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    Assistance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Acquiring property in Cyprus has a number of potential pitfalls. The British High Commission recommends possible purchasers to exercise extreme care when buying a property if the title deeds are not easily offered, as it implies your property could be at risk.

    Home loan liability

    It is common practice for developers to get home mortgages on land or property. If you sign a contract with a designer and there is already a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to end up being accountable for that home mortgage ought to the home builder, designer or landowner declare insolvency.

    You must ask your lawyer to check for home loans put on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is gotten from the Land Windows registry. It ought to be kept in mind that in order to acquire a Land Search Certificate one needs an appropriate authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are warned of a home loan before signing a contract it is unlikely that you will acquire the deeds in your name up until the home loan is settled.

    Attorneys are not required to check for home mortgages instantly, although great lawyers must do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government introduced a Particular Efficiency Law to provide an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan nevertheless we still highly recommend that you inspect no home mortgages have been put on the land prior to purchase to guarantee you do not run into possible troubles at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most often raised by British nationals include:

    • legal representatives acting for both contractors or vendors for that reason not independent
    • building works occurring without the proper preparation approval or building license (eg electrical power or water).
    • changes in currency and rates of interest impacting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or fees not being consisted of in the initial agreement.
    • difficulty in getting certificates of last completion (deeds can not be released without this).
    • difficulty in acquiring title deeds.
    • problem in obtaining redress after issues are determined.
      With all property purchases, we strongly suggest that you seek your own independent legal advice.

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

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to offer legal advice or end up being included with disagreements between private parties. However, we direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to assist and we can raise systemic problems, issues which impact a variety of consumers, with local authorities.

    You can check on the Association of International Property Professionals website to see if a company or legal consultant are members.

    Buying property in the north of Cyprus.

    The ownership of many residential or commercial properties is contested in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes could have major financial 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.

    Buyers could deal with legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, along with attempts to impose judgments from these courts somewhere else in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has actually been at least one successful case to enforce judgments in the UK, putting at risk property owned in the UK.

    One essential problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential purchasers need to likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have serious repercussions for property they buy, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to payment payments.

    • in the north of Cyprus that was owned by a Greek Cypriot national prior to 1974 * ^ that was subsequently classified as exchange or ‘gift’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Purchasers need to guarantee they are completely familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of immigrants buying 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 consent to buy the land/property and no reason for the refusal may be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, a change to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code relating to property entered result. Under the change, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging a property or promoting without the consent of the owner (the person whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer 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 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 happened prior to 20 October 2006.

    Likewise documents associating with the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to connect to the prohibited transfer of Greek Cypriot property and might undergo confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone found in belongings of these files might be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and could face criminal proceedings under the 20 October change.

    Any queries regarding 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.

    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 national and owned a property in the north of Cyprus before 1974 (or the heir 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 be able to check your file and recommend on what actions to take if you want to try to reclaim your property.

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

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

    Individuals considering 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 Areas is needed under area 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Regulation 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to acquire immovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for permission exists whether or not property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has actually previously obtained permission. Failure to obtain the authorization of the Administrator means that the acquisition and registration of the unmovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide authorization only in the most extraordinary scenarios.

    You ought to also be aware that it is an offense for individuals aside from “recognised citizens” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, other than in accordance with a permit released under that Regulation. Again, you might request a certificate of recognised house or a license, but the Administration only hardly ever consents to giving these.

    Further info.

    Some of the issues that property purchasers experience are extremely comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get involved in individual property problems or legal conflicts, however supports neighborhood associations that are devoted to dealing with the problems of property purchasers.

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal advisor, you have actually 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 advice.

    British people impacted by property issues must take independent legal advice from regional lawyers.

    Local authorities.

    If you think that you have actually been subject to a property crime, you ought to make a statement to the local police. Keep in mind to acquire a copy of the declaration and request the occurrence number. Please note, there may be a time restriction between the time of the supposed crime and the time within which you make your grievance.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (also referred to as Commissioner of Administration and Protection of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of residents, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to defend their rights and freedom against actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some limitations) and authorities of the central government and regional administrations in addition to anybody functioning as agents or partners of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact details are on their site.

    It is essential to note that the Ombudsman may not intervene under the following situations:.

    • whenever the general public administration has actually not been included.
    • in case of conflicts or conflicts in between people.
    • after one year from the moment when the resident knew the events of his complaint.
    • in case of anonymous complaints, without specific claims presenting bad faith or any claims that may damage legitimate rights of third parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • problems versus lawyers.

    Grievances versus lawyers practicing in the Republic of Cyprus ought 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.

    Website: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Grievances against lawyers 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.

    Preliminary examinations into problems happen 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, 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, email: 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

    Complaints against 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.

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

    When you made your purchase you may want to contact the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. This is part of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been established by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist customers with cross-border conflicts. The UK European Consumer Centre gives info and guidance on problems with buying across borders and can arbitrate when problems emerge 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 details works, please be aware that it is not planned to be the only assistance for prospective buyers to follow when considering making a purchase. In addition, we make no representation regarding the quality or accuracy of the info which is offered at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any responsibility for the content that is hosted on them. We strongly recommend that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial advice 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 prior to 1974 continue to be regarded 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 should also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem might have serious repercussions for property they acquire, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to compensation payments. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the approval of the owner (the person whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer system 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 monetary guidance 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)