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Perpetuating the problems of the real estate sector

Published on 11th April 2019

It is now the norm to shelve serious issues while promoting solutions for unimportant issues.

 

As chairman of the Cyprus Property Owners Association I’m frequently asked to participate in meetings of House of Representatives committees to discuss legislation regarding the real estate sector.

 

The main aim is to discuss either bills tabled by MPs or similar ones tabled by the government.

 

It is usual that serious issues being discussed are shelved and find their place in some locked drawers of the House.

 

We’d not be exaggerating if we say that these are issues directly affecting the interests of many voters and professional groups.

 

One might be right to suspect that their promotion might affect ‘’kingdoms’’ within the state machine.

 

Here are some examples of these issues:

 

  • Title deed delays – It creates huge problems for owners who wish to sell or finance their property and has been the issue of repeated warnings from the EU. The solution is simple. Work out a procedure through which the title deed is issued simultaneously with the completion of the construction of the property.

 

  • Licensing delays – In a market where there is a shortage of flats and rents are rising authorities (municipalities, urban planning authorities) are very late in issuing permits for new buildings, something which would have alleviated the problem.

 

There has to be only one authority to issue all permits and check that the laws are obeyed during construction so that the permit and the title deed are issued upon completion.

 

  • Commonly-owned buildings – It is only a matter of time before we have victims due to badly maintained buildings. Further to security issue it is also one that has to do with the quality of life.

 

The commonly-owned buildings legislation must be amended so that owners are collectively responsible to keep these buildings in good condition. They will stop being the eyesore in the areas they are found.

 

  • Rent control – The rent control legislation creates inequalities between owners and tenants. It is unacceptable that in the year 2019 the state dictates the maximum rent rise or to perpetuate the tenant’s occupancy, with the owner having no say

 

This law must be abolished at once as it creates more problems than it solves.

 

  • Late justice – This is a huge issue as every dispute between owner and tenant is led to courts which are in no hurry to issue a ruling.

 

A bill tabled seeking to evict tenants not paying their rent has also been shelved by the House of Representatives.

 

It is evident that in Cyprus, where lawyers and judges seem to have the upper hand, it is difficult to follow the global norm of resolving these disputes out of court.

 

  • Information – It has to be said that everybody involved in the real estate sector lacks information. Simply put nobody knows how many flats, houses, offices, shops are sold either on a pan-cyprian or district basis.

 

It is high time the government and the political parties deal with all these issues, plaguing the real estate sector for years.


Written by: George Mouskides

                    Director FOX Smart Estate Agency

                    Chairman Cyprus Property Owners Association (ΚΣΙΑ)

 

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