We hope that we have cleared the situation since
from the various letters that we receive, it seems
that there is some confusion.
It appears that there is an increasing rate of title issue
and this without the affects of the Building Amnesty. Be it
with some years delay (approximately 4-7 years after
completion) titles are being issued. This positive
development has brought up at an increasing rate some
problems that are related to the transfer of property.
These are calculated on a scale as follows:
Market Value €
In order to promote development in Cyprus and attract at the
same time investments, the Cyprus Government has pushed
through the house legislation which amends the Department of
Land and Surveys (Fees and Charges) Law that allows a 50%
reduction on the transfer fees mentioned above until the end
The amending legislation also provides for:
Parent to Child: The abolition of any fees
payable in the case of a transfer of immovable property.
To third degree of family: The adjustment of the
transfer fees regarding donations, using the estimation
values of 1st January 2013;
Family companies. The abolition of the refunding of
fees on immovable property transfers, after a period of five
Equal value property: The abolition of the fee
payable in cases of exchange of immovable property.
Family company to a shareholder: The abolition of the
right to reduced fees.
Note: There a proposal by
the Government (Passed by the Ministerial Council) to allow
a 50% discount on transfer fees after 2016 with no limit.
The date of the valuation is taken as being the date of
sale/acquisition. As such if one bought a property in the
year 2002 and transfers the property now, the transfer fees
will be based on the market value on the date of the
acquisition i.e. 2002.
The law stipulates that the Lands Office must ascertain the
value of the property on the relevant (sales) date, based on
the market value on the date of sale. Usually the Lands
Office accepts the actual sales price, but approximately 20%
of the total is disputed by the Lands Office if it can
ascertain from its own records that the market value at the
time is different (usually it charges higher values and
never lower!!). The main method adopted in order to
ascertain the market value is the comparable one (there are
others also). So if you bought an apartment for say €100.000
and the Lands Office has in the records other sales for
€120.000 for similar properties, it will charge you fees on
the €120.000. Regrettably a good percentage of locals and
others under-declare their sales/acquisition price for the
purpose of saving capital gains (by the seller) and transfer
fees (by the buyer) and this is widely known – hence the
Lands Office stand.
You are not in a situation of take it or leave it, but if
one disagrees with the Lands Office valuation, you can
submit an objection which must be accompanied by a reasoned
valuation by a qualified valuer.
This must be done within approximately 40 days from the date
that the Lands Office makes its final/determination
assessment (recent High Court decision has extended this
rather vaguely to a reasonable time). What is infuriating in
such cases is that even upon determination/final valuation,
the Lands Office does not provide the affected parties with
a written report supporting its own assessment, whereas the
buyer must do so in writing etc, in order for the Lands
Office to re-examine
Date of Assessment
If a contract is deposited with the Lands Office, then the
date of sale so recorded in the contract is the one adopted.
If the contract is not deposited, you must produce your
contract (duly stamped) as well as the receipt of the down
payment, so that the Lands Office can ascertain the sales
The Economic Situation + Transfer
After all the uphill battle to secure the deeds, it has now
been ascertain that only 25% of the title deeds issued are
actually transferred and this because nowadays where every
cent counts, people are not willing to come up with (say)
€15.000-€30.000 transfer fees since they feel that the fees
are fixed on a certain date and since no interest is charged
and provided you have no immediate use of the title this may
be a solution, be it temporary – hence the 50% transfer fees
Half Transfer Fees
If a sales contract is deposited with the Lands Office by
the end of 2014 then 50% only of the transfer fees is
charged if transfer takes by end 2016. A recent bill by the
Government however suggests that this discount period is to
be extended at any time without the 2014 prerequisite (the
Bill is expected to be approved prior to July 2016).
We hope that we have cleared the situation since from the
various letters that we receive, it seems that there is some