Every transaction in Cyprus is registered with the Department of Lands and Surveys: the purchase or sale of real estate, mortgages, commercial long-term leases of land. Let's talk more about this important organization.
One of the oldest government departments in Cyprus - the Department of Lands and Surveys (DLS) - was founded in 1858. It was created in order to clearly register the rights to the property of residents and somehow resolve the confusion with the land plots of the communities, as well as what grows and is built on them. Over time, the functions of this department have expanded significantly.
Today, the Cyprus Land Department is an organization of eleven offices.
In Nicosia, the director and the assistants work at the head office. The offices of geodesy, cartography and the Land Information Center are also located there. Each district of the country has a district office, and the offices of the districts occupied by Turkish troops since 1974 have been temporarily located in Nicosia and Paralimni.
The main components of land registration records are the Registry, the Cadastral Plan, the Tax Registry and the Certificate of Property Registration.
For a small island, where the main business from time immemorial has been agricultural production, the proper management of land and real estate is of the greatest economic importance.
The powers of the head of the Land Department of Cyprus have always been quite broad. During the crisis years, there was a case when the director of the cadastre literally fought with banks for the removal of encumbrances from the real estate of citizens. In the end, we actually managed to save a few customers. Of course, the bankers defended the right to freely conclude contracts and the right to property pledged by developers as assets against debt to banks. But, you see, the mood of the head of the department makes it clear who he is most worried about.
Still, the main task of the department is to ensure that such situations do not arise and the real estate market is transparent and safe.
The main functions of the Land Department:
- Control of the cleanliness of procedures for registration of ownership.
- Registration of contracts for the sale of real estate.
- Registration of the Title Deed.
- Control of the term of lease of land plots for commercial purposes with a period of 15 years or more.
- Registration, registration and transfer of a mortgage loan for real estate.
- Planning of communications, parameters of buildings, as well as green areas on land.
- Property valuation.
- Development and implementation of the National Land Information System (LIS).
The Land Department collects a lot of data regarding the real estate of the island.
The Land Department holds manuscripts that are over 100 years old and computerized data that are over 25 years old.
Data collection is part of its day to day activities as well as part of broader data collection projects. For this, both classical methods and the latest technologies are used.
To date, for the registration of property, images of the area taken from satellites are used. A detailed map with these data has been published on the DLS electronic portal. Real estate revaluation based on market value is carried out every 3 years.
Very valuable for market analysts is the information of the Land Department on the total number of transactions for each city, the statistics which we regularly publish.
True, these figures often include non-sale agreements (for example, the return and exchange of debts for assets agreed between banks and borrowers). In addition, the total number of transactions includes transactions for the sale and purchase of commercial and office real estate, land plots for various purposes, and not just apartments and villas.
The Land Department regularly publishes the Cyprus property price index RPPI, which allows you to track the dynamics of the real estate market as a whole and is an important indicator for the country at the international level.
In 2018, a comprehensive property valuation was introduced in Cyprus.
Until this year, the registration of real estate took place with large gaps, hundreds of thousands of objects were not taken into account, and the treasury lost millions of euros in unpaid taxes. In December 2021, the Land Department announced that it plans to complete the appraisal of about 2 million properties by mid-2022. Employees of public and private organizations participate in the assessment.
It should be noted that in case of disagreement with the results of the examination of the property, the owners have the right to apply to the Land Department with a request to conduct a revaluation.
Recall that the registration and revaluation of real estate, taking into account their market value, is one of the points of the requirements of international creditors of Cyprus (the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund). Compliance with these rules allows you to take loans in the European Union.
The main document that is reissued and issued by the Land Department of Cyprus is the Title Deed.
When buying a property in Cyprus, the first thing they usually check is the Title Deed, a document confirming the ownership of the property.
The title of the owner is issued after the acceptance of the property by the state commission. And, after each resale, the title is reissued in the name of the new owner.
To check the Title Deed, the buyer or his representatives (lawyer, realtor) makes a request to the Land Department.
Paying for property in Cyprus does not guarantee the right to receive a title deed.
In some cases, buying property without a title can be beneficial in terms of cost savings. But you need to understand that without a title there is no full right to dispose of your property. For example, you can not sell or donate real estate to another person without the consent of the developer.
When buying a plot of land in Cyprus, it is also necessary to study the title in detail. Perhaps the Land Department has already included it and the surrounding land in the zone of agricultural land. In this case, you can build only on a tenth of the site, and real piglets can become neighbors.
Link to the map of Cyprus with data on the portal of the Land Department.
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