Compulsory Acquisition of Right-of-Way
Law Cap. 224, Section 11A and Regulation 255/67
Where a property is surrounded completely by other properties and is thus deprived of the necessary access to a public road or where the existing access is insufficient to make full use of the property, the owner may claim to obtain a right-of-way from adjoining properties upon payment of reasonable compensation.
Procedure – Application
The acquiring party (i.e. the registered owner claiming access) shall serve a notice upon the servient tenant (owner of the property through which access is claimed) on Form N.283 properly completed and signed and accompanied by a cadastral plan. Such form must contain the particulars of the dominant tenement (the property for which access is claimed) and of the servient tenement (the tenement from which access is claimed).
This notice is served upon the servient tenant to inform him of the acquiring party's intention to acquire access and the reason for which such access is necessary.
➤ It is the applicant's (owner's) responsibility to ascertain the name and the exact address of the owners of the adjoining properties so that the notice may be served upon them. All interested persons may obtain particulars of the adjoining properties on a certificate (search certificate) including ownership upon filing of an application and payment of the prescribed fees.
➤ Such notices may be served by double registered post or handed personally in the presence of at least one witness (the presence of the witness is not necessary if the notice is served upon a public authority such as the General Director of the Ministry of Interior (with respect to state land) or the Director of the Turkish Cypriot properties, for the Minister of Interior as the Administrator of the Turkish Cypriot Properties (with respect to Turkish Cypriot Land).
➤ The service of the notices and of the copies of the plans is confirmed by means of an affidavit stating the persons upon whom the notice was served, the time and place of the service with the attachment of the postal advice of the double registered letter and copies of the notices (Form N.283) and of the plans. Where service was made to a representative of a Public Authority for all proposed servient tenements, no affidavit is required, apart from evidence of receipt.
➤ The acquiring party must within sixty (60) days from the service of the notice as mentioned above, file an application on Form N. 284 for the acquisition of the right-of-way.
Documents attached to the application
➤ Affidavit made by the owner of the dominant tenement with all documents accompanying it.
➤ Certificate of registration (title) of the property in favour of which the right-of-way is requested.
➤ Search certificate stating the owners of the properties from which the right-of-way is requested.
After the lapse of the sixty-day (60) period the application shall not be accepted and the service of new notices is required.
All interested parties are given at least seven days' notice for the purpose of a local enquiry. The visit to the premises takes place whether or not in the presence of the owners of the properties through which the right-of-way is requested. Interested parties are, in addition to the owners of the properties, any such persons in whose favour an encumbrance is registered in the books kept with the Department of Lands & Surveys.
The Land Officer considers the application carefully, hears all views, remarks and objections by any interested person. With regard to the conditions actual and legal identity of the properties, the Land Officer makes an effort to reach a compromise so that the parties may come to an amicable agreement for the grant of the necessary right-of-way. Where the Land Officer fails in his effort for an amicable agreement, the position of the right-of-way, its extent with respect to the use of the property and the compensation to be paid are determined by the Director of the Department of Lands Office, bearing in mind that the right-of-way to be created must only cause the slightest possible damage, noise or disturbance to the interested parties. The Director's decision is documented on Form N.286 which should also include the right-of-way and describe its area of extent and the compensation payable. The position and direction of right-of-way is shown on the drawing/plan attached on Form N.286. The decision is notified to all interested parties and calls upon the acquiring party to deposit the estimated compensation with the Department of Lands and Surveys within a period of not less than thirty and not more than sixty days.
➤ The period of thirty (30) days gives the opportunity to all interested parties to appeal before the court against the decision of the Director if they do not agree with the position, the direction or the extent of the right-of-way or the amount of compensation.
➤ If during the local enquiry it is ascertained that in addition to the proposed servient tenements there are also other suitable properties then the decision is postponed and the applicant is notified to serve Forms N.283 upon the owners of the other properties within the prescribed period of sixty (60) days.
There are fees levied for acceptance of the application, for recording of the right and for registration.
Time of completion of the procedure
This procedure takes not less than six months due to the deadlines required by the Regulations and it varies according to the particularity of each case, the accumulated volume of work and the available personnel.