|The Department of Lands and Surveys of Cyprus of the Ministry of the Interior, is the oldest governmental department of the public sector, and started its operations in the year 1858. The initial and main responsibility of the Department, was the registration of immovable property on the island. However, throughout the years, the Department expanded its services and activities offered to the public, emerging into a dynamic and multifaceted organization. |
The Department of Lands and Surveys is highly noted throughout the world for its concrete legal system of land administration, ownership and tenure, as well as for the clear and solid procedures which are in effect throughout it. The function of land registration in Cyprus provides a safe and secure foundation for the acquisition, enjoyment and disposal of rights in land.
Although our system of land registration, ownership, valuation, survey, and cartography has the prime responsibility of ensuring the protection of the interests of individual landowners, it also serves as an instrument of national policy regarding the market of real estate, as well as a mechanism to support the economic development of our country.
The ways in which a proper legal system of ownership in Cyprus serves the purpose of the real estate market, can be seen in the way the Department’s of Lands and Surveys land ownership recording systems operates. It contains a legal definition of real property units which accurately reflect the condition on the ground; it facilitates land transfer through a simple and secure system; eliminates the need for extensive searching for a chain of titles like in other countries; it is supported by legislation which requires it to be up to date at all times; all rights are recorded including ownership and restrictions on properties; covers all land including State land, as well as that held by individuals, firms or institutions. All the processes are fully computerized, highly visible, and clearly understood by the public, enabling everybody to have confidence in our system.
Our Land Information System is considered to be nationally uniform and sustainable; a basis for implementing local taxation, land use and building control; a flexible means of administering property rights; a basis for land titling which is accessible, user-friendly; a basis for delivering social justice in relation to land reform and resource allocation.
A multipurpose cadastre would be the first priority for many countries nowadays; along this, the parcel of property will be the fundamental building block of an integrated system of land information. In Cyprus, our Department has managed to implement a fully integrated Land Information System that supports a wide range of decision making elements, including land conveyance, equitable taxation, resource management and environmental planning.
Overall, the general strategic objective of our Department had always been to establish a fixed boundary coordinated cadastral system after a systematic resurvey, the computerization of the land records, cadastral plans, topographical maps, the complete development of our Land Information System (C.I.L.I.S.), to fully support the survey, registration, valuation and management functions of the Department, and the staged development and implementation of a National Land Information System (LIS) where all agencies with land related activities can share available data for the benefit of the economy of the country.