Law 8(I)/2018 came into force on 13 July 2018, amending the Transfer and Mortgage of Immovable Property Law (9/1995). The new legislation was applied for the first time in the recent Nicosia District Court case Kyriakos Papavasiliou (Trading) Ltd v Hellenic Bank Public Company Limited. This case is considered to be of great importance in assessing how the courts will interpret the new law in future.

Facts

The case concerned an auction procedure which had been initiated by the sending of the relevant documents and notices to the mortgagor. The mortgagor filed a lawsuit against Hellenic Bank in order to suspend a foreclosure procedure. Prior to the new law's entry into force, the existence of a pending legal action regarding notice under Type I was one of the grounds on which mortgagors could file a court application to suspend an auction procedure.

This procedure has changed following the introduction of the new law. Under Article 44C(3) of the new law, a pending legal action no longer constitutes a ground on which a mortgagor can file a court application to suspend an auction procedure. Instead, mortgagors must now grant a prohibition order to file such an application.

Another important amendment to the Transfer and Mortgage of Immovable Property Law is the fact that Law 8(I)/2018 will take effect irrespective of whether any foreclosure procedure has been initiated before its entry into force, giving it retrospective effect.

Decision

The Nicosia District Court in Kyriakos Papavasiliou applied the new law and noted that the wording of the abovementioned provision is clear and unambiguous and is therefore not open to an alternative interpretation.

For further information on this topic please contact George Ioannou or Achilleas Christophorou at George Z Georgiou & Associates LLC by telephone (+357 22 763 340) or email (george.ioannou@gzg.com.cy or achilleas.christophorou@gzg.com.cy). The George Z Georgiou & Associates LLC website can be accessed at www.gzg.com.cy.

Athina Stavrinidou, trainee lawyer, assisted in the preparation of this article.

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