Applying for 'Final Completion Certificate'

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The Bear
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Joined: 09 Jan 2016 20:09

Applying for 'Final Completion Certificate'

Post by The Bear » 28 Jun 2017 19:28

When buying my home it was discovered that the "deeds" stated that it was a plot of land and recorded no buildings on it. Land Registry have the building in their books of plans and took it into account when making their initial proposal for the basis of calculation of the transfer fee payable.

My lawyer assured me at the time that regularising the position would be straightforward - though not necessarily swift. He now washes his hands of the whole matter and suggests I contact an architect (he was happy to recommend one). Oh well, all part of the learning process.

I have a certified copy of a document in Greek from the District Office headed (something like) "The Law on the Regulation of Roads and Buildings KEF.96" accompanied by plans of the (then) proposed house. Date stamps indicate this took 11 months from submission to sign-off. I assume that this is something like an equivalent of a Planning Consent. However, it seems that no 'final completion certificate' has ever been issued. What one now sees 'on the ground' is consistent with the original plans.

The plot belonged to a village resident who had the house built on it for his own use which he sold-on after 14 years. The buyer somehow managed to get a mortgage 'secured' on it at some point in his 10 years of ownership despite the flawed documentation - and also managed to sell it to me.

Although nobody seems to have given a fig so far, I suspect it'd be a good idea to tidy this up to minimise problems with an eventual sale by myself or my executor but is it really necessary to hire a professional to oversee the rectification of the documentation (which I'd naively thought to be a simple administrative task involving a brief site visit by the equivalent of a 'Building Inspector') and, if so, is an architect really the best professional?

TIA - and apologies if this is not in the most appropriate forum.



Nigel Howarth
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Re: Applying for 'Final Completion Certificate'

Post by Nigel Howarth » 29 Jun 2017 08:28

Good morning The Bear

The first thing I suggest you do is visit your District Planning Office taking with you the documents you have to see what's needed. As it appears that the permissions and permits for the construction have been issued and the plans show the property 'as built' I don't think there will be any problems. (The plans may show the name of the architect and it's worthwhile contacting the firm to see if they have any information).

My architect sorted out the Completion Certificate for our house - I collected it and then took a pile of papers to the Land Registry to get our house added to the deed. This was straightforward and cost me €50 odd and took around 11 months. The process is described on pages 12 & 13 of the Department of Lands & Surveys Citizens' Charter.

Regards,


Nigel Howarth
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The Bear
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Re: Applying for 'Final Completion Certificate'

Post by The Bear » 29 Jun 2017 13:52

Nigel Howarth wrote:
29 Jun 2017 08:28
The process is described on pages 12 & 13 of the Department of Lands & Surveys Citizens' Charter.
Many thanks. That also looks to be a very useful document for general reference - although the title might be thought a tad misleading by some.

I'll take the documents I have down to the Limassol office as you suggest and may then discover whether there are any gotchas lurking in the fine print of the Greek-language original.

Thanks again.



Nigel Howarth
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Re: Applying for 'Final Completion Certificate'

Post by Nigel Howarth » 29 Jun 2017 17:42

The Bear wrote:
29 Jun 2017 13:52
the Limassol office
The various planning offices are in Anexartisias street behind the big old building whose name I can't remember. Walk through the main building and there are several small buildings - it's one of those.

Regards,


Nigel Howarth
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The Bear
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Re: Applying for 'Final Completion Certificate'

Post by The Bear » 19 Jul 2019 13:51

Well, two years have passed and I'm resurrecting this old thread to provide a wrap for anyone facing the same situation.

Application for final certificate duly completed at the district office (thanks for directions - exactly as you said, Nigel) but it seems to have then been filed and forgotten. Attempts to make telephone contact achieved nothing. Visits in person over several months eventually pinned-down an individual who went off to look for the file and returned 50 minutes later with an unordered collection of documents in a bulging cover. He forecast a site visit within a week and finalisation a couple of weeks later.

Three months later I received a letter instructing me to pay a fee (under 20 euro) to my village office and present the receipt to district office. I did this and was informed by letter within a fortnight that the certificate was available for collection - although I was unaware of any site visit at any time. I presented this certificate at Land Registry and was given, without comment, a poorly-photocopied 10-page form to complete (individual was merrily chatting on her mobile throughout and imperiously waved me away after tossing the form onto the desk in front of me).

Deciphering this was beyond me so I asked my lawyer to figure out what was required and submit it. It took several bites to end up with all the necessary documentation. I then paid the legal fees plus the disbursement of nearly 170euros for the LR's fee (though I can't now see from reading the Citizens' Charter document quite how this was calculated) and the submission was made but I was warned that it could take a long time before the change was finally recorded on my deeds. It was on the first anniversary of the submission that the lawyer responded to my chasing by saying that LR advised him that they had a significant backlog including some cases extending back to 2011 so the deeds wouldn't be amended anytime soon.

I started the procedure so that I would have complete and clean title should a sale be contemplated but it seems possible that this won't happen in my lifetime so my executors will have to deal with that not being the case. Is any part or function of LR fit for purpose?



Y. Koutsolambros
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Re: Applying for 'Final Completion Certificate'

Post by Y. Koutsolambros » 09 Nov 2019 11:20

I could add some practical advice on the battle against bureaucracy. If you apply for anything, accompany it with a separate letter saying how important the issue of the document is because your mother needs to move to the premises asap or your urgent health problems are affected somehow or whatever. End the letter with a plea for your case to be examined as high priority because of your circumstances. Then find the specific officer responsible for your area and pay him or her a visit asking for advise on the matter. Get his mobile No for future contact and reminders. I have seen all of this work in many cases, but no guarantees can be given.Of course, get the best possible architect and lawyer, as experienced as possible.
Your experience together with the experience of many other xpats indicate that the procedures here have a lot of differences with UK and other central European countries, to say the least. Be patient and try to use the Mediterranean way of doing things



Nigel Howarth
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Re: Applying for 'Final Completion Certificate'

Post by Nigel Howarth » 09 Nov 2019 13:48

Thanks Ioanni

I had a better experience with the LImassol DLO.

After the Certificate of Completion had been issued, I visited the Limassol planning department. They gave me a form to take to my community office for signature. I think the signature cost me €5.00.

Back to the Planning Department with the signed form and they gave me several documents to take to the DLO and advised I'd need to take the architectural plans.

Went to the DLO with all the information. They sorted through the plans taking out the ones they needed and opened a file (with an AX reference as I recall.) I think I paid around €50, and am sure it was less that €100.

After several months of hearing nothing, I went back to the DLO who directed me to an office. Waiting outside was a Cypriot friend who was trying
to get the deeds for her mother's property. We chatted while we waited to be ushered in to 'the office'.

My Cypriot friend (plus mother) went in first, came out and I followed.

I asked what progress was being made with my case (and had the AX number.)

The officer looked through the pile of files on his desk, found mine, opened it and signed one of the papers. He called a junior, gave the file to her and said that I'd have the deeds soon.

A couple of months later two deeds arrived in the post - one for me and the other for my wife.

I have found that if you are courteous to civil servants, they will help. I had a similar positive experience with the Road Traffic Office.

Regards


Nigel Howarth
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