By Angelos Anastasiou
INTERIOR MINISTER Sokratis Hasikos on Thursday urged the public to avoid delaying the transfer of title deeds in the hope that transfer fees would be reduced.
He explained that there was no point in putting off transferring the deeds as any reduction would have retroactive effect if it is decided.
In a written statement, Hasikos said that a possible legal amendment that would see transfer fees reduced by 50 per cent will be studied and incorporated into broader reform of property taxation, which will be completed by early 2015 at the latest.
In this context, he added, retroactive effect will be studied and amounts commensurate with the reduction will be returned to all impacted parties.
“Therefore, the public should not delay transferring title deeds issued in anticipation of an imminent reduction,” he said.
The ministry’s intention to reduce fees was based on Land Registry stats, which showed that of 62,672 title deeds issued from mid-2009 to mid-2014, only 37 per cent were transferred, meaning fees have been paid for only 23,182 title transfers, with 39,490 pending.
Meanwhile, Hasikos noted that the provisions for partial payment of transfer fees on property sale contracts submitted to district land registry offices from December 2, 2011, to December 31, 2016, still apply.
Specifically, no fee will be charged or received for any transfer for which Value-Added Tax has been paid, and a reduced – by 50 per cent – fee will be applied in instances where the transfer relates to residential plots, buildings, or parts of buildings, which are sold for the first time since the issuance of their building permit or town-planning permit.