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Solicitor Wanted In Paphos Area

Posted by fergieabroad - Created: 9 years ago
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8 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 8)

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Posted by Nigel Howarth - 9 years ago

Hi Scott,

The problem you have is due to the delays in issuing Title Deeds (and those Title Deeds will not be issued until the neighbours remove their illegal structures – or the law is changed).

I’m sorry this takes some time to explain!

Legal ownership of a property is identified by its Title Deed. As well as some facts and figures about the property, the Title Deed bears the name of its registered owner.

At the present time, although there is no Title Deed for the property you are considering buying, there will be a Title Deed for the development – and this will be most probably registered in the name of the developer or the development company.

For Title Deeds to be issued for the individual properties comprising the development, the land has to be ‘sub-divided’. This sub-division results (eventually) in the single Title Deed for the development being replaced by individual Title Deeds for each of the properties – each of these Title Deeds will bear the name of the name of the developer or the development company as being the property’s registered owner.

When a buyer pays the Property Transfer Fees, ownership of the property is transferred to the buyer and a new Title Deed is issued which bears the name of the buyer as the property’s legal registered owner.

In terms of buying and selling property that has yet to have its Title Deed issued, this causes some problems:

FIRSTLY, in order for a buyer to get a mortgage to buy a property, the bank needs collateral so that in the event of the buyer defaulting, the bank can get its money back. To accomplish this, the bank will lodge a claim against the Title Deed of the property so that if the buyer defaults, the bank can obtain a court order enabling it to auction the property to recover its losses.

BUT because there is no Title Deed has a problem in loaning the money due to the lack of collateral.

The way around this is to get the developer, in whose name the overall development is registered, to act as your guarantor. By doing this, the bank will go after your guarantor should you default on your mortgage – and the guarantor will hand the property over to the bank.

The developer may or may not wish to act as your guarantor – and he may want to charge you if he should decide to act as your guarantor.

SECONDLY, as the person wanting to sell the property (in your case the family) does not have its Title Deed, they cannot sell it to you directly. (Doing so would be illegal because they are not considered to be its legal owner).

What they need to do is come to an ‘arrangement’ with its legal owner, the developer/development company, to cancel their contract of sale. This results in their contract of sale being withdrawn from the Land Registry and enables the property’s registered owner to enter into a new contract of sale with their buyer.

Some developers are known to charge like wounded bulls for this ‘arrangement’ and although some believe it is totally illegal, the practice continues.

So there you have it in a (coco)nut shell. If you want to buy this property:

a) You’ll need to get the developer/development company to act as your guarantor if you want a mortgage.

b) The family wishing to sell the property will need to come to an ‘arrangement’ with the developer/development company enabling them to cancel their contract of sale.

Regards,

Nigel

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Posted by fergieabroad - 9 years ago

Hi Nigel

Sorry to bother you but there has been further progress now. The house i am looking it is very cheap as the family need to sell it quick.

I have asked my bank re a morgage loan as this property was surveyed 4 years ago and is was worth double the amount.

The sellers solicitor was saying to me today that i may not get a morgage as it has no title deeds? Is this true ?

But the solicitor did say she would have to get a letter from the developer saying that he can obtain the deeds and then a further letter from the developer to me saying that the deeds would become mine was they were realised? Then i may get the loan?

I am looking for all the help you can give me as this would be our first house together and lets just say i have had a couple of bad instances in my 6 years of living here (being gaurantor for a so called friend was one instance) so i don't want to be bitten again.

kindest regards

scott

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Posted by Nigel Howarth - 9 years ago

Hi again Scott,

One other thing - as the house has been derelict for six years I suggest you have it inspected by a construction engineer to make sure that it is sound. Your lawyer may be able to arrange that for you as well, but if not I know a qualified engineer in Limassol who will be happy to help.

Regards,

Nigel

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Posted by Nigel Howarth - 9 years ago

Hi Scott,

The problem with the Title Deeds is due to the neighbours erecting permanent structures without applying for and receiving the necessary permissions and permits.

This planning infringement prevents the Land Registry from issuing Title Deeds. The illegal structures have to be removed and the planning authority has to re-inspected the properties. Once they have done this and confirmed that the properties have been built in accordance with the permissions and permits issued for their construction, the Land Registry can issue the Title Deeds - phew!

It's a crazy situation here that the government is trying to resolve. In a development of (say) 20 houses, if one their owners has made some illegal changes such as adding a pool, adding an extension, fixing a pergola, etc. it prevents Title Deeds being issued for the other 19 !!!

As for finding out whether the land on which the property is built is mortgaged, you need to discuss this with your lawyer. He/she will ask the Land Registry to carry out a 'Title Search' which will show any mortgages and any other 'encumbrances' lodged against the properties.

Alternatively, if you feel confident, you can ask the Land Registry yourself - you need to complete a 'Form N.50' and take it to the Land Registry (You can download the N.50 form from my website at http://www.cyprus-property-buyers.com/files/land-registry-search.pdf - the English translation is for guidance only - you need to complete and submit the Greek language page).

If it transpires that the land is mortgaged, then your lawyer needs to obtain a 'mortgage release certificate' from the person who loaned the money - who will need to get this from their mortgage lender.

(BTW, if you do buy the house, make Wills as soon as possible - otherwise you could end up like the daughters by having to wait six years to get probate).

Regards,

Nigel

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Posted by fergieabroad - 9 years ago

Hi

Many thanks Johnners and Nigel for your feedback.

I will give them a call tomorrow for some advice as one of my issues is that although the house is 10 years old an the previous owner owned it 8 years ago but passed away 6 years ago. After the 6 years years the familys solicitor has now sorted everything out so the daughters can sell it but i am being told they do not have the title deeds as two of the neighbours have been told to remove pergolas or he cannot pass on the deeds? Can this be the case as the house we are buying is total derelict so how ould the neighbours houses hold up the deeds?

Also how can you find out that the developer owns the land that these were built on are not owned by the bank or still have debt on them?

Just want to get as much help as i can before we take the plunge...

Kindest Regards

Scott Ferguson

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Posted by Nigel Howarth - 9 years ago

Thanks for the 'plug' johnners.

And Scott - I recommend that you use one of the lawyers on the list provided by the British High Commission in Nicosia. You can find the list in my on-line magazine at http://www.news.cyprus-property-buyers.com/2009/11/23/finding-lawyers-in-cyprus/id=002254

or you can download it directly from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website at: http://ukincyprus.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/when-things-go-wrong/if-you-need-lawyer/list-local-lawyers (the link is under the yellow tab on the right of the page).

And I must stress that it is absolutely essential that you take independent legal advice before handing over any money or signing any papers.

Regards,

Nigel

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Posted by johnners-660966 - 9 years ago

Hi Scott,

If you haven't already looked at this website I think you should.

http://www.cyprus-property-buyers.com/intro/about.htm

It's operated by a regular poster on this forum Nigel Howarth and, most importantly, offers independent advice and information.

Johnners

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Posted by AilsaSp - 9 years ago

I could recommend Stefania Floraki, 26934300. I have been dealing with Stefania for almost the last 3 years on various matters, she is a very good english speaker and in my experience always has time for you.

Hope this helps.