North Cyprus Property | The Case of the ‘Deregistered Contract of Sale’

WITHOUT PREJUDICE

After being told to arrive at the court area by about 9.15 am, after the obligatory ‘hanging around’ waiting on everyone to be ready, eventually the case of the ‘Deregistered Contract of Sale’ made its appearance in court at just after 11.00 am. It was an emergency case which had been lodged on Friday and given a date for Monday so the “victims” were just grateful that they were heard.

One of the “victims” gave evidence, a representative from the Tapu (land registry) gave evidence, the Advocate did his piece and the Judge gave a Temporary Injunction to the “victims”.

Since this is an apartment, it is to be hoped that the Injunction covers the whole site the apartments are built on as this will give a degree of protection to all other victims there. I am told there are others and I know of two more owners because they form part of the trio of owners who contacted Pauline Read for help, the first of this trio being the owners who appeared in court this morning.

In 2008 the Estate Agents Law came into force. The architect of this law, Hasan Sungur, the then Head of the Estate Agents Association could not have envisaged such a thing could happen. The registration of the Contract of Sale was heralded as ‘protection’ for foreign purchasers who for the first time could register their Contract against the property they had purchased, a move so much needed because of the protracted time it takes the Ministry of the Interior to process their PTP application. The registration against the property/land purchase shows a legitimate interest by the purchaser and the theory then being that, whilst waiting for the PTP that allows the transfer of title, the purchaser had an unprecedented degree of protection, never before available. I am sure that deregistration of the Contract never came into the equation, yet by 2010 this was happening, very quietly and without the knowledge of the purchasers.

It is interesting that Permission to Purchase is said to be necessary before a foreigner buys a property, yet here is a law that sort of contradicts this, recognising as it does the need for protection for those who have bought whilst still awaiting their Permission to Purchase. If everyone did apply for and obtain PTP before embarking on their purchase, why would this law have been necessary? The answer, as I see it, is that the sales procedure would be so ‘stalled’ because of people waiting the number of years it takes to process an application, the market would have collapsed long before it actually did.

You may ask why with the Contract in this case going as far back as 2004, the completion date going as far back as 2006, the applicants having received their Permission to Purchase. Was the builder/landowner/developer not invited to transfer title as per Contract? Well it gets even more complicated because there was a dispute between the landowner and the builder, the result of which involved these particular “victims” actually going to court for the landowner character witnesses. Oh, and of course, their reward for their loyalty is that it is the same landowner who has had the Contracts of Sale deregistered. The only thing you could accuse the “victims” of is trusting the wrong people. I guess most of the foreign purchasers here are guilty of doing the same.

There is minimal work required to bring the apartment to the finished stage. There is however the major task of having mains water and electricity brought on to the site and connected to the apartments. The only money outstanding in the case of the couple who appeared in court yesterday is the final payment which Contractually they need to pay on transfer of title. They have not breached their Contract in any way. The co-signatories and the landowner have breached the Contract in every way. So why deregister the Contract? One can only assume the landowner means to keep the money they have taken from the purchasers and sell the apartments yet again. It gives double dipping a whole new meaning. Should they be allowed to get away with this?

Pandora S Box

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