• 5 Typical Misconceptions about South Cyprus Property

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Getting property in Cyprus has a variety of possible pitfalls. The British High Commission recommends prospective 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 secure home mortgages 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 become liable for that home loan should the builder, developer or landowner declare bankruptcy.

    You should ask your attorney to check for home loans placed on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is gotten from the Land Windows registry. It should be noted that in order to obtain a Land Search Certificate one needs an appropriate authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made conscious of a home loan prior to signing an agreement it is unlikely that you will acquire the deeds in your name till the home loan is paid off.

    .

    Lawyers are not required to check for home mortgages immediately, although excellent attorneys should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government presented a Particular Efficiency Law to provide a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home mortgage however we still highly suggest that you inspect no mortgages have been put on the land prior to purchase to ensure you do not encounter potential problems at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other issues most regularly raised by British nationals include:

    • lawyers acting for both suppliers or home builders for that reason not independent
    • developing works occurring without the right planning permission or structure permit (eg electrical energy or water).
    • variations in currency and interest rates affecting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or charges not being included in the preliminary agreement.
    • trouble in obtaining certificates of last completion (deeds can not be released without this).
    • difficulty in obtaining title deeds.
    • trouble in acquiring redress after problems are identified.
      With all property purchases, we highly advise that you seek your own independent legal guidance.

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

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to offer legal guidance or become involved with disagreements in between personal celebrations. Nevertheless, we direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to assist and we can raise systemic issues, issues which affect a variety of customers, with regional authorities.

    You can check on 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 many homes is contested in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these residential or commercial properties could have major financial and legal implications. 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 considered the legal owners of that property.

    Purchasers could deal with legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, along with attempts to impose judgments from these courts in other places in the EU, including the UK. There has been at least one successful case to impose judgments in the UK, endangering property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both neighborhoods are currently in negotiations to try to solve the Cyprus problem. One key problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and prospective purchasers should also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem could have severe effects for property they buy, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to settlement payments. In particular, potential purchasers should 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 consequently categorized as exchange or ‘present’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Purchasers ought to guarantee they are totally knowledgeable about the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of immigrants acquiring property, consisting of the requirement to get grant the transfer of property. Even when acquiring pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be refused permission to buy the land/property and no factor for the rejection may be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, a change to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code connecting to property entered into result. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the consent of the owner (the individual whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. The maximum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The modification to the law likewise specifies that any effort to carry out such a deal is a criminal offense and could result in a jail sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that occurred prior to 20 October 2006.

    Documents relating to the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to relate to the prohibited transfer of Greek Cypriot property and might be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anybody found in ownership of these documents might be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and could deal with criminal proceedings under the 20 October change.

    Any enquiries regarding 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.

    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 successor of someone conference those requirements), please call the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. They will have the ability to check your file and encourage on what steps to take if you want to attempt to reclaim your property.

    The British High Commission is not able to assist dual nationals in the country of their other citizenship. If you are a double British/Cypriot national you should approach your local authorities in respect of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Persons thinking about the purchase of immovable property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be mindful that the permission of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas is needed under section 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Ordinance 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to acquire immovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for approval exists whether property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has actually previously gotten authorization. Failure to get the approval of the Administrator implies that the acquisition and registration of the unmovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will offer authorization only in the most extraordinary scenarios.

    You ought to also be aware that it is an offense for individuals other than “recognised locals” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, except in accordance with a permit issued under that Ordinance. Again, you might get a certificate of acknowledged house or a permit, however the Administration only seldom grant giving these.

    Additional info.

    A few of the problems that property buyers experience are extremely comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get associated with individual property issues or legal disagreements, but supports neighborhood associations that are dedicated to resolving the problems of property purchasers.

    Associations.

    If the company, or legal advisor, you have worked with belongs to AIPP and you are dissatisfied with the services supplied, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary procedure.

    Legal guidance.

    British residents affected by property problems must take independent legal suggestions from local attorneys.

    Local police.

    You need to make a statement to the local authorities if you think that you have actually been subject to a property crime. Remember to acquire a copy of the declaration and request the occurrence number. Please note, there may be a time constraint in between the time of the supposed criminal offense and the time within which you make your grievance.

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

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of residents, 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 central federal government and regional administrations along with anybody serving as agents or partners 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 keep in mind that the Ombudsman might not step in under the following situations:.

    • whenever the public administration has actually not been involved.
    • in case of disputes or disputes between individuals.
    • after one year from the minute when the person had knowledge of the occasions of his grievance.
    • in the event of anonymous complaints, without particular claims providing bad faith or any claims that might damage legitimate rights of 3rd parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • complaints against lawyers.

    Grievances against lawyers practising in the Republic of Cyprus need 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.

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

    Preliminary examinations into problems take place within the pertinent district however they are then passed onto the total 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 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 individual: Mehtun Muslu, e-mail: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Grievances versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Grievances 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 find out more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Help in the UK.

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

    When you made your purchase you might wish to call 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 consumers with cross-border conflicts. When problems arise if they think it may help, the UK European Consumer Centre offers details and advice 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 details is useful, please be aware that it is not planned to be the only guidance for prospective buyers to follow when considering buying. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or accuracy of the information which is offered at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any obligation for the content that is hosted on them. We strongly recommend that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary recommendations at all stages of their purchase.

    The European Court of Person 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 crucial concern 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 could have serious effects for property they purchase, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to settlement payments. Under the modification, buying, selling, leasing, promoting or mortgaging a property without the permission of the owner (the individual whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We highly suggest that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial advice at all phases of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

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