Cyprus Property | Failure of Estate Agent Law (2007)

WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Cyprus Property | Failure of Estate Agent Law (2007)

The Estate Agency Law came on to the statute books in late 2007 and was enacted in early 2008.

This law was unusual in that it allowed those of us with existing Contracts of Sale, who had not received our Permission to Purchase or had not transferred title, to register our Contracts and in doing so safeguard our interest in the Kocan we had bought either land/property on. Or so we thought. To have a law that is retrospective is unusual. If this is not so, what use was it other than a ’till filler’?

This was when the authorities realised just what a ‘can of worms’ they had opened.

Initially at the beginning of 2008 we were given a three month window within which to register our Contracts but this was extended. To register you must have paid your stamp duty and had it showing as being paid by the relevant stamp from the stamp duty office. So many had not paid that the Government declared an amnesty and allowed the reduced rate of one half a % of the Contract price rather the one and half % most would have had to pay. You can see how this became a BONANZA for all involved.

Not only were the Tapu getting all that revenue from the fee to register the Contract but also the Tax office were receiving unpaid Stamp duty on the Contract. As usual the Advocates were jumping on the bandwagon and charging fees ranging from £50 to £600 to their clients to register the Contracts for them. Money for old rope; well I think so because rather than pay the £350 being asked by my then Advocate, I decided to ‘do it myself’. I made sure I knew exactly how much the fee was, what paperwork was needed and presented myself complete with this. The whole procedure took less than 15 minutes, and this included being made aware of the Ipotek (mortgage) and being asked to sign to say I had been made aware and writing WITHOUT PREJUDICE above the Turkish words which I was told said I had been made aware.

The mortgage had been on the land my property stands on for almost 2 years and 4 months before I was made aware of it. It seems that now, even though we were promised protection by the Estate Agency Law, those who did also register their Contracts have been betrayed. If when you registered your Contract of Sale, you were not made aware of any impediment already on your Kocan, you can be forgiven for believing that having registered your Contract, you were now immune from this ever happening.

It begs the question then, how has it happened, because it seems that it has to many, many innocent people?

Anon

Estate Agency Law

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