Historical Outline of Cadastral
The patterns of individual ownership started to emerge, in Cyprus
the period after the year 1050 BC. Before that period the system
of land tenure was on a purely communal basis.
An inscription of the 5th century BC excavated in Cyprus, and
it can be described as a title to land. It mentions that the King
of Idalio and the town itself rewarded a physician who had cured
those wounded during a siege with the grand of royal lands, of
a value of one silver talent, in full ownership. The inscription
reveals certain important characteristics of land ownership in
ancient Cyprus. It indicates that there were then not only royal
lands but also private ownership, mentioned by owner's names.
It also indicates the existence of land taxation and of inheritance
in those days. The inscription mentions that it was placed under
the protection of the priestess of goddess Athena, as a guarantee
of title to ownership.
The period 1571-1878, Cyprus is under Turkish Rule. The Ottoman
occupation left a deeper mark in the field of land tenure of the
island. The most important legal provisions were contained in
the Medjelle and the Ottoman Land Code (1857), which set land
ownership on a more rational basis. There were five categories
of land. The Ottoman System may be described as a system of registration
of deeds combined with the registration of title. The parcel boundaries
are stated without any reference to a map or plan.
In 1878, an agreement between Great Britain and Turkey transferred
administration of Cyprus to Great Britain. In 1907, the Immovable
Property Registration and Valuation Law, was enacted. This Law
introduced the registration of title and set the basis for the
up-to-date registration of all immovable property, based on the
plan in use.
In 1946 the Immovable Property (Tenure Registration and Valuation)
Law came into operation. It embraces a sound system of registration
and it is committed to universal registration.
The principal components of the Cyprus system include the register
and the cadastral plans. The system of land registration is that
of title. A registered person is considered to be the undisputed
owner and his title to ownership is absolute, subject to the Lands
and Surveys Department Director's power to correct errors or omissions
and to the inherent power of the courts to order an amendment.
The authority responsible for the operation of land registration
is the government through the Director of DLS. In Cyprus, no transfer
of, or change on any immovable property is valid unless registered
in the District Lands Office. Title is not guaranteed by the State
and there is no indemnity fund; but the whole system is highly
trusted by the public.
The registration is based on cadastral plans, which are linked
to the national grid and cover the whole island. All lands, including
state lands, appear on register. The cadastral plans are prepared
and kept up-to-date by the state. The boundary points are not
necessarily marked on the ground.