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    Assistance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Purchasing property in Cyprus has a number of potential mistakes. The British High Commission advises possible buyers to work out extreme care when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily available, as it means your property could be at risk.

    Home mortgage liability

    It is common practice for developers to get home loans on land or property. If you sign a contract with a designer and there is currently a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to become liable for that home mortgage should the contractor, developer or landowner state insolvency.

    You ought to ask your lawyer to look for home loans put on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is obtained from the Land Registry. It must be kept in mind that in order to get a Land Browse Certificate one needs a relevant authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are warned of a home mortgage before signing a contract it is not likely that you will get the deeds in your name up until the home mortgage is settled.

    Attorneys are not required to look for mortgages automatically, although excellent lawyers must do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government presented a Particular Efficiency Law to give an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan nevertheless we still highly advise that you examine no home mortgages have been put on the land prior to buy to ensure you do not run into possible problems at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most regularly raised by British nationals consist of:

    • lawyers acting for both vendors or home builders for that reason not independent
    • building works happening without the proper planning permission or building authorization (eg electrical power or water).
    • fluctuations in currency and rates of interest affecting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or charges not being consisted of in the initial contract.
    • difficulty in acquiring certificates of final conclusion (deeds can not be released without this).
    • problem in getting title deeds.
    • problem in acquiring redress after problems are identified.
      With all property purchases, we highly suggest that you seek your own independent legal recommendations.

    If you have actually acquired a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you should seek competent independent legal suggestions on your rights and techniques of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to offer legal guidance or become involved with disagreements between personal parties. We direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to assist and we can raise systemic issues, problems which impact a number of clients, with regional authorities.

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

    Buying property in the north of Cyprus.

    The ownership of lots of properties is challenged in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these residential or commercial properties might have severe financial and legal ramifications. 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.

    Purchasers might face legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as efforts to impose judgments from these courts somewhere else in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has been at least one effective case to enforce rulings in the UK, putting at risk property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both neighborhoods are currently in negotiations to attempt to fix the Cyprus problem. One essential problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible purchasers need to likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem might have major effects for property they acquire, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to settlement payments. In particular, potential buyers need to consider 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 classified as exchange or ‘present’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Buyers should ensure they are totally familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of immigrants acquiring property, including the requirement to obtain consent to the transfer of property. Even when purchasing pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be declined permission to acquire the land/property and no reason for the rejection might be offered.

    On 20 October 2006, a modification to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code connecting to property entered into effect. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the authorization of the owner (the person whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. The maximum jail sentence is 7 years.

    The change to the law also states that any effort to undertake such a transaction is a criminal offense and could result in a jail sentence of up to 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that took place prior to 20 October 2006.

    Also documents relating to the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to associate with the illegal transfer of Greek Cypriot property and might be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone found in belongings of these files might be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and could face criminal procedures under the 20 October change.

    Any enquiries concerning the scope of this law should 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 workplace hours: 07:30– 16:00 (Monday – Friday).

    Email: info@mfa.gov.cy.

    Property owned prior to 1974.

    If you are a British national and owned a property in the north of Cyprus before 1974 (or the successor of someone meeting those criteria), please contact the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. They will have the ability to inspect your file and encourage on what steps to take if you want to attempt to reclaim your property.

    The British High Commission is unable to help double nationals in the nation of their other citizenship. If you are a double British/Cypriot national you ought to approach your local authorities in respect of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Persons considering the purchase of immovable property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be conscious that the approval of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas is required under section 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 property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has formerly obtained authorization. Failure to acquire the approval of the Administrator implies that the acquisition and registration of the immovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide approval only in the most remarkable situations.

    You must also know that it is an offense for individuals other than “acknowledged residents” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, except in accordance with a license issued under that Ordinance. Once again, you may apply for a certificate of recognised home or a license, but the Administration only hardly ever grant giving these.

    More info.

    Some of the problems that property buyers experience are really comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get involved in individual property problems or legal disagreements, but supports community associations that are committed to resolving the issues of property purchasers.

    Associations.

    If the company, or legal consultant, 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 procedure.

    Legal guidance.

    British people affected by property issues should take independent legal advice from local attorneys.

    Local cops.

    If you think that you have actually undergone a property criminal activity, you should make a statement to the local police. Remember to get a copy of the statement and request the occurrence number. Please note, there might be a time restriction in between the time of the alleged criminal activity and the time within which you make your problem.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (also called Commissioner of Administration and Protection of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of citizens, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to safeguard their rights and liberty versus actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some limitations) and authorities of the main federal government and local administrations along with anybody serving as agents or collaborators of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact information are on their site.

    It is important to note that the Ombudsman might not intervene under the following scenarios:.

    • whenever the public administration has actually not been involved.
    • in the event of conflicts or disputes in between individuals.
    • after one year from the moment when the person had knowledge of the events of his problem.
    • in case of confidential problems, without specific claims presenting bad faith or any claims that might damage genuine rights of third parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • problems against attorneys.

    Grievances against lawyers practicing in the Republic of Cyprus should 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 versus legal representatives practicing in the north of Cyprus may be made in writing to the appropriate local ‘Bar Association’. There is a separate ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Preliminary investigations into complaints happen 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 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.

    Problems against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Grievances against the legal system need 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 discover more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Assist in the UK.

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

    When you made your purchase you may wish to contact the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. This belongs to the European Customer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has actually been established by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist customers with cross-border disagreements. When problems emerge if they believe it might help, the UK European Consumer Centre gives details and guidance on problems 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 is useful, please understand that it is not intended to be the only guidance for potential purchasers to follow when thinking about buying. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or accuracy of the details which is offered at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any responsibility for the material that is hosted on them. We highly advise that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial advice at all stages of their purchase.

    The European Court of Human being Rights has ruled in a number of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus before 1974 continue to be related to 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 possible buyers ought to likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have serious consequences for property they buy, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, promoting or mortgaging a property without the permission of the owner (the person 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 strongly advise that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary guidance at all stages of their purchase.

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