An increase of 20% or by 987 is noted by the sales documents filed with the Department of Lands and Surveys (TCX) from the beginning of 2023 until the middle of May, compared to the corresponding period last year, while mortgages decreased by 35% or by 2,125, the Director of the Department Elikkos Ilias told KYPE, while in relation to the property titles that remain pending, he stated that they amount to 9,500, up from 20,000 in 2021.
At the same time, he referred to the introduction of alternative ways of submitting an application and receiving documents, while in relation to the cyber attack that the Department received on March 8, Mr. Ilias said that all the internal functions of the Department have been restored, while interactive activities are still not accessible of the Land Registry Portal for people outside Cyprus.
In addition, Mr. Ilias said that today around 9,500 property titles remain pending for examination, while at the same time he mentioned that the problematic cases that present serious irregularities also remain to be examined.
Specifically, in relation to the statistics, Mr. Ilias said that sales in the first months (up to mid-May) of 2023 amounted to 6,928 compared to 7,390 in the same period in 2022.
He added that the sales documents filed with the TKX were 5,694 and 4,707 respectively, that is, their number increased in 2023.
He noted, however, that mortgages fell from 6,058 to 3,933.
The fluctuations observed, according to Mr. Ilias, are more affected by the situation in the real estate market and are not related to the cyber attack.
The operation of the Department has returned to normality
Besides, the Director of the TKH said that after the cyber attack that the Department received on March 8, 2023, "it took a lot of time to restore the smooth operation of the Department", adding that within a period of less than a week, the activities related to with transfers, mortgages and generally deposits of encumbrances and on April 10, the Land Registry Portal was put into operation in its new form, while two months after the cyber attack all the internal functions of the Department were restored.
"The interactive activities of the Land Registry Portal are still not accessible by people outside of Cyprus for security reasons, while the INSPIRE geoportal, which has special access to geographic data, remains closed," he added.
Mr. Ilias thanked those who helped in the quick restoration of the operation of the TKX and especially the Minister and Director General of the Ministry of Interior, the Deputy Minister and Director General of the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, the IT Services Department and the Digital Security Authority.
Issuance of Titles with Forced Registration Update
According to the Director of the TKX, the effort to issue the title deeds, concerning developments for which the Land Development Entrepreneurs had not proceeded with the process for the issuance of the title deeds, starts around 2006 (Convergence Program), while the 2009, it was estimated by the Department that more than 100,000 title deeds were pending for issuance.
He said that following the passage of the relevant Town Planning Legislation in 2011, it was estimated that around 65,000 title deeds were pending in 2013, and in 2015, following a demand by the Troika, applications were opened for all developments identified as pending the issuance of the title deeds. of property titles with the result that the outstanding titles then amounted to 45,000.
He also said that with the start of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RESP) in 2021, 20,000 property titles were pending which corresponded to about 1,050 forced modernization applications.
He stated that "the commitment based on the SAA is to examine a total of 16,000 title deeds, (i.e. 80% of applications)" and added that under the SAA, 10,500 title deeds have been examined, of which approximately 4,700 titles have been issued, while about 5,800 have been rejected.
"Today, around 9,500 title deeds, corresponding to approximately 500 applications, remain pending for examination, of which the TKX will have to examine another 5,500 title deeds," he noted.
Mr. Ilias said that during the examination of the 45,000 applications it became clear that a percentage of more than 15% of the total developments had serious irregularities (no permits, additional illegal units have been built, infrastructure projects have not been built, etc.), the which makes it impossible to issue the title deeds.
"The largest percentage of the cases, which present the above problems, remain in the applications that are pending and examined within the framework of the SAA, as over time mainly the problematic cases have remained to be examined", he underlined.
Finally, Mr. Ilias assured that the TKX is making "every possible effort" to complete the work and fulfill the commitment made.Alternative ways of serving the public
In addition, the Director of the TKH said that with the aim of upgrading the quality of service to citizens, the TKH decided from April 12, 2023 to introduce alternative ways of submitting an application and receiving documents, depending on the wish/choice of the applicant, for all types of applications , except for applications that require the physical presence of the applicant at the Provincial Land Office, whether by appointment or not (Transfer, Mortgage, Deposit of Real Encumbrances).
He noted that applications can be submitted by e-mail or by handing them in paper form to the District Land Office.
He added that for applications that can be submitted online, citizens can submit them through CY_LOGIN, either by email or by paper delivery," he added.
"Citizens now have the option of receiving documents either by mail or at the District Land Office," he concluded.