Landowner and title deeds

Do you have a problem getting your Title Deeds?
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SallyD007
Posts: 1
Joined: 02 Sep 2020 13:01

Landowner and title deeds

Post by SallyD007 »

We bought an apartment in 2010 near Paphos. The land had been owned by two Cypriot brothers who did a deal with the developer that they would build a block of 10 apartments for them and pay some money - 50% up front and 50% on completion. Their block is alongside ours. All our apartments have been bought and lodged with the Land Registry but apparently the developer did not pay the final amount to the landowners. They all signed our contracts (the brothers through a power of attorney) stating there were no encumbrances that would stop us getting our title deeds and we would have them within 5 years (it is now 10 years). The developer also agreed that the brothers could use our pool if they signed an agreement and paid their share of the pool area costs. The developer has gone into administration and the original landowner keeps saying it is his land. He refuses to sign an agreement, won't provide the square meterage of his apartments for us to invoice him and isn't paying towards the costs whilst his tenants freely use our pool! The Land Registry has confirmed that the pool area belongs to our Block for our use only. Does anyone know what legal rights he has on our land if he is still owed money by the developer? I believe it is approx 50,000 euros owed across two packets of land. In my view they sold us the apartments and communal land and stated in our legal contracts that there were no encumbrances to stop us getting our deeds when they have now become the very encumbrance doing so. They never stated there was money owing between them and we would never have bought the property if we had been made aware of this. Is the owner now just a creditor of the developer with no rights to the land as they already sold it to us? The brothers were signatories on our contracts through a legal power of attorney to the developer so they all signed effectively. This is causing us so much stress as not only can we not get our title deeds because the brothers won't sign over the land but we have the added issue of a block of ten apartments all using our pool for free! One owner went to his lawyer who has been pretty useless and having spent 500 euros they still haven't answered the basic question of whether the brothers have any legal claim on usage of our land. And if anyone can recommend a really good lawyer not located in Paphos we would be grateful.
Steve Ferry
Posts: 7
Joined: 18 Aug 2020 15:30

Re: Landowner and title deeds

Post by Steve Ferry »

Hello, your situation sounds very much like ours. We bought in 2012 and applied for our title deeds in 2017 but we were stopped by Alpha Bank in June 2018. Like you, our contract states that there are no encumbrances to getting our deeds. Like you, we have a block of 10 apartments next door who our developer built and who use our pool freely and our developer has said that he is willing to accept payment from people over the road (who have nothing to do with our developer) and allow them to use our pool too. Our complex has just over 50 apartments and also had a gym when we bought. Could we possibly be talking about the same complex? We are going down a route with a solicitor (unfortunately in Pafos) but it seems it is going to be 8-10 years before the case gets looked at by the courts so we too are interested in options.
Pantheman
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Joined: 26 Jan 2008 14:44
Location: Famagusta District
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Re: Landowner and title deeds

Post by Pantheman »

According to the jointly owned property law, the communal areas are the responsibility of all the owners and they are all subject to the same provisions of the law. Even if the 10 apartments belong to the land 'owner' he is bound by this law, meaning has has to contribute to the running, upkeep, insurance of the buildings etc etc.

As he signed your contract (even by PoA), this would suggest that he is still the owner or part owner of the land, he is also bound by the terms of your contract as he is the other party. I would think that he now has the responsibility of the developer and as such he should give you your deeds, irrespective if the developer paid him or not. Since you have fulfilled your part of the agreement you can apply for your deeds under the trapped buyers law. Given that you took no action after the 5 years period (to issue the deeds) you now do not have the right to sue him unfortunately.

Yes he can cause you issues, but legally you are in the right (IMO).

Perhaps you could visit the tax office and verify that he has declared the renting of the 10 apartments and is he paying the defence tax and Gesy??

Do you know the status of your deeds??? I mean have you been issued with a final certificate??

I would seem that these people are just trying it on. That said, one option is the get all the apartment owners to chip in and pay the balance of what he says he is owed (I know its not fair, but you could save yourselves a lot of problems) and have him sign over the land. You can find out who owns the land by doing a search using the form N.50. This will tell you what mortgages and encumbrances exist on the land.
Just a thought, do you know who the liquidators are, you could approach them and see what the deal is there.

Good luck and sorry to hear about this ..... again!
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Nigel Howarth
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Re: Landowner and title deeds

Post by Nigel Howarth »

Thanks Pan

From our conversation the other week, I believe Sally & Steve can get the square meterage of the apartments from the planning department?

As for a decent lawyer, the UK FCO publishes a list they you may find useful. It's available from List of lawyers in Cyprus.

Afroditi Charalambides of L.G. Zambartas spoke about complex management, swimming pools, etc at a seminar in Paphos a couple of years ago. I'm sure she'll be able to help.

Another 'big hitter' is Elias Eliades who I met a year or so ago.

Both firms are on the FCO list.

Reagards
Nigel Howarth
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