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

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

    Information on laws and taxes for British nationals who wish to buy property in Cyprus.

    Intro

    Acquiring property in Cyprus has a variety of prospective pitfalls. The British High Commission recommends possible buyers to work out severe caution when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily available, as it suggests your property could be at risk.

    Mortgage liability

    It prevails practice for designers to take out mortgages on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a designer and there is currently a home mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to become responsible for that home mortgage needs to the home builder, developer or landowner declare personal bankruptcy.

    You must ask your attorney to check for mortgages put on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is gotten from the Land Computer system registry. It must be noted that in order to acquire a Land Browse Certificate one needs a relevant authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are warned of a mortgage prior to signing an agreement it is unlikely that you will get the deeds in your name until the home loan is settled.

    Legal representatives are not required to check for home mortgages immediately, although good attorneys ought to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government introduced a Particular Performance Law to give a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing mortgage however we still highly advise that you examine no home loans have been placed on the land prior to buy to guarantee you do not run into prospective troubles at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other issues most often raised by British nationals include:

    • attorneys acting for both home builders or suppliers therefore not independent
    • constructing works happening without the appropriate planning approval or building authorization (eg electrical energy or water).
    • changes in currency and rates of interest affecting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or charges not being included in the preliminary contract.
    • difficulty in getting certificates of last conclusion (deeds can not be released without this).
    • difficulty in acquiring title deeds.
    • difficulty in obtaining redress after issues are identified.
      With all property purchases, we highly suggest that you seek your own independent legal recommendations.

    You must look for certified independent legal recommendations on your rights and methods of redress if you have actually purchased a property or land and are coming across troubles.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to use legal advice or become involved with conflicts in between personal parties. We direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to help and we can raise systemic issues, problems which affect a number of customers, with regional authorities.

    You can examine the Association of International Property Professionals website to see if a business or legal advisor are members.

    Buying property in the north of Cyprus.

    The ownership of lots of homes is disputed in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of 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 actually ruled in a variety of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus prior to 1974 continue to be considered as the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers might deal with legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as efforts to enforce judgments from these courts elsewhere 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.

    The leaders of both neighborhoods are currently in settlements to attempt to fix the Cyprus issue. One crucial problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Homeowner and possible purchasers need to likewise consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem could have serious consequences for property they purchase, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments. In particular, potential purchasers should think about the implications of any future settlement on land/property:.

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

    Buyers should guarantee they are totally knowledgeable about the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of foreigners buying property, consisting of the requirement to obtain consent to the transfer of property. Even when purchasing pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be declined approval to acquire the land/property and no reason for the rejection might be given.

    On 20 October 2006, a change to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code connecting to property entered into impact. Under the modification, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the authorization 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 offense. The maximum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The amendment to the law also specifies that any effort to carry out such a transaction is a criminal offence and might result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that occurred prior to 20 October 2006.

    Files relating to the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to relate to the illegal transfer of Greek Cypriot property and might be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anybody found in ownership of these files may be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and might face criminal procedures under the 20 October modification.

    Any queries relating to the scope of this law must 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.

    Task 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 prior to 1974 (or the successor of someone conference those requirements), please contact the British High Commission by email, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. They will be able to inspect your file and recommend on what actions to take if you wish to attempt to reclaim your property.

    The British High Commission is unable to help dual nationals in the country of their other citizenship. If you are a dual British/Cypriot nationwide you must approach your local authorities in regard of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Persons considering the purchase of unmovable property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be mindful that the approval of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations is needed under area 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Regulation 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to buy stationary property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for consent exists whether or not property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has actually previously obtained consent. Failure to obtain the approval of the Administrator implies that the acquisition and registration of the stationary property in question is null and void. The Administrator will offer consent only in the most exceptional circumstances.

    You should also understand that it is an offence for individuals other than “acknowledged citizens” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, other than in accordance with a license provided under that Ordinance. Once again, you might obtain a certificate of acknowledged residence or a permit, however the Administration just hardly ever grant approving these.

    Additional details.

    Some of the problems that property purchasers experience are extremely similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get involved in specific property issues or legal conflicts, however supports community associations that are devoted to solving the issues of property purchasers.

    Associations.

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

    Legal suggestions.

    British citizens affected by property issues must take independent legal guidance from regional lawyers.

    Local cops.

    You must make a statement to the regional police if you think that you have actually been subject to a property criminal activity. Remember to acquire a copy of the declaration and ask for the occurrence number. Please note, there might be a time limitation in between the time of the supposed crime and the time within which you make your grievance.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (likewise referred to as Commissioner of Administration and Security of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of residents, including foreign nationals, in order to protect their rights and flexibility against actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some constraints) and authorities of the main government and local administrations along with anyone serving as agents or collaborators of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact details are on their website.

    It is important to note that the Ombudsman may not intervene under the following situations:.

    • whenever the public administration has not been included.
    • in case of conflicts or disagreements between people.
    • after one year from the moment when the citizen had knowledge of the occasions of his problem.
    • in the event of anonymous problems, without particular claims providing bad faith or any claims that may damage genuine rights of 3rd parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • complaints versus lawyers.

    Problems against attorneys practising in the Republic of Cyprus ought to be addressed to:.

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

    Telephone: +357 22873300 Fax: +35722873013.

    Email: cybar3@cytanet.com.cy.

    Site: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Complaints against attorneys practicing in the north of Cyprus may be made in writing to the pertinent local ‘Bar Association’. There is a separate ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Preliminary examinations into grievances take place within the pertinent district however they are then passed onto the total organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact information of regional ‘bar associations’:.

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

    Problems versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Problems versus the legal system ought to 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.

    Assist in the UK.

    We have published advice(Link) on which UK authorities to get in touch with if you think you have been a victim of property scams.

    When you made your purchase you may wish to contact the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. This becomes part of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist customers with cross-border disagreements. When issues develop if they think it might help, the UK European Consumer Centre offers info 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 information works, please understand that it is not planned to be the only guidance for prospective purchasers to follow when thinking about making a purchase. In addition, we make no representation regarding the quality or accuracy of the information which is offered at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any duty for the material that is hosted on them. We strongly suggest that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial guidance at all stages of their purchase.

    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 concerned as the legal owners of that property.

    One essential issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and prospective buyers should also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern might have severe consequences for property they acquire, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to settlement payments. Under the change, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the consent of the owner (the individual whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer system registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. We highly recommend that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial suggestions at all phases of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links: