• Crucial Tips to Purchase Property in Cyprus

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Acquiring property in Cyprus has a variety of possible risks. The British High Commission advises potential buyers to work out extreme caution when buying a property if the title deeds are not easily offered, as it suggests your property could be at risk.

    Home mortgage liability

    It prevails practice for developers to take out home loans on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a designer and there is currently a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to end up being liable for that home loan must the builder, designer or landowner state insolvency.

    You should ask your legal representative to check for home loans placed on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is gotten from the Land Registry. It needs to be noted that in order to get a Land Browse Certificate one needs a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made aware of a mortgage prior to signing a contract it is unlikely that you will get the deeds in your name until the mortgage is paid off.

    .

    Lawyers are not needed to look for home loans instantly, although good legal representatives should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government introduced a Specific Efficiency Law to offer an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan nevertheless we still strongly recommend that you check no mortgages have been placed on the land prior to acquire to ensure you do not run into prospective problems at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other issues most often raised by British nationals include:

    • attorneys acting for both home builders or vendors therefore not independent
    • constructing works occurring without the right preparation authorization or structure license (eg electricity or water).
    • variations in currency and rates of interest affecting home loans.
    • payment plans or costs not being consisted of in the initial contract.
    • problem in acquiring certificates of last completion (deeds can not be released without this).
    • problem in obtaining title deeds.
    • trouble in obtaining redress after issues are determined.
      With all property purchases, we strongly suggest that you seek your own independent legal guidance.

    If you have purchased a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you should look for certified independent legal guidance on your rights and techniques of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to provide legal advice or end up being included with disputes between private celebrations. We direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to help and we can raise systemic problems, problems which impact a number of customers, with local 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 numerous properties is challenged in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these properties could have serious financial and legal implications. 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 might deal with legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, in addition to attempts to implement judgments from these courts somewhere else in the EU, including the UK. There has been at least one successful case to implement judgments in the UK, jeopardizing property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both neighborhoods are presently in settlements to try to solve the Cyprus concern. One essential problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible buyers need to also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem could have serious repercussions for property they acquire, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to settlement payments. In particular, potential buyers must 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 ought to ensure they are fully familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of foreigners acquiring property, including the requirement to acquire grant the transfer of property. Even when purchasing pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be refused permission to acquire the land/property and no reason for the rejection may be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, an amendment 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 permission of the owner (the individual whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Windows registry, consisting of 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 carry out such a transaction is a criminal offense and could result in a prison sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that happened before 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 possession of these documents may be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and could deal with criminal procedures under the 20 October change.

    Any enquiries concerning 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.

    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 someone meeting those requirements), please call 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 check your file and advise on what actions to take.

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

    .

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

    Persons considering the purchase of unmovable property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be mindful that the approval of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations is required under area 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Ordinance 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to purchase immovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for authorization exists whether or not property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has formerly obtained permission. Failure to get the consent of the Administrator means that the acquisition and registration of the immovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will give permission just in the most exceptional scenarios.

    You ought to likewise 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, other than in accordance with an authorization issued under that Regulation. Once again, you may get a certificate of recognised residence or an authorization, but the Administration only rarely consents to approving these.

    Further info.

    A few of the problems that property purchasers experience are really comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get associated with individual property problems or legal conflicts, however supports community associations that are committed to solving the issues of property buyers.

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal advisor, you have actually dealt with belongs to AIPP and you are unhappy with the services supplied, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary treatment.

    Legal guidance.

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

    Local cops.

    If you believe that you have been subject to a property criminal activity, you must make a statement to the local police. Keep in mind to get a copy of the statement and ask for the incident number. Please note, there may be a time restriction between the time of the alleged criminal offense and the time within which you make your complaint.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (likewise referred to 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 freedom 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 functioning as representatives or partners of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact information are on their website.

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

    • whenever the general public administration has not been involved.
    • in the event of conflicts or disagreements in between people.
    • When the person had understanding of the occasions of his grievance, after one year from the moment.
    • in the event of anonymous problems, without specific claims providing bad faith or any claims that may damage legitimate rights of 3rd parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • complaints against legal representatives.

    Complaints versus 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.

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

    Preliminary investigations into problems occur within the relevant district but they are then passed onto the total organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact details of regional ‘bar associations’:.

    • Nicosia: contact individual: Arzu İzveren, email: barolarbirligi@hotmail.com phone: 0090392227 73 39.
    • Kyrenia: contact person: 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 person: Mehtun Muslu, e-mail: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Complaints versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Grievances against the legal system ought 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.

    Help in the UK.

    If you think you have been a victim of property fraud, we have actually published 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 belongs to the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been established by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to help consumers with cross-border disagreements. The UK European Consumer Centre provides details and suggestions on issues with buying across borders and can arbitrate when issues emerge if they think it might assist.

    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 know that it is not intended to be the only guidance for potential buyers to follow when thinking about making a purchase. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or precision of the information which is available at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any duty for the material that is hosted on them. We highly recommend that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus seek 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 related to as the legal owners of that property.

    One essential problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible buyers must likewise consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern could have serious consequences for property they acquire, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to settlement payments. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property 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 offense. We highly advise that potential buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary guidance 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)