The Directorate of Cadastral Affairs in the Deir-ez-Zor governorate is working to restore lost and damaged real estate documents in accordance with Law No. 33 of 2017.
Under Decision No. 6 of August 17, 2021, which was published in the Official Gazette, the General Directorate of Cadastral Affairs (GDCA) launched restoration work for damaged real estate documents in the areas of Mayadeen East 1/1 and Mayadeen West 2/2 in the Deir-ez-Zor governorate. On that same date, the General Directorate also issued Decision No. 7, launching restoration work for damaged real estate documents in Baghailiyeh, Hawi Baghailiyeh, Al-Hufreh, Hatleh, Ayyash, and Hawi Ayyash. These six areas are all within the city of Deir-ez-Zor.
Law No. 33 required that decisions to restore damaged real estate documents be posted in the Official Gazette and three well-known media outlets, as well as in the main hall of the General Directorate of Cadastral Affairs. Under the law, publication of the decisions constitutes official notice to the rights holders in the areas for which the documents were to be restored.
The main building of the GDCA in Deir-ez-Zor city was targeted in 2012 in what state media described as “terrorist attacks, theft, and vandalism of a large number of real estate records, files and documents.” Many of the documents were lost. Cadastral Affairs opened a new building in 2020 in the Hamidiyeh neighbourhood to replace the old, damaged one. The real estate records for properties in Deir-ez-Zor, Mayadeen, and Al-Boukamal were then transferred to the new building.
Law No. 33 defines restoration as a set of procedures taken to issue a verified replacement for damaged real estate documents or to complete one of the document’s required components. There are two methods for restoration outlined by the law. Administrative restoration relies on the documents available within the GDCA, which help to restore the damaged ones. Meanwhile, judicial restoration is the chosen method in cases of total damage to real estate documents. This method relies on documents that a real estate property owner submits to a real estate judge.
In official statements in March 2022, the real estate judge in Deir-ez-Zor said that inventory and statistics committees were formed in the governorate. Under Law No. 33, such committees are formed by the decision of the GDCA and are headed by the relevant governorate’s Director of Cadastral Affairs. These committees must identify the damaged real estate documents and the necessary methods for restoration, which would be subsequently approved by the GDCA in Damascus.
In accordance with the executive instructions of Law No. 33, which were issued in March 2018, a governorate hoping to start producing restored replacement documents must send a request to the GDCA to apply the provisions of Law No. 33 in the relevant real estate areas. The governorate must specify the affected real estate areas and the type of documents to be restored. Cadastral Affairs then approves the request and the Minister of Local Administration and Environment issues a decision to launch the restoration work, including a list of the real estate documents to be restored and the date on which work will begin in each of the concerned real estate areas. The decision also includes a description of the duties assigned to the local administrative authorities, the rights holders listed within the Land Registry, and any applicable penalties.