• Essential Tips to Purchase Property in Cyprus

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Buying property in Cyprus has a number of potential risks. The British High Commission recommends possible buyers to work out extreme care when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily available, as it suggests your property could be at risk.

    Home mortgage liability

    It is common 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 likely to become responsible for that home loan ought to the builder, designer or landowner declare bankruptcy.

    You should ask your lawyer to check for mortgages put on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is gotten from the Land Pc registry. It must be kept in mind that in order to acquire a Land Search Certificate one requires a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are warned of a home loan prior to signing an agreement it is not likely that you will acquire the deeds in your name till the mortgage is paid off.

    Attorneys are not needed to look for mortgages automatically, although great legal representatives must do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government presented a Particular Performance Law to give an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan however we still highly suggest that you check no home mortgages have actually been placed on the land prior to buy to guarantee you do not encounter possible troubles at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other issues most frequently raised by British nationals include:

    • lawyers acting for both vendors or builders therefore not independent
    • constructing works occurring without the proper preparation authorization or structure authorization (eg electricity or water).
    • changes in currency and interest rates affecting mortgages.
    • payment plans or fees not being included in the preliminary agreement.
    • difficulty in getting certificates of last completion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • problem in acquiring title deeds.
    • trouble in getting redress after problems are determined.
      With all property purchases, we highly advise that you seek your own independent legal guidance.

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

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to provide legal guidance or become involved with disputes between private parties. However, we direct British nationals to organisations who may have the ability to assist and we can raise systemic issues, problems which affect a variety 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 numerous homes is contested in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes might have major monetary and legal ramifications. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in a variety of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus prior to 1974 continue to be regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    Purchasers might deal with legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, in addition to attempts to enforce judgments from these courts in other places in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has actually been at least one effective case to impose rulings in the UK, threatening property owned in the UK.

    One key 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 might have severe effects for property they acquire, consisting of 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 classified as exchange or ‘gift’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Purchasers should guarantee they are totally familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of immigrants acquiring property, including the requirement to get grant the transfer of property. Even when acquiring pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be refused consent to acquire 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 connecting to property entered into impact. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the consent of the owner (the individual whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Pc registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. The optimum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The modification to the law likewise states that any effort to carry out such a transaction is a criminal offense and might lead to a jail sentence of as much as 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that took place prior to 20 October 2006.

    Likewise documents 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 might be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone discovered in belongings of these documents may be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and might face criminal proceedings under the 20 October change.

    Any enquiries concerning 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.

    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 before 1974.

    If you are a British national and owned a property in the north of Cyprus prior to 1974 (or the heir of somebody conference those criteria), please call the British High Commission by email, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. They will be able to examine your file and encourage on what steps to take if you want to try to recover your property.

    The British High Commission is unable to help dual nationals in the country of their other citizenship. , if you are a dual British/Cypriot national you ought to approach your local authorities in respect 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 require to be aware that the permission 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 unmovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for approval exists whether or not property is presently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has formerly obtained authorization. Failure to obtain the authorization of the Administrator suggests that the acquisition and registration of the immovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide approval just in the most extraordinary scenarios.

    You should likewise know that it is an offence for persons other than “recognised locals” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, other than in accordance with an authorization released under that Ordinance. Again, you may look for a certificate of identified home or a permit, however the Administration just rarely consents to giving these.

    Additional details.

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

    Associations.

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

    Legal recommendations.

    British citizens affected by property issues should take independent legal advice from local legal representatives.

    Regional cops.

    You need to make a declaration to the local police if you believe that you have actually been subject to a property criminal activity. Remember to obtain a copy of the declaration and ask for the event number. Please note, there may be a time constraint in between the time of the alleged criminal offense and the time within which you make your grievance.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (also 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 safeguard 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 central federal government and regional administrations along with anybody functioning as representatives or partners of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact details are on their website.

    It is very important to keep in mind that the Ombudsman may not step in under the following situations:.

    • whenever the public administration has not been involved.
    • in case of conflicts or disputes between people.
    • When the person had knowledge of the events of his problem, after one year from the moment.
    • in case of anonymous problems, without specific claims providing 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 judgment.
    • problems versus lawyers.

    Grievances versus attorneys practicing in the Republic of Cyprus need to be addressed 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.

    Website: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

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

    Initial investigations into complaints occur within the appropriate district however they are then passed onto the general organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact details of regional ‘bar associations’:.

    • Nicosia: contact person: Arzu İzveren, email: 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, email: 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 versus the legal system must 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 discover more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Assist in the UK.

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

    When you made your purchase you might want to get in touch with the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. This becomes part of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has actually been established by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to help customers with cross-border disputes. The UK European Consumer Centre gives info and advice on problems with buying across borders and can arbitrate when issues emerge if they believe it might 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 info is useful, please understand that it is not meant to be the only assistance 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 details 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 strongly recommend that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary recommendations 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 concerned 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 prospective purchasers need to likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue might have severe consequences for property they acquire, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to payment payments. Under the modification, buying, selling, leasing, promoting or mortgaging a property without the permission of the owner (the person whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Pc registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. We highly recommend that potential buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial 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)