• 12 PRACTICAL POINTERS FOR DOING BUY PROPERTY IN CYPRUS LIMASSOL

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Buying property in Cyprus has a number of potential mistakes. The British High Commission encourages possible purchasers to exercise extreme care when buying a property if the title deeds are not easily offered, as it indicates your property could be at risk.

    Home loan liability

    It is common practice for developers to get mortgages on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a developer and there is already a home mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to become responsible for that home loan must the home builder, developer or landowner state personal bankruptcy.

    You must ask your attorney to look for home loans placed on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is obtained from the Land Computer registry. It should be kept in mind that in order to obtain a Land Browse Certificate one requires a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made aware of a home mortgage prior to signing a contract it is not likely that you will acquire the deeds in your name up until the home loan is paid off.

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    Lawyers are not needed to check for home mortgages automatically, although excellent legal representatives must do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government introduced a Particular Efficiency Law to offer a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home mortgage however we still highly advise that you check no mortgages have actually been put on the land prior to purchase to guarantee you do not run into prospective troubles at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other problems most often raised by British nationals include:

    • lawyers acting for both builders or suppliers therefore not independent
    • developing works taking place without the correct preparation consent or building authorization (eg electricity or water).
    • variations in currency and interest rates affecting home loans.
    • payment plans or costs not being consisted of in the preliminary contract.
    • trouble in acquiring certificates of last completion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • trouble in obtaining title deeds.
    • difficulty in acquiring redress after issues are recognized.
      With all property purchases, we highly recommend that you seek your own independent legal advice.

    If you have bought a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you must seek certified independent legal recommendations on your rights and methods of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to offer legal suggestions or become included with disputes between personal parties. Nevertheless, we direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to help and we can raise systemic issues, issues which affect a number of clients, with regional authorities.

    You can look at 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 lots of properties is contested in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these properties could have major monetary 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 regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers could face legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, along with efforts to enforce judgments from these courts elsewhere in the EU, including the UK. There has actually been at least one successful case to impose rulings in the UK, jeopardizing property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both communities are currently in negotiations to attempt to solve the Cyprus issue. One key problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Homeowner and prospective buyers must likewise consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern might have severe repercussions for property they purchase, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to settlement payments. In particular, potential buyers need to think about the ramifications 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 subsequently categorized as exchange or ‘gift’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Purchasers need to ensure they are fully aware of the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of foreigners acquiring property, consisting of the requirement to get consent to the transfer of property. Even when acquiring pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be refused authorization to purchase the land/property and no reason for the refusal might be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, a modification 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 approval 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. The maximum jail sentence is 7 years.

    The change to the law also specifies that any attempt to carry out such a deal is a criminal offence and could lead to a prison sentence of as much as 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that happened prior to 20 October 2006.

    Likewise documents connecting 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 may go through confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone discovered in ownership of these documents may be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and might deal with criminal procedures under the 20 October change.

    Any queries regarding the scope of this law ought 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 workplace 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 somebody meeting those criteria), please get in touch with the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you wish to try to recover your property, they will be able to inspect your file and encourage on what steps to take.

    The British High Commission is unable to help dual nationals in the country of their other citizenship. , if you are a dual British/Cypriot national you need to approach your local authorities in respect of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Individuals thinking about the purchase of stationary property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be mindful that the consent of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations 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 immovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for approval exists whether or not property is presently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has actually formerly acquired permission. Failure to acquire the permission of the Administrator suggests that the acquisition and registration of the immovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will offer authorization only in the most remarkable situations.

    You need to also be aware that it is an offense for individuals aside from “identified homeowners” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, except in accordance with a license released under that Regulation. Once again, you might apply for a certificate of recognised home or a permit, but the Administration just seldom grant granting these.

    More info.

    A few of the problems that property purchasers experience are very comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get involved in private property issues or legal conflicts, but supports community associations that are dedicated to dealing with the issues of property buyers.

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal consultant, you have dealt with belongs to AIPP and you are unhappy with the services provided, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary procedure.

    Legal guidance.

    British residents impacted by property problems need to take independent legal recommendations from regional attorneys.

    Regional police.

    If you think that you have gone through a property crime, you need to make a statement to the local police. Remember to obtain a copy of the statement and request for the event number. Please note, there might be a time constraint in between the time of the supposed crime and the time within which you make your complaint.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (also known as Commissioner of Administration and Security of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of residents, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to safeguard their rights and liberty 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 regional administrations as well as anyone functioning as representatives or collaborators of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public goals or services. Contact information are on their website.

    It is essential to note that the Ombudsman may not step in under the following situations:.

    • whenever the public administration has actually not been involved.
    • in the event of conflicts or disputes in between individuals.
    • When the resident had knowledge of the events of his complaint, after one year from the minute.
    • in case of confidential problems, without particular claims presenting bad faith or any claims that might harm legitimate rights of third parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • complaints against attorneys.

    Complaints against attorneys practicing in the Republic of Cyprus ought to 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.

    Site: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Grievances versus legal representatives 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.

    Initial investigations into problems occur within the relevant district however they are then passed onto the overall organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact details of local ‘bar associations’:.

    • Nicosia: contact person: Arzu İzveren, email: barolarbirligi@hotmail.com phone: 0090392227 73 39.
    • Kyrenia: contact person: Gürcan Bayramoğlu, email: 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 against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Complaints against the legal system should be made to the Attorney General’s Office:.

    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.

    If you believe you have actually been a victim of property fraud, we have released suggestions on which UK authorities to call.

    If you were living in the UK when you made your purchase you might want to call the UK European Consumer Centre. This is part of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has actually been established by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to help customers with cross-border conflicts. The UK European Consumer Centre gives information and suggestions on problems with buying across borders and can arbitrate when issues arise if they believe it may help.

    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 be aware that it is not meant to be the only assistance for potential purchasers to follow when considering buying. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or precision of the info which is readily available at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any duty for the content that is hosted on them. We strongly suggest that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial guidance at all stages of their purchase.

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

    One key issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential purchasers should also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem could have serious effects for property they buy, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to compensation payments. Under the change, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the authorization of the owner (the individual 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. We highly advise that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial suggestions at all phases of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

    • Land and Property(link)
    • Housing Schemes(link)