Last week I wrote the first of a two article series on information one should know before purchasing a property. It can be a tricky process and there are many things to look out for. This is part two.
If there is a building on the property, then you should verify its legality and whether there are any planning, building or other issues outstanding.
Make sure that the building has a certificate of approval, and whether it is with or without notes, or other restrictions or prohibitions.
Ask if the property is subject to any town planning conditions, or if there are any unfulfilled obligations that may trap you in lengthy procedures.
Make sure you know which planning zone the immovable property belongs to and the detailed planning zone regulations that apply.
A new unit under construction (apartment, house or shop) or a plot being developed, cannot be registered and cannot have a certificate of registration (title deed). For registration in the Department of Lands and Surveys (DLS) register to take place, a completion of works certificate needs to be issued by the supervising engineer, and a certificate from the competent building authority. If the construction or development has been completed, but no certificate of registration has been issued, you should find out why this is the case.
Any decision to purchase an immovable property should be made while taking into account all aforesaid criteria.
It is important, once you have completed research, and once a final decision to purchase the property has been made, and there are no financial or other outstanding issues, that you proceed with the immediate transfer of the certificate or registration (title deed) to you.
If you decide to purchase the property, but there are financial or other outstanding issues, it is recommended that you proceed with a sale contract (SLC) with the seller, which should be deposited at the DLS, as indicated in a separate information leaflet.
If you decide to purchase a property through an assignment agreement from an existing purchaser who has signed a SLC make sure you check, as the assignee of the assignment agreement, whether the SLC has been deposited at the DLS, and whether the seller has any outstanding debts, as well as any encumbrances prior or subsequent to the SLC.
You are advised not to pay the full purchase price of the property before the transfer of the certificate of registration in your name.
Antonis Loizou & Associates EPE – Real Estate Valuers, Estate Agents & Property Consultants, www.aloizou.com.cy, [email protected]