Appeal filed against Conor O’Dwyer ruling

Cyprus Property News

LAWYER Yiannos Georgiades, acting for Conor O’Dwyer, confirmed to the Cyprus Property News Magazine that an appeal has been filed against the court ruling last month that cleared property developer Karayiannas and Michelle McDonald of any wrongdoing.

The long awaited verdict from the court has caused many people to doubt the protection afforded to those buying property on the Island.

According to the Island’s ‘Specific Performance Law’, the deposit of a contact of sale at a Land Registry prevents a property from being sold for a second time. The contract can only be withdrawn from the Land Registry with the agreement of the vendor (Karayiannas) and the purchaser (Mr O’Dwyer) – or by a court order.

In the O’Dwyer case, the judge accepted that Mr O’Dwyer’s contract had been lodged with the Land Registry and that the developer had resold the property to someone else without O’Dwyer’s consent or a court order instructing the Land Registry to remove his contract.

Successive Governments have promised to revise the Island’s antiquated property laws to provide those buying property with added protection.

In July 2009 the Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis issued a statement that included the following:

“Despite our determination to cut this Gordian knot with the introduction of new legislation for the improvement and reformation of the planning system, as well as the system of issuing property titles, it must be clarified here that even the current system and the existing legislation protects buyers and their ownership status.”

Also in July 2009 the Permanent Secretary of the Interior Ministry wrote to Graham Watson MEP assuring him that:

“It is worth repeating that even under current legislation, buyers of immovable property are protected, once they deposit the Contract for Sale at the appropriate District Office of the Department of Lands and Surveys according to the Sale of Lands (Specific Performance) Law, Cap.232.”

However, the judge’s ruling the O’Dwyer’s case seems to contradict government assurances, as she did not believe that submission of a sales contract to the Land Registry was enough to guarantee a person’s property rights. As well as finding in favour of the defendants, she also ordered Mr O’Dwyer to pay their costs.

No date has been set for the appeal to be heard.

By: Nigel Howarth Published: Wednesday 2nd February 2011
To see comments from British expats read this article in the Cyprus Property News
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