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    Assistance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Buying property in Cyprus has a variety of potential risks. The British High Commission advises possible purchasers to exercise extreme caution when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily offered, as it implies your property could be at risk.

    Home mortgage liability

    It prevails practice for developers to secure home mortgages on land or property. If you sign a contract with a designer and there is already a mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are likely to become responsible for that mortgage ought to the contractor, developer or landowner state insolvency.

    You should ask your lawyer to look for home loans put on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is obtained from the Land Computer system registry. It needs to be kept in mind that in order to acquire a Land Search Certificate one requires a relevant authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made mindful of a home loan prior to signing an agreement it is not likely that you will acquire the deeds in your name until the mortgage is paid off.

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    Legal representatives are not required to look for mortgages automatically, although great lawyers should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government introduced a Specific Efficiency Law to offer a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home mortgage however we still highly recommend that you inspect no home mortgages have actually been put on the land prior to buy to guarantee you do not run into possible troubles at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most regularly raised by British nationals include:

    • lawyers acting for both suppliers or contractors therefore not independent
    • developing works happening without the correct planning authorization or structure license (eg electrical energy or water).
    • fluctuations in currency and interest rates affecting home loans.
    • payment plans or costs not being included in the initial agreement.
    • difficulty in getting certificates of final completion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • trouble in acquiring title deeds.
    • trouble in getting redress after problems are determined.
      With all property purchases, we highly recommend that you seek your own independent legal suggestions.

    You must seek competent independent legal advice on your rights and methods of redress if you have acquired a property or land and are encountering problems.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to provide legal advice or become involved with disagreements between personal celebrations. We direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to help and we can raise systemic problems, issues which affect a number of clients, 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 lots of properties is challenged in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these properties might have major financial 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 as the legal owners of that property.

    Purchasers could deal with legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, in addition to attempts to enforce judgments from these courts in other places in the EU, including the UK. There has been at least one effective case to implement rulings in the UK, threatening property owned in the UK.

    One key concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers must also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue might have severe effects for property they acquire, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial 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 categorized as exchange or ‘present’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Purchasers need to ensure they are completely knowledgeable about the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of foreigners purchasing property, including the requirement to acquire consent to the transfer of property. Even when buying pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be refused permission to acquire the land/property and no factor for the rejection may be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, a modification to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code relating to property came into impact. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the authorization of the owner (the person whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer system registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. The maximum jail sentence is 7 years.

    The modification to the law also mentions that any attempt to carry out such a deal is a criminal offense and might lead to a jail sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that happened 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 illegal transfer of Greek Cypriot property and might be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone found in belongings of these documents might be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and might deal with criminal procedures under the 20 October modification.

    Any queries relating to 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.

    Task 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 nationwide and owned a property in the north of Cyprus before 1974 (or the beneficiary of someone conference those criteria), please call the British High Commission by email, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you want to try to reclaim your property, they will be able to examine your file and encourage on what steps to take.

    The British High Commission is unable to help dual nationals in the country of their other nationality. , if you are a dual British/Cypriot national you should approach your regional authorities in respect of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Persons thinking about the purchase of stationary property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be mindful that the permission of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations is needed under section 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 permission exists whether or not property is presently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has previously obtained permission. Failure to obtain the approval of the Administrator indicates that the acquisition and registration of the stationary property in question is null and void. The Administrator will offer authorization only in the most extraordinary circumstances.

    You need to also be aware that it is an offense for persons aside from “recognised homeowners” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, except in accordance with a permit released under that Regulation. Again, you may apply for a certificate of recognised house or a license, however the Administration just hardly ever consents to granting these.

    More info.

    A few of the issues that property buyers experience are really similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get associated with private property problems or legal disagreements, but supports community associations that are dedicated to solving the issues of property buyers.

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal consultant, you have worked with belongs to AIPP and you are dissatisfied with the services provided, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary treatment.

    Legal guidance.

    British citizens impacted by property issues need to take independent legal advice from regional lawyers.

    Regional cops.

    If you believe that you have undergone a property criminal activity, you should make a declaration to the local police. Keep in mind to acquire a copy of the statement and request for the event number. Please note, there might be a time constraint between the time of the alleged 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 people, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to defend their rights and liberty against actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some restrictions) and authorities of the central government and local administrations as well as anybody functioning as agents or collaborators of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public goals or services. Contact information are on their site.

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

    • whenever the general public administration has not been included.
    • in case of conflicts or disagreements in between individuals.
    • When the resident had knowledge of the events of his grievance, after one year from the moment.
    • in case of confidential problems, without particular claims providing bad faith or any claims that may harm legitimate rights of 3rd parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • complaints versus lawyers.

    Grievances versus attorneys practicing in the Republic of Cyprus must 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.

    Website: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

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

    Initial examinations into complaints happen within the pertinent district but they are then passed onto the overall organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact information 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 individual: 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.

    Problems versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Complaints 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 learn more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Assist in the UK.

    If you believe you have actually been a victim of property scams, we have actually published guidance on which UK authorities to get in touch with.

    When you made your purchase you may wish to get in touch with the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. This is part of the European Customer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been established by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist consumers with cross-border conflicts. The UK European Consumer Centre offers details and suggestions on issues with buying across borders and can arbitrate when issues occur if they believe 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 information is useful, please be aware that it is not intended to be the only guidance for prospective purchasers to follow when thinking about purchasing. In addition, we make no representation regarding the quality or accuracy of the information which is readily available at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any obligation for the material that is hosted on them. We strongly advise that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary suggestions at all phases 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 possible buyers ought to likewise consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have major repercussions for property they purchase, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to compensation payments. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging a property or promoting without the permission 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 offense. We strongly suggest that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary recommendations at all phases of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

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    • Housing Schemes(link)