• 10 leading pointers for discovering a property to lease in Cyprus.

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

    Details on laws and taxes for British nationals who want to buy property in Cyprus.

    Introduction

    Acquiring property in Cyprus has a variety of possible pitfalls. The British High Commission advises possible purchasers to exercise extreme care when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily offered, as it implies your property could be at risk.

    Home loan liability

    It is common practice for designers to secure home mortgages on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a designer and there is currently a mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are likely to become accountable for that home mortgage should the home builder, designer or landowner declare insolvency.

    You need to ask your lawyer to check for mortgages placed on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is obtained from the Land Pc registry. It ought to be kept in mind that in order to obtain a Land Search Certificate one needs a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are made aware of a home loan before signing an agreement it is unlikely that you will get the deeds in your name up until the home mortgage is settled.

    Attorneys are not required to check for mortgages instantly, although good attorneys need to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government presented a Specific Efficiency Law to offer an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing home mortgage nevertheless we still strongly suggest that you inspect no home mortgages have actually been placed on the land prior to purchase to ensure you do not run into possible difficulties at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most frequently raised by British nationals consist of:

    • lawyers acting for both vendors or home builders for that reason not independent
    • constructing works happening without the correct preparation consent or building license (eg electrical energy or water).
    • fluctuations in currency and interest rates impacting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or costs not being consisted of in the preliminary contract.
    • problem in obtaining certificates of final completion (deeds can not be issued without this).
    • difficulty in getting title deeds.
    • difficulty in obtaining redress after problems are determined.
      With all property purchases, we highly recommend that you seek your own independent legal suggestions.

    You should seek competent independent legal advice on your rights and approaches of redress if you have actually acquired a property or land and are experiencing troubles.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to offer legal suggestions or become involved with disagreements between private celebrations. However, we direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to assist and we can raise systemic concerns, problems which impact a variety of clients, with local authorities.

    You can check on the Association of International Property Professionals website to see if a company or legal consultant are members.

    Buying property in the north of Cyprus.

    The ownership of numerous properties is challenged in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these properties might have serious financial and legal implications. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in a number of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus before 1974 continue to be regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    Purchasers might deal with legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, in addition to efforts to impose judgments from these courts somewhere else in the EU, including the UK. There has been at least one successful case to enforce rulings in the UK, threatening property owned in the UK.

    One essential concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential purchasers ought to also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern might have serious effects for property they purchase, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to payment payments.

    • in the north of Cyprus that was owned by a Greek Cypriot nationwide prior to 1974 * ^ that was subsequently categorized as exchange or ‘present’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Buyers should ensure they are completely familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of foreigners purchasing property, consisting of the requirement to obtain consent to the transfer of property. Even when buying pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be declined approval to purchase the land/property and no factor for the refusal might be offered.

    On 20 October 2006, a modification to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code associating with property entered impact. Under the modification, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the permission of the owner (the person whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Windows registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. The maximum jail sentence is 7 years.

    The modification to the law also states that any effort to undertake such a transaction is a criminal offence and could result in a jail sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that happened before 20 October 2006.

    Documents relating to the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to relate to the unlawful transfer of Greek Cypriot property and may be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anybody found in ownership of these files may be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and could deal with criminal proceedings under the 20 October change.

    Any queries relating to the scope of this law need to be made to the Republic of Cyprus High Commission in London or to the Ministry of Foreign affairs for the Republic of Cyprus:.

    RoC High Commission London.
    13, St James’s Square.
    London SW1Y 4LB.

    Telephone: +44 (0) 207 3214 100.

    Email: cyprusinuk@mfa.gov.uk.

    RoC Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    Presidential Palace Avenue.
    1447 Nicosia.

    Telephone: +357 22651000.

    Fax: +357 22661881.

    Duty Officer: +357 99 660129 (for emergency assistance and strictly after office hours: 07:30– 16:00 (Monday – Friday).

    Email: info@mfa.gov.cy.

    Property owned before 1974.

    If you are a British national and owned a property in the north of Cyprus before 1974 (or the beneficiary of someone conference those criteria), please call the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you want to try to reclaim your property, they will be able to inspect your file and advise on what steps to take.

    The British High Commission is unable to assist double nationals in the country of their other nationality. , if you are a dual British/Cypriot nationwide you should approach your regional authorities in regard of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

    .

    Buying property or land in the Sovereign Base Locations (SBAs).

    Persons thinking about the purchase of stationary property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be aware that the permission of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations is required under area 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Ordinance 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to buy unmovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for authorization exists whether property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has formerly gotten permission. Failure to get the consent of the Administrator implies that the acquisition and registration of the immovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will offer authorization only in the most extraordinary scenarios.

    You ought to also know that it is an offense for persons besides “acknowledged citizens” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, except in accordance with a license provided under that Regulation. Once again, you might obtain a certificate of recognised house or a permit, but the Administration just seldom grant approving these.

    Further information.

    Some of the problems that property purchasers experience are very comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get involved in private property issues or legal disputes, but supports community associations that are dedicated to dealing with the issues of property purchasers.

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal advisor, you have worked with is a member of AIPP and you are unhappy with the services supplied, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary treatment.

    Legal guidance.

    British residents affected by property issues should take independent legal guidance from regional lawyers.

    Regional police.

    You need to make a statement to the regional authorities if you believe that you have been subject to a property criminal activity. Keep in mind to obtain a copy of the statement and request the incident number. Please note, there may be a time constraint between the time of the supposed crime and the time within which you make your grievance.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (also referred to as Commissioner of Administration and Protection of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of residents, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to safeguard their rights and flexibility versus actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some limitations) and authorities of the main government and regional administrations along with anyone acting as representatives or collaborators of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public goals or services. Contact details are on their site.

    It is necessary to keep in mind that the Ombudsman may not step in under the following situations:.

    • whenever the general public administration has not been included.
    • in case of conflicts or disputes in between people.
    • after one year from the moment when the person understood the events of his grievance.
    • in case of anonymous grievances, without particular claims presenting bad faith or any claims that may harm legitimate rights of third parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • problems versus lawyers.

    Grievances versus lawyers practicing in the Republic of Cyprus must be resolved to:.

    The Cyprus Bar Association.
    Florinis 11, off.101, 1st Flooring,.
    1065, Nicosia P.O.Box. 21446,.
    1508, Nicosia– Cyprus.

    Telephone: +357 22873300 Fax: +35722873013.

    Email: cybar3@cytanet.com.cy.

    Website: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Grievances against lawyers practising in the north of Cyprus might be made in writing to the appropriate local ‘Bar Association’. There is a different ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Initial investigations into grievances happen within the appropriate district however they are then passed onto the general organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact details of local ‘bar associations’:.

    • Nicosia: contact individual: Arzu İzveren, e-mail: barolarbirligi@hotmail.com phone: 0090392227 73 39.
    • Kyrenia: contact person: Gürcan Bayramoğlu, e-mail: gurcanbayramoglu@hotmail.com phone: 0090392816 06 22.
    • Famagusta: contact person: Mine Vehit, e-mail: mine-vehit@hotmail.com phone: 0090392366 16 88.
    • Morphou: contact person: Mehtun Muslu, email: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Grievances versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Complaints versus the legal system should be made to the Attorney General’s Workplace:.

    Mr George L. Savvides.
    Attorney General.
    Law Office of the Republic of Cyprus.
    1403 Nicosia.
    Cyprus

    European Commissioner.

    There is a European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. Their address is:.

    Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers.
    European Commission.
    1049 Brussels.
    Belgium.

    You can learn more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Help in the UK.

    We have actually published recommendations(Link) on which UK authorities to call if you believe you have actually been a victim of property fraud.

    If you were residing in the UK when you made your purchase you might want to contact the UK European Consumer Centre. This becomes part of the European Customer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to help customers with cross-border disputes. When issues arise if they think it may help, the UK European Consumer Centre offers details and suggestions on issues with buying across borders and can arbitrate.

    Address:.

    UK European Consumer Centre.
    Chartered Trading Standards Institute.
    1 Sylvan Court.
    Sylvan Way.
    Southfields Business Park.
    Basildon.
    Essex SS15 6TH.

    Telephone: +44 (0) 1268 886 690.

    Fax: +44( 0 )1268 582 225.

    Email address: eccnet-uk@ec.europa.eu.

    Disclaimer.

    While we hope that this info works, please be aware that it is not meant to be the only assistance for potential buyers to follow when considering buying. In addition, we make no representation regarding the quality or accuracy of the info which is available at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any duty for the content that is hosted on them. We strongly recommend that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary suggestions at all stages of their purchase.

    The European Court of Person Rights has ruled in a number of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus prior to 1974 continue to be concerned as the legal owners of that property.

    One crucial problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential purchasers ought to also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern might have serious consequences for property they acquire, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to settlement payments. Under the change, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the permission of the owner (the individual whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Windows registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. We highly recommend that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary advice at all phases of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

    • Caution regarding property purchases in the occupied area of Cyprus(link)
    • Living in Cyprus(link)