Thousands of buildings in Cyprus require inspection, the scientific and technical chamber (Etek) said on Thursday, as the interior ministry looks to swiftly pass a bill that will secure the necessity of buildings needing to pass an inspection (MOT) of sorts to be considered fit.

The bill was prepared under the initiative of former interior minister Nicos Nouris, following a consultation with Etek on the matter.

Since then, the bill has been put up for public consultation until March 8, 2023, so that the bodies involved (organisations, architects, civil engineers, etc.) can submit opinions and suggestions regarding the text that has been prepared.

Following this process, the parties involved will submit their suggestions, and the interior ministry will forward the final text to the attorney-general’s office for review, after first incorporating the comments and suggestions that arise.

Subsequently, the bill will be sent for approval to the cabinet and from there to the house interior committee for discussion.

According to a report in Politis, the issue of creating an MOT for buildings has been brought up in the house committee, but the discussion failed to be concluded.

Some of the brief provisions of the law include, allowing the competent authority to issue a unilateral court order to evict people living in a dangerous building, in cases where the people refuse to leave.

The proposed bill also includes fines for people that refuse to vacate buildings deemed dangerous or in need of repair.

Also, if there is a failure to pay the fines or fees imposed, the proposal notes that the authorities will be able to seize the amount from the bank accounts, or by putting other property owned under guarantee, in the case of non-payment.

Etek head and architect, Constantinos Constanti said that this is a legislation which must be set as a priority by the new government.

The state, he said, should focus on the buildings built before 1994, clarifying that this is a large number of buildings throughout Cyprus.

On the subject of building upgrades, he said, the state should consider the possibility of giving some additional incentives. The proposal submitted by Etek provided, among other things, that buildings that gather a lot of people, such as buildings of public use, should be inspected every five years, while residential units should be inspected every ten years.

According to data previously submitted to the house interior committee, before 1945, 13,097 buildings were erected. In the period from 1946-1960, 20,343 buildings, from 1961-1970 24,255, in the period 1971-1980, 61,247 buildings, in the period 1981-1990, 85,503, from 1991-2000 70,094 buildings were built, in the period 2001-2005 54,897 and finally in the period 2006-2011 92,117 were built.