Meeting with Özkan Murat, Interior Minister

Tuesday 19 December 2006

Answers to Homebuyers Pressure Group Questions(2)

 

 

1.                 If a buyer has paid in full or part for the property and dies while waiting for Permission  to Purchase, what is legal situation regarding ownership of the property?

If a buyer has paid in full or part for the property and dies while waiting for Permission to Buy, his family can apply to appoint an Administrator of Estate of the person deceased.  Result of the reports being positive, for the permission to be given on behalf of Administrator of Estate of the deceased, it should be presented to the Council of Ministers to be able to transfer the property ownership to  the inheritor.

2.                 What is the reason for the Council of Ministers to refuse Permission to Purchase when the Land Registry, Police and Military reports are positive?

Even though the Land Registry, Police and Military reports are positive, the Council of Ministers has the authority to give Permission to Purchase.

3.                 What is the current situation regarding transfer of ownership to foreigners of Pre-74 Turkish Title land (deeds)?

The Council of Ministers has the authority regarding transfer of ownership to foreigners Turkish Title deeds or transfer of pre-74 (T.R.N.C.).

4.                  If a Police Reference which is submitted with the Permission to Purchase application states that the applicant has a conviction for drink driving, will they be refused permission?

If a Police Reference which is submitted with the Permission to Purchase application states that the applicant has a conviction for drink driving, does not prevent them from purchasing immovable property.

5.                  If a foreigner living here with a valid Residency Visa decides to purchase a property are they still required to submit a Police reference with their Permission to Purchase application.  If it is required, what is the reason?

If a foreigner living here with a valid Residency Visa decides to purchase a property they do not require to submit a Police reference with their Permission to Purchase application.  The investigation that the Police carries out is valid to apply to buy immovable property.

6.                 If there a list of Permission to Purchase refusals?  If there is, can we have a copy?

There is a list of Permission to Purchase refusals.  Upon a request by the person concerned or through a solicitor it can be obtained.

7.                 Is there a list of plot numbers which are not suitable for sale to foreigners?  If there is, can we have a copy?

There is a list of plot numbers which are not suitable for sale to foreigners, however, it is not appropriate to give a copy.

8.                 A new regulation was introduced in November 2006 which states that a developer must first receive Planning Permission prior to applying for a VISA and subsequently the building licence.  What guidelines have been set for approval or refusal of this Planning Permission?  If Planning Permission is refused and the developer still continues to build, what action will be taken?

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9.                 What mechanism is in place to stop estate agents selling properties that do not currently have a building permit? To sell properties without these permits in place, especially during a period of stoppage, is fraud.

Currently there is draft bill being placed before Parliament to impose penalties on estate agents who have not completed their registration and processing.

10.             If properties have been sold without building permission in place and stage payments are collected during this ‘stoppage’ period that is also fraud. Have the estate agents and lawyers of the TRNC informed all such customers that the property they have contracted to buy, is subject to this blockage?

A flat or a house has being sold off plan without permission to build.  The vendor and purchaser must make an agreement that ties them to a contract.  Where the agreement is not honoured by either party, the wronged party should take legal action.

11.             What are the legal rights of a purchaser who decides not to buy a property that falls into this category? How quickly can they expect to see the return of any monies paid to that date?

The Judge will rule on the legal rights of the purchaser.

12.             The Electric Authority Kib-tek states that the developer is their customer.  However they currently can not force him to pay for the project even if all the properties have been sold.  What is the reason for this?

More detailed information concerning this subject can be obtained from the Electric Authority.  However, all of the processing should be specified in the agreement.

13.             Why a fraud is committed by builders not an offence?  When our members have reported cases of fraud to the Police they have been informed “we can do nothing, it is a civil matter”.

A Judge makes a ruling on this subject.

14.             When a builder approaches a financial institution for funds and a mortgage is secured on the land as a guarantee, what processes are in place to ensure that the same plots of land have not been sold to a foreign investor prior to the financial institution granting the said mortgage? i.e.: the builder has collected and banked payment for the land and then still seeks loans against the land he knows he has sold to others. If this can be proved by documentation, what legal recourse is available to the purchaser?

This is between the bank who provides the credit and the purchaser.  Upon having disagreement it can be resolved through a court decision

15.             Can it be clarified beforehand if a plot is jointly owned? If it is known beforehand that it is jointly owned – why are builders not prosecuted for selling properties on a shared plot?

This can be clarified beforehand if a property is jointly owned.  The Deeds Office will curry out a search to establish whether a plot is jointly owned or not

16.             If a shared Koçan is a legal title – what restrictions apply in law?

·         When a shared owner dies – how does this affect the other rightful owners?

·         When a shared property is put up for sale, do the other shared owners have any rights over the property by law?

·         If a shared owner wants to sink a well, do the other owners have rights of access to it?

·         If a shared owner wants to keep livestock (chickens, goats, sheep) can the others prevent it?

·         What about satellite dishes – do the other owners benefit from this?

·         If one owner wants to construct a pool – do the others benefit (use it) from this?

·         If an owner on a shared plot decides to run a business from his home, causing disruption to the other shared owners, can they force him to close the business in law?

·         When a shared owner dies, this does not affect the other rightful owners, lawful heirs inherit.

·         When a shared property is put up for sale, other shared owners have legal rights over the property. Under Article 25 of Chapter 224 they can use their rights.

·         He should apply to District Office with his permission to sink a well.  The District Office will evaluate the situation and then will answer in the positive or the negative.

·         If a shared owner wants to keep livestock (chickens, goats, sheep), if he has not obtained a legal permission, the others can prevent it.

·         Situation of satellite dishes; if it is owned by the site residents all of the site owners can benefit.

·         If one owner wants to construct a pool, under Chapter 224 Section 6 and 6 (a) if it is privately owned by an individual the others do not benefit.  Chapter 224 Sections of 6 and 6 (a) is preparing regulations concerning this subject.  According to these regulations that are prepared the sections quoted above regarding communal areas belongs to all of the shared owners, any construction done belongs to all of the shared owners.  If the pool is within the communal area the other rightful owners can benefit.

·         Concerning this subject, your response can be obtained from the Municipality and the Employment and Social Security Ministry.

17.            If a builder markets a property as having individual title deed (and this is referred to within the contract) and then subsequently does not divide the plot, what recourse do the purchasers have in law?

According to purchase to buy agreement, he can apply to the court.  It can be applied to the court under the conditions of the agreement between the vendor and the purchaser.

18.      When a builder has completed a project, but then does not provide a tarmac road, what recourse does the purchaser have in law?

Even though a builder has completed a project, but then does not provide a tarmac road, the purchaser can apply to the court.

18.             Are there any clear guidance as to the due process of law once a purchaser decides to seek justice through the court system in the TRNC?

·            Timeframes

·         The pleadings procedure with timeframes

·         Penalties for non attendance

·         Enforcement procedures

·         Appeal procedures

·         Costs

·         There are guide lines as to the due process of law once a purchaser decides to seek justice through the court system in the TRNC, however, for detailed information you must seek advice from a solicitor at law.

·         An agreement between the buyer and seller should be sound.  Wronged party should apply to the court.

·          Prison sentence is the Judges ruling.

·         Anyone can complain to any of the Ministries.

·         The procedure decision is done by the Government, that is to say it is the Tax Offices duty and authority.

19.             When purchase to build is finally received, many builders are avoiding paying their share of the purchase tax; on the grounds they have no funds from which to pay their share of the tax. Therefore, the burden then falls to the purchaser – apart from that this is not fair, it is morally indefensible! What remedy can be provided to prevent purchasers being ‘blackmailed’ into paying another persons tax liability?

·           Prison sentence?

·           Complaint to a Ministry?

·            Auction of their assets to meet their tax liability?

 

An agreement between the buyer and seller should be sound.  Wronged party should apply to the court.

·          Prison sentence is the Judges ruling.

·         Anyone can complain to any of the Ministries.

·         The procedure decision is done by the Government, that is to say it is the Tax Offices duty and authority.

20.             If a purchaser secures an injunction over a shared plot of land that has undeveloped plots, can the builder still develop those plots? (please note these plots are only developed when an investor is found)

It depends on the Court Ruling.  If the current ruling impedes the construction or any existing construction work cannot proceed.  Judgement can be made if the court ruling is not implemented.

21.             If he can develop those plots – is he bound by law to inform potential purchasers that the land is subject to a charge? If he fails to inform them, can he be prosecuted for fraud?

There isn’t.  When the immovable property is transferred to the purchaser the liability is notified, however, once the purchaser has bought there is no legal requirement.  When the person’s application has been made, the information can be obtained from the Deeds County Office.  During the process of transfer at the Deeds Offices, there is found to be an impediment on the mentioned immovable property the purchaser is informed.