• Cyprus: buying property

    Assistance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Acquiring property in Cyprus has a number of possible risks. The British High Commission encourages potential purchasers to work out extreme care 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 is common practice for designers to take out home loans on land or property. If you sign a contract with a developer and there is currently a mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are likely to become accountable for that mortgage must the builder, developer or landowner state personal bankruptcy.

    You must ask your lawyer to look for home mortgages put on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is gotten from the Land Computer registry. It must 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 aware of a mortgage prior to signing an agreement it is not likely that you will get the deeds in your name until the mortgage is paid off.

    .

    Attorneys are not needed to look for home mortgages immediately, although good legal representatives need to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government introduced a Specific Performance Law to provide an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing home mortgage nevertheless we still highly recommend that you check no home mortgages have been placed on the land prior to purchase to guarantee you do not run into potential troubles at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most often raised by British nationals consist of:

    • legal representatives acting for both vendors or home builders therefore not independent
    • developing works happening without the appropriate preparation authorization or building authorization (eg electricity or water).
    • changes in currency and interest rates affecting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or charges not being included in the preliminary agreement.
    • difficulty in obtaining certificates of final completion (deeds can not be released without this).
    • problem in getting title deeds.
    • problem in getting redress after problems are identified.
      With all property purchases, we strongly recommend that you seek your own independent legal recommendations.

    If you have acquired a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you need to seek qualified independent legal recommendations on your rights and approaches 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 disagreements between personal celebrations. We direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to assist and we can raise systemic problems, issues which affect a number of clients, with local authorities.

    You can check on 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 disputed in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these residential or commercial properties might have major financial and legal ramifications. The European Court of Human Rights has actually ruled in a variety of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus before 1974 continue to be considered as the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers might face legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, in addition to attempts to enforce judgments from these courts elsewhere in the EU, including the UK. There has been at least one successful case to impose rulings in the UK, threatening property owned in the UK.

    One crucial issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and prospective buyers need to likewise consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem might have major consequences for property they acquire, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to settlement payments.

    • 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”.

    Purchasers must ensure they are completely familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard 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 may still be refused authorization to buy the land/property and no factor for the rejection might be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, an amendment to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code associating with property entered result. Under the amendment, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the permission of the owner (the person whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer system registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. The maximum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The amendment to the law likewise specifies that any effort to undertake such a transaction is a criminal offense and might 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.

    Files relating to the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to relate to the illegal transfer of Greek Cypriot property and may be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone found in possession of these documents might be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and could face criminal procedures under the 20 October change.

    Any enquiries relating to 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.

    Responsibility Officer: +357 99 660129 (for emergency assistance and strictly after office hours: 07:30– 16:00 (Monday – Friday).

    Email: info@mfa.gov.cy.

    Property owned prior to 1974.

    If you are a British nationwide and owned a property in the north of Cyprus prior to 1974 (or the successor of somebody meeting those criteria), please contact the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you wish to try to reclaim your property, they will be able to check your file and recommend on what actions to take.

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

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

    Persons thinking about the purchase of unmovable property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be conscious that the consent 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 stationary property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for permission exists whether property is presently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has formerly obtained approval. Failure to get the approval of the Administrator suggests that the acquisition and registration of the unmovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide consent just in the most extraordinary scenarios.

    You must also be aware that it is an offense for individuals other than “recognised homeowners” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, except in accordance with a license issued under that Ordinance. Once again, you might get a certificate of recognised home or a license, however the Administration just hardly ever grant granting these.

    Additional details.

    A few of the problems that property buyers experience are extremely similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get involved in individual property problems or legal disputes, however supports community associations that are committed to dealing with the issues of property buyers.

    Associations.

    If the company, 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 recommendations.

    British people affected by property issues ought to take independent legal recommendations from regional attorneys.

    Regional cops.

    If you believe that you have gone through a property criminal offense, you should make a declaration to the local police. Keep in mind to obtain a copy of the declaration and ask for the event 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 problem.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (likewise called Commissioner of Administration and Security of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of residents, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to defend their rights and flexibility versus 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 acting as agents or partners of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public goals or services. Contact details are on their website.

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

    • whenever the public administration has not been involved.
    • in the event of conflicts or conflicts in between individuals.
    • after one year from the moment when the resident had knowledge of the occasions of his complaint.
    • in the event of confidential complaints, without specific claims presenting bad faith or any claims that might harm genuine rights of 3rd parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • complaints versus lawyers.

    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.

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

    Preliminary investigations into grievances take place within the pertinent 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, e-mail: 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 individual: Mehtun Muslu, email: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Grievances against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Problems versus the legal system must 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.

    Help in the UK.

    We have released advice(Link) on which UK authorities to get in touch with if you think you have actually been a victim of property scams.

    If you were living in the UK when you made your purchase you might wish to call the UK European Consumer Centre. This becomes part of the European Customer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has actually been established by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist customers with cross-border disputes. When issues arise if they think it might assist, the UK European Consumer Centre offers information and suggestions 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 information is useful, please know that it is not planned 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 accuracy of the information which is offered at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any responsibility for the content that is hosted on them. We highly suggest that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial advice at all phases of their purchase.

    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 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 ought to also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem could have serious consequences for property they buy, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to payment payments. Under the modification, 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 Windows registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. We strongly recommend that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary advice at all phases of their purchase.

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