President is Against the Legalization of Illegal Buildings in Cyprus

Президент Кипра высказался против легализации незаконных построек
30 March 2021 Liza Medvetskaya

On Tuesday, March 30, President Nicos Anastasiades said that Parliament recently passed an unconstitutional law, the implementation of which can lead to the emergence of distressed or even dangerous housing units on the Cyprus property market for unsuspecting buyers.

In particular, the president referred to the "Law on Real Estate (Ownership, Registration and Appraisal (Amendment No. 2) of 2021", which was approved on March 26.

In his opinion, this law lifts the general ban on the sale of housing units that have had serious planning and construction violations. Moreover, the new law provides the right to sell and / or cede such real estate in the process of restructuring the owner's debt. Thus, the law encourages not only existing violations, but also illegal actions of owners in the future.

The President referred to the disagreements expressed during the discussion of the bill by the administration, which noted that with the adoption of the relevant amendments "it is expected that a lot of properties built with significant violations will appear on the Cyprus real estate market."

This bill raises vital issues regarding the use of these buildings by the population, the safety and health of residents, as well as problems affecting the improvement of neighboring houses, the President said.

As you may know, the main reasons, why unauthorized works don't have a title, are:

  • security issues when using the building,
  • fire safety,
  • significant impact on the convenience and rights of neighbors,
  • significant excess of the permitted area based on the building factor determined in a specific building area,
  • interference with neighboring property, beach security zone or road network,
  • refusal to hand over the road network to the public.

Президент Кипра высказался против легализации незаконных построек

In turn, the Department of Lands and Surveys emphasized that the proposed amendments (already approved) mainly relate to the licensing of illegal, unapproved developments.

The Department made reference to the adoption in 2004 of legislation with temporary effect to allow registration of a large number of buildings, building complexes and plots that were owned or used as residential or otherwise as units that could not be carried out by the Department of Lands and Research, due to the fact that the competent authority could not proceed with the issuance of the approval certificate on the basis of the then applicable provisions of the "Law on the regulation of streets and buildings due to modifications or other changes in real estate outside the approved plans" on the basis of the issued building permit or other violations.

However, the application of these temporary provisions to register certain properties was considered ineffective and, as a result, licensing problems increased over time. The scale of the problem of illegal construction is evidenced by the fact that in 2011 the Ministry of Internal Affairs undertook to issue about 100,000 titles for real estate objects (plots, houses, apartment buildings, apartments, offices, etc.) that had significant violations during construction. However, they were sold.

The President of Cyprus stressed that, based on the above, the Law is considered inconsistent with the constitutional principle of equality due to the insufficient basis of the proposed exception, and is also dysfunctional, since the application of its provisions becomes ineffective.

'I propose to the House of Representatives not to adhere to their decision by adopting appeals, but to the Competent Parliamentary Committee on Internal Affairs, to listen to proposals from the Attorney General of the Republic and the Minister of Internal Affairs,' Anastasiades said.
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