Unprecedented Case Regarding the Sale of Property in Cyprus
In Cyprus there are 2 basic different types of properties:
Those that have their own separate title deed and
Those that form part of a development, pending the completion of the development and the completion of the subdivision.
Property with Title DeedsSelling a property in Cyprus for which individual deeds exists is a fairly simple procedure. Besides the seller and the buyer and most likely their legal representatives, no involvement is required by the builders or developers.
Property without Title DeedsWhen someone wishes to sell a property for which no separate individual deed exists, the correct way is to have his contract with the developers or builder cancelled then the new buyers need to sign a fresh contract with the developers or builders. As a matter of practice this requires that the first buyer settles any obligations towards the developers / builders, as well as any capital and other taxes relating to the possession of the property and possible gain that he may make from the sale.
What sellers need to knowWhat a lot of people do not know when they buy a property without individual title deeds is that the developers / builders will require a payment of a fee, usually called the CANCELLATION FEE. This fee varies from company to company and it could be any amount. The recent practice followed by the developers/ builders in Paphos, is to get the equivalent amount the original owner (seller) should be paying as transfer fees if he had wanted to proceed and transfer the deeds in his name!
The greed of the developers / builders does not stop at this! Recently many companies are claiming this cancellation fee, despite the fact that their contracts state clearly, that no cancellation fees should be paid, if the buyer decides to sell, before the deeds are made available!
The Property Sellers Win!One of these cases, probably the first one in the Paphos District Court history, was taken to the Court in 2007 and was successfully completed with the issue of a judgment against the developers / builders for the refund of this cancellation fee.
The case concerned, Mr & Mrs Bouttell from the U.K currently living in Paphos and this case, was brought to the Court by the Law Office of Paul (Pavlos) G. Efthymiou Lawyer and Legal consultants, against G& V HADJIDEMOSTHENOUS LTD & HADJIDEMOSTHENOUS CONSTRUCITONS LTD.
The court case was concluded successfully in favor of the said plaintiffs with cost.
The cancellation fee of 5,500CYP plus interest of 8% as from the 3/5/2007 plus legal costs, were awarded and upon lodging a writ against the above developers the full amounts were paid to the pleasant surprise of Mr. & Mrs. Bouttell.
The said case sets up a positive precedent and it will be a leading reference point for similar future cases.