GCs to get “Certificates of Ownership” for TC property

It looks as if the GC Interior Minister, Neoclis Sylikiotis, is having another go at giving deeds to GC refugees living in TC property. In an interview with the Cyprus Mail he reiterated earlier statements that he will be attempting to negotiate with the original TC owners in order to be able to give GC refugees a legal title. However, he seems to be admitting now that this could be a long and fruitless process and so he is coming up with an alternative plan.

The reason for the urgency is that he now seems to be giving credence to the idea that these TC properties are being occupied illegally according to the judgement issued by ECHR. It turns out that these TC properties were  expropriated without following proper procedures and there is a fear that appeals before the European Court of Human Rights are imminent.

The Minister’s cunning plan is to issue interim ownership certificates until an agreement is reached with the legal owners of the properties.  This certificate apparently can be used to mortgage the property. This attempts to tackle the angry GC refugees who, without the funds needed to improve the properties, have had to watch them slowly disintegrate. How an ownership certificate would differ from title deeds is not made clear. What would happen if the GC refugee defaults on the mortgage, does the bank then “own” the property? Can the ownership certificate be passed cheaply onto an unsuspecting Brit who will then be taken to court by a TC?

I think there is a bit of a panic down south.

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