How can I check the legal ownership of a property?

Legal questions answered by Cyprus property lawyer Louise Zambartas

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mjkinch
Posts: 2
Joined: 25 Jul 2016 19:18

How can I check the legal ownership of a property?

Post by mjkinch »

Hi All

A member of our good friends family died back in 2012, and he always said he had a property in Cyprus (his residence was in the UK), but time went on, and nothing was ever found. Because he was divorced and away travelling most of the year, and died very suddenly, it was difficult to actually find anything solid. Recently when clearing out some old files, a load of paperwork was discovered showing a contract to purchase a (then new) property in Paphos in 2004, all payments and agreements, with a reputable agent. There was a standing order for utilities and and a local bank account. He would have had it for 8 years by that point.

The children would like to see if the property is still in his name, what has happened to it, indeed if anyone has occupied it, or even if the estate is still all ok, given some of the payments may have defaulted in this time. There may well be some more of his paperwork if the property has remained un occupied.

Some advice on the best place to start, or someone we could work with locally that would help - we have the address, agreements, monies paid etc. I am not sure I understand the deeds system in Cyprus, but looking at all the paperwork it looks as though it should have been registered.

Some pointers in the right direction would very much be appreciated.

Thanks

Martyn
Nigel Howarth
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Re: How can I check the legal ownership of a property?

Post by Nigel Howarth »

Hello Martyn and welcome to the forum.

If the family member made a Will it will simplify matters, but in any event the family will need to appoint a lawyer in Cyprus to act on their behalf. The British High Commission in Nicosia publishes a list of lawyers - List of lawyers in the Republic of Cyprus (Louise is on the list).

They may be able to find the development and photographs using Google.

It sounds as if the contract to purchase the property was registered at the Land Registry - this is not the same as having the deeds for the property as these can take many years to be issued for various reasons.

If the family member did not make a Will his estate in Cyprus will be disposed of in accordance with the laws of Cyprus. These are rather complicated as they are designed to prevent the deceased disinheriting close family members. In this case the deceased's former wife may inherit part of his estate - and so will his children.

If he did make a Will in the UK it has to go through a process known as 'resealing' to be proved again in Cyprus. If he made a Will in Cyprus, things will be more straightforward.

If the children want to contact me directly, they can do so via http://www.news.cyprus-property-buyers.com/contact

Regards,
Nigel Howarth
Independent information & advice for Cyprus property buyers
Contact Nigel Howarth
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mjkinch
Posts: 2
Joined: 25 Jul 2016 19:18

Re: How can I check the legal ownership of a property?

Post by mjkinch »

Thanks Nigel

Thats really helpful - I will pass this on, and find out if there was a will.

Martyn
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