Property Sales In Cyprus – An Unprecedented Judgment

Selling a property in Cyprus for which individual title 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. 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.

When 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 or 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 a lot of people do not know when they buy a property without individual title deeds is that the developers or 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 and 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.

One of these cases, probably the first one in the Paphos district court history was taken to court in 2007 and was successfully completed with the issue of a judgment against the developers for the refund of the cancellation fee. The case concerned a couple from the U.K currently living in Paphos. The case was brought to the court against one of the biggest developers in Cyprus. The court case was concluded successfully in favor of the plaintiffs with cost. Since the decision, many other lawyers are trying to do the same for their own clients.