The Cyprus Parliament approved new legislation aiming to provide protection to 'trapped' buyers to receive their title deeds and become registered owners of their immovable property. Under the light of the new legislation, "enclaved buyers" are defined as buyers of immovable properties, who have fully paid the purchase price for the acquisition of the property, but due to peculiar circumstances that are beyond their control, they are not registered owners and are not in a position to initiate the procedure for issuance of a separate title deed. The enclaved buyers, due to any loan obligations or encumbrances, mainly placed by intermediaries, may face additional difficulties during the process of initiating the procedure with the Land Registry for the issuance of separate title deeds.

The application process for issuing a title deed of the immovable property entails, amongst others, visiting the Land Registry of the District in which the immovable property is situated, in order to initiate the procedure for the issuance of the title deed.

The new legislation provides for a certain set of requirements that need to be fulfilled for the initiation of the aforementioned procedure. Firstly, it is vital that the purchase price for the immovable property is fully paid. An additional requirement is lodging the contract at the Land Registry and the already issued title deeds showing the existing registered owner of the immovable property. In order for the enclaved buyer to satisfy the eligibility criteria, the contract of sale of the immovable property must have been lodged with the Land Registry by 31st December 2014.

The next step is for the Land Registry to review the application and investigate for the existence of any encumbrances on the property. With the filing of the application to the Land Registry, any foreclosure or bankruptcy procedures are suspended until the full review of the application. There is always the possibility that any interested party in relation to the encumbrance placed on the property objects if it is evidentially established. However, if there is no substantial evidence supporting the objection, the enclaved buyer is able to proceed further with the procedure for the issuance of separate title deeds.

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