On 8/4/2011 our parliament voted the Law 48(I)/2011, a law which amended the Immovable Property Law (Capital 224). The said new amended law was voted in order to solve number of problems that the several authorities (Town Planning, Districts Offices, Municipalities) including the land registry used to face because of the inability of the developers to construct the properties according to the planning and town planning permits.
By virtue of the said law, the director of the land registry office has the power to proceed with the synchronization of the title deed of any immovable property by his own motion or after an application filed by any relevant authority or person who has benefit on the said property such as a mortgagee (banking institution) or a buyer who has his contract deposited to the land registry office.
Based on the above-mentioned law, the relevant authorities as well as the land registry office had the power to examine projects which the construction was not completely implemented or the construction was implemented violating the conditions of the issued planning or the town planning permits. In other words, with this specific law the director of the land registry office is authorized to issue a separate title deed for every unit (apartment, house, plot etc), even if the developer has not constructed the said unit or the project according to the issued permits.
For example, before the establishment of the said law, the property buyer could not get his title deed if the developer had failed to construct the green area as indicated in the relevant building permits. Now he can.
However, in order for the director of the land registry to be able to issue the separated title deed of each unit the relevant authority should have firstly issue the certificate of final approval. Therefore, the same day, namely 8/4/2011 our parliament has also voted the law 47(I)/2011, a law which amend the Regulation of Roads and Building Law (Capital 96). According to the said law the relevant authority could issue a certificate of final approval after the completion of the construction works of a project even if the developer had failed to file a certificate of the completion of the construction works. Furthermore, according to article 10C of the Capital 96, the relevant authority can issue a certificate of final approval with notes in case the single unit or the whole project was not constructed according to the issued planning permits. Once the certificate of final approval issued the relevant authority applies to the district land registry which the project concerns. Then the relevant land registry office issues and transfer the title deed with notes on the name of the sales contract buyer. Since the title deed has notes the owner can only donate the property into a relative up to third degree only. The owner cannot sell the property or mortgage it. If only the notes are withdrawn, the owner can commercially take advantage of the property. It is obvious that this policy violates the right of a person to enjoy and take advantage of his property.
As a result of the above, our parliament decided to restudy the said laws and on 14/4/2021 has voted two new laws which rectify the injustice suffered by the title deed owners with notes. The said laws are, the Law 53(I)/2021 which amend the Immovable Property Law (Capital 224) and the Law 54(I)/2021 which amend the Regulation of Roads and Buildings Law (Capital 96). With these two new laws the title deed owner with notes can now sell his property or even mortgage it or in simple words to take financial advantage of it. The said laws will only be valid until 31/12/2021.
It is our opinion that new laws will follow which will provide complete freedom to the title deed owners with notes to take financial advantage of their properties. The laws to be voted shall gradually transform the trapped buyers to property owners.
Loucas P. Louca