TRNC Lawyer Question | How Does a Memorandum Work?


To try to explain exactly what a Memorandum is, is quite simple, it is a note of something to be remembered. When given to a successful litigant it signifies that you have a legal interest in a property or asset. Beware though, you may not be alone.

When being applied in the TRNC, is means you are now in a minefield.

We recently read on CAC that a memorandum has to be renewed after two years and then annually for a further two years and then it becomes void. I too received exactly the same advice from the Kulaksiz 5 Advocate.

Startled, I then received further advice saying that it could be renewed annually ad infinitum.

Hands up anyone who has a memorandum and has received no advice whatsoever on ‘what happens next’? I had my hand up too and it was not until I started asking questions that I found out anything.

So what is the definitive advice, the true legal advice? I wish I could tell you, but no two answers I have yet received are identical.

One answer from someone I do trust was “normally it is simply just for two years. The judge has discretion to renew it possibly once but you must show good reason for it. Normally you put the memorandum on and then apply for compulsory sale. If you are negligent and you don’t do that, then Judge may refuse to extend even once”.

If you are applying for an extension of the memorandum, YOU MUST DO IT AT LEAST A MONTH before the expiry date.

Now, once you have received a compulsory purchase order for the tapu to sell the assets covered by the memorandum, opinions again vary. One opinion I had was that there is no time limit, although he was not entirely sure what happens after 15 years. (God help us all)

My own previous Advocate, the one who sacked me as a client, had this to say “With regards to the memorandum, I have spoken to Av **** ******* who informed me that the memorandum was renewed on 14th September 2011 and will now remain in place for a further year. All that needs to done now is to wait for the Land Registry to complete the compulsory sale process. If this does not take place before the expiry date of the memorandum, then a further application will need to be submitted to the Land Registry again to renew it. Usually, proceedings to commence the process to renew the memorandum would be started around 1 month before the expiry date of the memorandum”. So you see even though I do have a Compulsory Purchase Order, she is saying I still need to renew it annually, another piece of conflicting advice.

Now all must be as clear as mud to you. My advice would be that if you do have a memorandum in your favour, talk to your Advocate immediately. Find out just exactly what action s/he has taken. Pin him/her down to find out where you are in the list of creditors and then you will at least know whether spending more money in pursuing this is financially viable.

The word negligent is used and seemingly is applied to us the client, which is somewhat confusing since none of us are legally trained. We have paid a so called professional to protect our interests and yet we are expected to know the process. The idea that the legal profession have no duty of care is a cop out, why not just come out an tell us the truth, duty of care is an obligation when receiving payment, what they really mean is, they do not give a toss.

Now I would like to throw out a challenge to the legal profession, if there is at least ONE of you who does give a toss. Please, please, explain how memorandums work and what, once we have obtained one, happens next? Collectively we have spent a fortune, I think we have paid for the right to know.

Pauline Ann Read

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