Scottish Member of the European Parliament Alyn Smith has warned people not to buy property in Cyprus after floods of his constituents complained at being stung by the title deeds fiasco in the country.
SNP member Smyth raised the issue in the European Parliament last year, and has also written to Cypriot President Demetris Christofias asking for his assistance in this matter. Smith also suggested the establishment of a foreign investor advice service, and/or an impartial ombudsman to assist buyers.
After receiving no response to his 2 letters some six months later, who could blame Smith for forming the opinion that Cyprus’ problems with dodgy property developers, agents and lawyers may well run deeper than has been realised, hence the warning to give the country’s property market a wide birth until the matter can be verifiably resolved.
Some 40,000 people have been affected by what has long been termed a crisis. Tens of thousands of Brits have bought property in Cyprus, and though it is now 2-3 years since the purchase was made for many of them, the majority of them have yet to receive their title deeds. Also known as Certificates of Registration of Immovable Property, title deeds are the most important document in proving ownership of a property. With so few buyers receiving them it is hardly surprising that the foreign sales segment of the Cypriot property market has come to a near-complete standstill.