misrepresentations and the usual BS. To try and distance themsleves from the problem in such a blatant and arrogant way by blaming others sums up these charlatans. Yes, the government has not covered themsleves in glory in theTitle Deeds mess, but 99% of the problems have come from the developers whether defunct and very much still business; continuing to hoodwink people. It will be interesting to see what happens when the first Russians or Chinese ‘businessmen’ get told they owe money on a house they have already purchased, or could avoiding this explosive outcome be why Mr Leptos and his friends now want change. As always, greed or self interest are usually the drivers…..

    • Those super rich dudes have an entourage of ex military killers on the payroll 😉

  • Neroli

    Mr. Leptos you are probably one of the worse along with Aristodemou! Especially him being past President of the Bank of Cyprus. When I and others bought houses here with no loan I expect my title on the day I purchase the property not 12 years after. You and other big ‘developers’ are the cause of the problems with this country and the banks. How’s your loan going by the way, paid any of it off yet?? Not only thiis you are also ruining the area of Sea Caves with your ‘building’ of the villas on the sea front. Many other people would have bought properties here but the bad press in title and very poor building qualities have put many off. The only reason you can sell them is for an EU passport !

    • Cydee

      Mine was paid-for in 1990…….still waiting (not Leptos).

      • Neroli

        Quite disgusting! Was it one of the other big ones?

    • Philippos

      Just brilliant Neroli mou, go for the jugular!

  • Barry White

    All the reptiles are crawling out of the woodwork. Clearly, the Gov. has been given an almighty slapping for non-compliance on a whole lot of non-European activities. Just going through the motions to save some face in front of the villagers.

    Perhaps Leptos and his colleagues will clear their NPL’s as something they can directly control. Sell up some of the apartments and homes in the UK, plus the overseas bank accounts and make a start.

  • LSM

    I fear that Cyprus is heading for another but much larger financial crash. Nothing has really been done to address the problems that lead to 2013. Whilst we still owe in excess of 20 billion euros to the banks, whilst there is no effective foreclosure/repossession mechanism, whilst the developers continue to produce a poor quality product for a massively inflated price, whilst ‘luxury concrete ghettos continue to be given the green light, whilst we collectively continue to bury our heads in the sand, the cracks will get bigger and bigger and bigger.

  • Costas

    It is not just the title deeds that have to be addressed, they should also widen the scope for building zones

    • Cydee

      Are you a developer?

      • Costas

        no

        • Philippos

          None of them are and that’s the problem, they are all Bandits, Some knowlegable and some just plain ignorant, but both contributing to damaging their fellow citizens and the environment in which we live

  • LSM

    And sorry to double post but I’m confused. The article starts by stating the chairman of this developers association is a Mr. Leptos but then finishes by stating that the chairman is the son in law of the president of Cyprus?

  • Cydee

    How long does it take the ‘golden visa’ dudes to get their Titles? Could a CM journalist do a bit of digging?

    • Bob Ellis

      They don’t even know what Title Deeds are, their developments are mortgaged to the hilt, the lawyers fleeced them and they have not got a clue. Fortunately the new bunch are not naive western sheep, these guys are real ‘businessmen’ who use steel and fire to settle business disputes.

    • . roc

      I totally agree that anything that is sold and paid for in full should come with a legitimate title deed but your comment is just point scoring. maybe you should ask the person in the North that is duped into buying a property that not only he does not get a legitimate title deed but probably does even legally own it, thats what you should be talking about

      • People can legitimately buy a property in the north with a pre invasion deed.

        • . roc

          I assume from the south?

          • From anywhere.

          • . ROC

            Who supplies the Pre invasion deed and is it endorsed by the ROC?

          • The owner and yes they issued it originally.

  • Kevin Ingham

    Since the Troika got involved in Cyprus there was or should have been nothing to stop reforming the title deeds process to allow issuance on completion of property and receipt of full payment price

    That obviously never happened and there must still be impediments standing in the way of a modern conveyancing system, for whatever reason (probably a ridiculous or self serving one)

    • Re-mortgaged hence the bank has the title as collateral. shhhh don’t tell the punters.

  • Philippos

    A Short translation of the article: Developing everywhere it is possible or can be made possible , Mr Leptos had a meeting with someone else on his team, who happens to be the President of the Republic to get him to persuade The Impressionable, reasonably new, Interior Minister to apply public funds to engaging “professionals” to do some of those things that could hasten the issue of title deeds, so that our reputation can be de tarnished and we can make even more money and develop even more of Cyprus. Ah Yes, well about the NPL’s, not on todays agenda. Lets get the state to pay for getting us out of this. No mention of prosecuting Developers for violations that have caused a large amount of “Brick Walls” to get in the way of issue of deeds, not on the agenda either, Mpre mou File / Koumpare (Delete as Applicable)

  • LSM

    I took a screen shot of the original article as I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t misreading it. There was no ‘deputy’, that word must have been subsequently added to correct the article. So, a simple typo by the author. It makes more sense now 🙂

    • Neroli

      Ahhhh no problem!

  • clergham

    “while the real estate market was out of the wood”

    Until the foreclosed properties hit the market, that is

  • Alassia

    Can we assume that Pantelis’ own company, Leptos Developers, have issued all title deeds on the properties that they have sold?

    • Neroli

      You’re having a laugh now! And they still have huge NPLs I’m sure!