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Cyprus Property News Meets The Troika

Posted on May 14, 2014

By: Nigel Howarth Published: Tuesday 13th May 2014

LAST Thursday I received an email from a member of the troika delegation asking if I could spare the time to attend "a short informal meeting...". How could I possibly refuse! The meeting went ahead on Sunday at a hotel in Nicosia; in attendance myself and nine delegates from the Troika; the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The 'short' meeting continued for nearly four hours during which time we discussed many of the problems faced by those who have bought property on the island and who have yet to receive their Title Deeds. The delegation understood the issues very well and I felt I was there as 'the voice of the buyers' to improve their understanding of the impact of those problems and to offer my opinion on possible ways they could be either alleviated or removed completely. Although I cannot reveal the details of our discussion, I can perhaps outline some of the areas we considered. The main topic, not surprisingly, was the delay in issuing Title Deeds and the many complications and problems faced by those who have been waiting to secure ownership of 'their' property for many years. We spoke about possible ways that the issuance of Title Deeds could be streamlined, the problems of hidden developers' mortgages and how these and other claims, prevented the transfer of title to the property's rightful owner - and the banks' practice of double-lending on the same collateral and their reluctance to chase developers who failed to repay their debts. We also talked about development companies in receivership. Their customers are facing 'requests' from liquidators for contributions to help pay the developers debts or face the prospect of their losing homes even though they have paid for them in full or are maintaining their home loan repayments. (The Daily Express has published yet another horror story today.) Other topics we covered included Immovable Property Tax, Certificates of Completion, the Town Planning Amnesty and the lack of demand for housing. Although we could have continued our discussions throughout the night, I left convinced that the troika is truly engaged with property issues having spent nearly four hours of their evening with me discussing the many problems and possible solutions.

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