• 23 property search pointers How to discover your dream home in Cyprus.

    Assistance

    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 variety of possible mistakes. The British High Commission encourages potential purchasers to work out severe caution when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily available, as it indicates your property could be at risk.

    Home mortgage liability

    It prevails practice for designers to take out mortgages on land or property. If you sign a contract with a developer and there is currently a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to end up being accountable for that home loan needs to the builder, developer or landowner declare insolvency.

    You should ask your attorney to check for home loans placed on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is obtained from the Land Pc registry. It should be noted that in order to obtain a Land Search Certificate one requires an appropriate authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are warned of a home mortgage before signing a contract it is unlikely that you will acquire the deeds in your name up until the home loan is settled.

    Lawyers are not required to look for mortgages immediately, although great attorneys should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government introduced a Particular Performance Law to give a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan however we still highly advise that you check no home mortgages have actually been put on the land prior to purchase to ensure you do not face prospective troubles at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other problems most frequently raised by British nationals consist of:

    • lawyers acting for both home builders or vendors therefore not independent
    • constructing works occurring without the correct planning approval or building license (eg electricity or water).
    • variations in currency and rate of interest impacting mortgages.
    • payment plans or fees not being consisted of in the preliminary contract.
    • problem in getting certificates of final completion (deeds can not be released without this).
    • problem in getting title deeds.
    • problem in getting redress after issues are identified.
      With all property purchases, we strongly suggest that you seek your own independent legal advice.

    You ought to seek certified independent legal advice on your rights and methods of redress if you have purchased a property or land and are encountering problems.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to offer legal recommendations or end up being involved with conflicts between private celebrations. Nevertheless, we direct British nationals to organisations who might have the ability to help and we can raise systemic issues, issues which impact a number of customers, with local authorities.

    You can look at 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 homes might have severe monetary and legal ramifications. The European Court of Human Rights has actually ruled in a number of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus before 1974 continue to be considered the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers could deal with legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, along with efforts to impose judgments from these courts somewhere else in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has actually been at least one effective case to impose judgments in the UK, endangering property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both communities are currently in negotiations to attempt to solve the Cyprus concern. One key issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and prospective buyers need to also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern might have major effects for property they purchase, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments. In particular, potential buyers must think about the ramifications of any future settlement on land/property:.

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

    Purchasers must guarantee they are fully aware of the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of immigrants acquiring property, including the requirement to obtain grant the transfer of property. Even when acquiring pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be refused consent to buy the land/property and no factor for the refusal might be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, an amendment to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code relating to property entered into effect. Under the change, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the consent of the owner (the person whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. The optimum prison 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 jail sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that took place before 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 unlawful transfer of Greek Cypriot property and may be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone discovered in belongings of these files might be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and might face criminal procedures under the 20 October modification.

    Any queries regarding 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.

    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 prior to 1974.

    If you are a British national and owned a property in the north of Cyprus before 1974 (or the beneficiary of someone meeting those requirements), please contact the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you wish to attempt to reclaim your property, they will be able to examine your file and encourage on what actions to take.

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

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

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

    The requirement for approval exists whether property is presently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has actually formerly obtained consent. Failure to acquire the consent of the Administrator implies that the acquisition and registration of the stationary property in question is null and void. The Administrator will give permission only in the most exceptional circumstances.

    You should likewise be aware that it is an offense for persons besides “recognised homeowners” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, other than in accordance with a license released under that Ordinance. Once again, you may apply for a certificate of acknowledged house or a permit, however the Administration just rarely consents to approving these.

    More info.

    A few of the problems that property buyers experience are very comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get involved in private property issues or legal disagreements, however supports neighborhood associations that are committed to dealing with the problems of property purchasers.

    Associations.

    If the company, or legal advisor, you have dealt with is a member of AIPP and you are unhappy with the services provided, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary procedure.

    Legal suggestions.

    British residents affected by property issues must take independent legal recommendations from local legal representatives.

    Local authorities.

    You should make a declaration to the regional authorities if you think that you have actually been subject to a property crime. Keep in mind to obtain a copy of the declaration and ask for the incident number. Please note, there might be a time constraint between the time of the alleged criminal offense and the time within which you make your complaint.

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

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of people, including foreign nationals, in order to protect their rights and flexibility versus actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some restrictions) and authorities of the main federal government and regional administrations as well as anyone 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 website.

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

    • whenever the public administration has not been included.
    • in the event of conflicts or conflicts in between people.
    • after one year from the minute when the person knew the occasions of his problem.
    • in the event of anonymous grievances, without specific claims presenting bad faith or any claims that may harm genuine rights of third parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • grievances against legal representatives.

    Grievances against legal representatives practising in the Republic of Cyprus need to be resolved 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.

    Website: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Complaints against legal representatives practising in the north of Cyprus might be made in writing to the appropriate regional ‘Bar Association’. There is a different ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Preliminary investigations into problems happen 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 individual: Arzu İzveren, e-mail: barolarbirligi@hotmail.com phone: 0090392227 73 39.
    • Kyrenia: contact individual: Gürcan Bayramoğlu, e-mail: gurcanbayramoglu@hotmail.com phone: 0090392816 06 22.
    • Famagusta: contact individual: Mine Vehit, e-mail: mine-vehit@hotmail.com phone: 0090392366 16 88.
    • Morphou: contact individual: 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 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.

    Help in the UK.

    If you believe you have been a victim of property scams, we have actually published advice on which UK authorities to contact.

    If you were residing in the UK when you made your purchase you might wish to get in touch with the UK European Consumer Centre. This is 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 help customers with cross-border disagreements. The UK European Consumer Centre gives info and guidance on issues with buying across borders and can arbitrate when problems occur 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 details is useful, please understand that it is not intended to be the only assistance for prospective purchasers to follow when thinking about buying. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or precision of the details which is available at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any duty for the material that is hosted on them. We strongly advise that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus seek 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 regarded 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 potential purchasers must also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have serious repercussions for property they buy, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments. Under the amendment, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the permission of the owner (the individual whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We highly suggest that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial suggestions at all stages of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

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    • Housing Schemes(link)