This article will give you an overview of the key steps of acquiring title deeds for a real estate development in Cyprus. The key steps of the process are:
1. Planning Permit
2. Building Permit
3. Certificate of Final Approval
4. Division Permit
5. Issuance of Title Deed
1. The Planning Permit is the initial approval for any building development. Its issuance means that the development meets the provisions and standards of the Town Planning Authority. What is considered in the planning application is the use of the development and its size. By use, we mean the type of development, i.e., if it is a residence, office, hotel, etc. On the other hand, the Building Density and the Coverage Density determine the size. The Town Planning Authorities, the local town planning offices, or the Town Halls of the big cities issue the town planning permit. The application for a planning permit precedes the application for a building permit.
2. Building Permit: To build, demolish, construct, extend, modify, repair or change the use of real estate in the Republic of Cyprus, after securing a planning permit, one must obtain a building permit from the competent local authority depending on the location of the property: for example from the Municipality, or the Community Council of the community in which the real estate is located.
3. Certificate of Final Approval: The Certificate of Final Approval of a building is the document that certifies that the building was erected based on the approved architectural plans and studies. It is the final stage of the licensing procedures in Cyprus and only occurs once all the construction works are finished. Its issuance constitutes the final certification that the building was erected in accordance with the Building Permit. Therefore the competent authority responsible for its issuance is the Municipal Authority.
There are three types of Final Approval Certificates that can be issued for buildings:
a. Certificate of Final Approval (without any remarks)
b. Certificate with Remarks
c. Certificate of Unauthorized Works
The certificate is issued after the owner’s request to the authorities and after the authorities check on the site that the building was erected based on the plans of the approved building permit.
4. Division Permit: This is the licensing process by which two or more owners can divide their property. Through division, each co-owner can obtain a separate Title Deed and exploit their property independently, without the approval of others, whether we are discussing the separation of apartments, plots, or houses in a complex. In the division permit, they also clarify which storerooms, yards, and parking spaces belong to each property so that the separate titles are issued correctly after the land registry. There are two types of separation, vertical and horizontal separation. The certificate is issued after the owner’s request to the authorities and, in some cases, if the authorities check on-site that the building was erected based on the plans of the approved building permit.
5. Separate Title Deed: Title deeds are necessary to prove the registration of a property and who owns it. It can be land or even a building. The buildings under construction do not have a separate property title but hold a share of the land until the process of issuing a title by the Land Registry, as we describe, is completed. The Separate Property Title is issued after a simple application of the owner to the Land Registry online, where he attaches all the previous permits we mentioned and the approved plans to his application. It takes about a year to review the file and issue the title since the file will go through several departments within the Land Registry, such as the valuations department, the surveying department, and the new title registration department.