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Cyprus Property News

Title Deed Issuance Unraveled.

Date: 11/06/15

Everybody wants them, but few understand the complex mechanism of how these precious pieces of yellow paper come to be.


Here we try to remove some of the smoke and mirrors from the title deed issuance procedure with a straightforward guide.

Step 1. Application for both a Planning and a Building permit from the relevant authorities.

Cyprus law states that building should only commence after both permits, a planning permit and a building license, have been obtained. However, you can only apply for a building permit after you have approval form the planning department. To get both even with a fair wind can take around 2 years. Such delays lead to developers starting construction with only the first permit and obtaining the second later.

Step 2. Cover Permits for amendments.

As a building is being constructed the developer may decide to change the plans a little. This is fine, but any changes must be covered with amended permits. In addition, once properties are occupied it does not take long for over-enthusiastic owners to start making their changes – covering pergolas, enclosing balconies, being some of the favorites. Unfortunately, such alterations may also cause problem with issuing of title deeds as they deviate from the plans submitted to the local authorities. If everything is in order then it’s straight to step 3.

Step 3. Certificate of Final Approval.

Once all the building work on the site is finished in accordance to the plans and any changes are covered by relative permits the developer can apply for a “Certificate of Final Approval”. As the name suggests all the building works should be completed as per the planning and building permits, which is confirmed by the approved inspector. 

Step 4. Issuance of a Division permit.

This stage can run concurrently with the Certificate of final approval, step 3. If it’s a single property being built on a separate plot that already has a land deed then there is no need to “divide”. If it’s an apartment complex or villa project build on a single plot then a division permit is needed.

Step 5. Land Registry.

Once all the permits are issued they make their way over to District Land Registry Office. At this point the Land Registry will open a file and give it an “AX number”. This file will then make its journey through all the various departments that will check that everything has been done in accordance to the law. It is here that the loans and mortgages placed on the property come in. This in turn can lead to delays in the issuing of Title deeds into the owner’s name. Personal mortgages taken out by individual owners must be allocated on to their specific property title, this requires the consent of all the other banks who may have loaned money on the project. No easy task – imagine a project of 100 properties with three or four banks having issued loans!   

Step 6. Title deeds are ready. Come and get them!

Title deeds are commonly issued in the name of the developer. Development company will then contact all the purchasers with information on any Immovable Property Tax (IPT) due and the amount of transfer fee payable to the Land Registry to finally transfer the deed into the purchaser’s name. You personally or your lawyer visit the District Land Registry Office, pay the transfer fee and the title deed (certifying absolute ownership) will pass to you immediately with a paper copy in your name available soon after. If however the developer has secured a developer’s loan on the land and has not repaid the bank all the money then the title deed cannot be transferred to the purchasers. This is a major reason for the non-issuance of title deeds into the owner’s name. For this specific reason we at Cyprus Resales we always ask for a Land Registry search (FORM N 50) before a property without deeds can be listed for sale. 

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