Cyprus being a small island in the Mediterranean among three continents has all been under the control of the Super Power of one of the Countries Europe, Africa and Asia. The last rulers were the British.
The British came to Cyprus in 1879. They ruled Cyprus until 1960 when Cyprus was declared as an independent state. During their stay in Cyprus, the British replaced all previous laws with the codified Common Law. When Cyprus gained independence it retained by its constitution all existing laws enacted by the British. The British, although conquerors, helped the island a lot especially in organizing the government, establishing the rule of Law and the administration of justice in civil matters.
In 1910 a visionary army officer, lieutenant Kitchener who later became Lord Kitchener organized a Land Registration System for which generations to come must be grateful to him. He made demarcation of the whole island and mapped and numbered each individual holding. He created the Land Registry Office and these maps are kept as official documents showing the shape, extent and boundaries of each piece of land and a separate registry giving particulars officially as to who is the owner of a piece of land. Registered owners of land besides clerical or human errors that can be proved, are the absolute and indisputable owners of each specific piece of land for eternity. Any transaction affecting the rights to any land must be done at the Land Registry Office, like transferring of the title deeds, mortgages, rights of ways etc. When buildings are erected on a piece of land these buildings should be registered. If more than one building is erected like two houses or a block of flats and the owner of the land for some reason (eg. Developers who sell) wants to have separate title deeds for each house or flat, a division permit is obtained from the appropriate administrative authority and then after application, the Land Registry Office issues separate deeds for each individual house or flat. After that the holder of the new entity house or flat may mortgage it or transfer it or dispose it by any means as a separate real estate entity. Before that is done anybody who buys such house or flat until separate title is issued is the contractual and equitable owner of the house or flat and can dispose of it only by contract and not by registration. Although we should be grateful to the young army officer for the certainty, security and safety he established for real estate in Cyprus, we pay some price for this. Anybody who buys a house or a flat without deeds and that is the case always for such properties newly built or under construction, has to wait for some years until the time comes to obtain title deeds as the bureaucrats have to meticulously examine all particulars since registration creates concrete rights on land or buildings that may worth millions. So the British who come here by thousands and buy houses or flats without deeds should either curse or thank their great ancestor and the British Empire.