Local authorities said on Monday they will be able to step in to tackle listed buildings that are in a dangerous state if an interior ministry bill is passed into law.

The bill aims to toughen up the existing legislation, meaning owners of listed buildings that fail to save their properties can face up to a €20,000 fine.

An interior ministry source told the Cyprus Mail the bill has already been drafted and is being assessed by the legal service before heading for public consultation.

After that, the bill will be sent for discussion at the House interior committee.

As part of the bill specs, owners of listed buildings will be required to have experts from Cyprus’ Scientific and Technical Chamber (ETEK) inspect the property. If the building is deemed dangerous then the inspector will be required to inform the local authority, which in turn will write to the property owner.

The owner will be given three days to ensure the property is fenced off and inaccessible to the public. They will also be required to carry out a study on how to maintain their property.

Should the owner be unresponsible or non-compliant, the local authority will be allowed to intervene to take all the necessary action – including demolishing the property if it cannot be saved.

In such cases, the local authority will be able to demand the funds from the property owner, where the latter will be able to pay in instalments. Local authorities will also be able to collaborate with the owner’s banking institution to freeze up the cost of the expenses.

The arrangement will be made directly between local authorities and the banks. Municipalities will also be allowed to force owners to see the listed property so as to secure the necessary money.

According to the details of the bill published in Politis, the land registry will also have the power to block any transfer of the property until the owner pays their dues.

The interior ministry source specified after many amendments, the bill will head to public consultation for a second time, with hopes it reaches parliamentary discussions by the end of the year.