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

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Getting property in Cyprus has a number of prospective risks. The British High Commission recommends prospective purchasers to work out extreme caution when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily available, as it indicates your property could be at risk.

    Mortgage liability

    It prevails practice for designers to take out home loans on land or property. If you sign a contract with a developer and there is already a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to end up being responsible for that mortgage should the home builder, designer or landowner declare personal bankruptcy.

    You need to ask your attorney to look for home mortgages placed on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is gotten from the Land Computer system registry. It should be kept in mind that in order to acquire a Land Search Certificate one needs a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made conscious of a home mortgage before signing a contract it is unlikely that you will acquire the deeds in your name till the mortgage is paid off.

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    Legal representatives are not required to look for home loans immediately, although excellent attorneys should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government introduced a Particular Performance Law to offer a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home mortgage nevertheless we still strongly suggest that you inspect no mortgages have been placed on the land prior to buy to ensure you do not face potential problems at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most regularly raised by British nationals include:

    • attorneys acting for both builders or suppliers therefore not independent
    • developing works taking place without the correct planning consent or building license (eg electricity or water).
    • changes in currency and rate of interest affecting mortgages.
    • payment plans or charges not being consisted of in the preliminary agreement.
    • problem in acquiring certificates of last conclusion (deeds can not be issued without this).
    • problem in acquiring title deeds.
    • difficulty in acquiring redress after problems are determined.
      With all property purchases, we highly recommend that you seek your own independent legal recommendations.

    If you have purchased a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you need to look for qualified independent legal suggestions on your rights and methods of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to use legal recommendations or end up being involved with disputes between private parties. However, we direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to help and we can raise systemic issues, issues which affect a variety of customers, with regional authorities.

    You can look at the Association of International Property Professionals website to see if a business or legal consultant are members.

    Buying property in the north of Cyprus.

    The ownership of lots of homes is challenged in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes could have major monetary and legal implications. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in a variety 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, as well as attempts to enforce judgments from these courts in other places in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has actually been at least one successful case to enforce judgments in the UK, putting at risk property owned in the UK.

    One key concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible buyers must also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem might have major consequences for property they acquire, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments.

    • 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 must ensure they are fully aware of the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of foreigners buying property, including the requirement to get grant the transfer of property. Even when buying pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be declined authorization to buy the land/property and no reason for the refusal may be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, a modification to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code associating with property entered into impact. Under the amendment, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging a property or promoting without the consent of the owner (the person whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. The optimum jail sentence is 7 years.

    The amendment to the law likewise states that any attempt to undertake such a deal is a criminal offense and could lead to a prison sentence of up to 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that happened before 20 October 2006.

    Also documents connecting to the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to associate with the prohibited transfer of Greek Cypriot property and may be subject to 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 could deal with criminal procedures under the 20 October amendment.

    Any enquiries regarding 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.

    Responsibility 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 nationwide and owned a property in the north of Cyprus prior to 1974 (or the beneficiary of somebody conference those criteria), please contact the British High Commission by email, 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 wish to attempt to recover your property.

    The British High Commission is not able to help dual nationals in the nation of their other nationality. , if you are a dual British/Cypriot nationwide you must approach your regional authorities in regard of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Individuals thinking about the purchase of unmovable property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be mindful that the authorization 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 purchase immovable 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 formerly obtained permission. Failure to get the permission of the Administrator means that the acquisition and registration of the immovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide approval just in the most remarkable circumstances.

    You need to also know that it is an offence for persons aside from “recognised locals” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, except in accordance with a permit released under that Regulation. Again, you might apply for a certificate of identified house or a permit, however the Administration only hardly ever grant giving these.

    More information.

    Some of the problems that property buyers experience are extremely similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get associated with individual property problems or legal disputes, but supports community associations that are dedicated to dealing with the problems of property buyers.

    Associations.

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

    Legal advice.

    British citizens affected by property problems need to take independent legal advice from regional attorneys.

    Regional authorities.

    If you believe that you have actually gone through a property crime, you should make a statement to the local police. Remember to get a copy of the statement and ask for the occurrence number. Please note, there may be a time limitation between the time of the supposed criminal activity and the time within which you make your problem.

    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 protect their rights and freedom against actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some restrictions) and authorities of the main government and regional administrations as well as anyone serving as representatives or collaborators of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact details are on their site.

    It is important to keep in mind that the Ombudsman might not intervene under the following situations:.

    • whenever the public administration has not been involved.
    • in case of conflicts or conflicts between individuals.
    • after one year from the minute when the person knew the events of his grievance.
    • in case of anonymous complaints, without specific claims providing bad faith or any claims that might damage legitimate rights of 3rd parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • problems versus attorneys.

    Problems against legal representatives practising in the Republic of Cyprus need to be dealt with 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.

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

    Initial examinations into grievances happen within the appropriate district but they are then passed onto the total organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact information of local ‘bar associations’:.

    • Nicosia: contact person: 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 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.

    Complaints against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Complaints versus the legal system need to 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 find out more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Assist in the UK.

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

    When you made your purchase you may wish to call the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. 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 assist customers with cross-border disagreements. When problems develop if they believe it may help, the UK European Consumer Centre provides information 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 details is useful, please be aware that it is not intended to be the only assistance for prospective buyers to follow when thinking about buying. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or accuracy of the information which is readily available at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any responsibility for the content that is hosted on them. We strongly recommend that potential buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial advice 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 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 possible buyers need to likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have major effects for property they buy, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to settlement payments. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging a property or promoting without the authorization of the owner (the individual whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. We highly advise that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary recommendations at all stages of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

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