North Cyprus Property | Purchase Laws are Discriminatory


North Cyprus Property | Purchase Laws are Discriminatory

As you all are aware, this morning Kulaksiz 5 are in court again at Girne District Court and we are waiting to know what will happen.

I have a keen interest in the property sector, especially since the advent of so many corrupt acts by the vendors there.  One thing that always amazes is me is that the landowner can enter into a Contract with a purchaser, take the purchaser’s money but the land still stays in the landowner’s name until transfer of title takes place. If the purchaser is a foreigner then the protracted process of waiting for the Permission to Purchase makes the purchaser a hostage to the honesty of the person s/he purchased from.

During the time between the purchase and the granting of Permission to Purchase, the landowner allegedly under TRNC law is perfectly entitled to use this land as security against loans from lending institutions or, as has demonstrated, his creditors are allowed to go to court and if the court finds for the creditor, allows the creditor to place a memorandum on the land regardless of the fact that the land is now Contracted to and paid for by a third party. The Estate Agents Law which in 2008 allowed foreigners to register their Contract of Sale against the land they had bought and were waiting to transfer title on, awaiting their PTP, in theory this should have prevented the placing of any further interests on the land, but in practice memorandums have been placed behind the Contracts and can allegedly in law, force the sale of that land.

As demonstrated in the Kulaksiz 5 case judgement, where the judge has allegedly said that it is not important that the properties of the owners are sold because if they win eventually, they will receive monetary compensation. This thinking totally ignores the emotional attachment a person has to ‘their dream’, or the fact that once the home is sold, where are the evicted, more often pensioners on limited incomes, going to find the money needed to pay rent to keep a roof over their heads, or the legal costs from? In some cases their residency entitlement is withdrawn because with the extra rent costs they no longer have enough income to support themselves.

Secondarily, how are they supposed to keep bouncing back from such blows when their mental and physical well-being is so attacked.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Kulaksiz 5 case seems to be that it is only because they as foreigners that they can be put in this position by the landowner/builder/bank whilst waiting to be able to transfer title this travesty happened to them. I have often heard it said, ‘nothing just happens to anyone’, well in this case, it did.

We are also told that even when you get your PTP, the landowner can refuse to transfer title and TRNC law can do nothing to force him to sign. Now that is really interesting because when the Bank auctioned off, and bought back the K5 villas, they were able to transfer the title into their name; without the landowner’s signature one assumes. So why then is a Mortgage Document so much more powerful than a Contract of Sale, or is it because the Bank owners are Turkish Cypriot? Is this racist? Is this protectionist? Is this an offence under the Human Rights Act?

Kulaksiz 5 are on a long and rocky road looking for justice. If they win in the TRNC, they still have to have that win enforced in law. As we all know, one of their number has won a Breach of Contract Action but the Tapu are failing to act on the Court Order in that case, so what guarantees do the litigants of K5 have that if they win in the TRNC they will be able to enjoy the fruits of their actions? If they lose, they then start another long battle in Strasbourg at the European Court of Human Rights. May God grant them the strength and longevity to see this battle through to the bitter end.

Power to the people

Citizen Smith

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