• Expert assistance - How to handle professionals in the housing sector Cyprus

    Assistance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

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

    Mortgage liability

    It prevails practice for designers to get home loans on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a designer and there is currently a mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to become responsible for that mortgage must the home builder, developer or landowner declare insolvency.

    You must ask your legal representative to look for home loans placed on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is gotten from the Land Registry. It ought to be noted that in order to obtain a Land Browse Certificate one requires a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are made aware of a mortgage before signing an agreement it is unlikely that you will obtain the deeds in your name till the home mortgage is paid off.

    Legal representatives are not needed to check for home loans automatically, although good legal representatives should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government presented a Particular Performance Law to provide an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing home mortgage however we still highly suggest that you check no home loans have actually been put on the land prior to buy to ensure you do not encounter possible 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 suppliers or home builders therefore not independent
    • developing works taking place without the right preparation permission or building permit (eg electricity or water).
    • changes in currency and interest rates affecting home loans.
    • payment plans or fees not being included in the initial contract.
    • problem in acquiring certificates of last completion (deeds can not be released without this).
    • difficulty in getting title deeds.
    • trouble in acquiring redress after issues are recognized.
      With all property purchases, we strongly recommend that you seek your own independent legal recommendations.

    If you have purchased a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you need to look for competent independent legal advice on your rights and methods of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to offer legal guidance or become involved with disagreements in between personal parties. We direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to assist and we can raise systemic issues, issues which affect a number of customers, with regional authorities.

    You can examine 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 disputed in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes might have major financial and legal ramifications. 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 regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    Purchasers might deal with legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, along with efforts to implement 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, putting at risk property owned in the UK.

    One crucial issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers must likewise consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem might have major consequences for property they buy, including 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 national prior to 1974 * ^ that was consequently classified as exchange or ‘present’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Purchasers need to guarantee they are totally aware of the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of immigrants purchasing property, consisting of the requirement to get grant the transfer of property. Even when acquiring pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be refused authorization to acquire the land/property and no reason for the refusal might be given.

    On 20 October 2006, an amendment to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code connecting to property entered impact. Under the change, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging a property or promoting without the authorization of the owner (the individual 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 prison sentence is 7 years.

    The amendment to the law likewise mentions that any effort to undertake such a transaction is a criminal offence and might lead to a prison sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that took place before 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. Anybody found in possession of these files might be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and might deal with criminal procedures under the 20 October modification.

    Any queries concerning the scope of this law must 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 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 before 1974 (or the successor of somebody meeting those requirements), 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 recover your property, they will be able to check your file and advise on what steps to take.

    The British High Commission is not able to help double nationals in the nation of their other citizenship. , if you are a dual British/Cypriot nationwide 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).

    Individuals considering the purchase of unmovable property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be conscious that the approval of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations is required under area 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Regulation 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to purchase stationary 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 formerly gotten consent. Failure to acquire the authorization of the Administrator implies that the acquisition and registration of the immovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide authorization only in the most extraordinary scenarios.

    You should likewise understand that it is an offense for individuals aside from “recognised residents” to reside 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. Again, you may apply for a certificate of identified house or a permit, but the Administration just hardly ever consents to giving these.

    Additional details.

    A few of the issues that property purchasers experience are very similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get associated with private property problems or legal disputes, however supports community associations that are devoted to solving the issues of property buyers.

    Associations.

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

    Legal guidance.

    British citizens affected by property problems need to take independent legal recommendations from regional attorneys.

    Regional authorities.

    You should make a declaration to the regional cops if you think that you have been subject to a property criminal offense. Keep in mind to acquire a copy of the statement and request the occurrence number. Please note, there might be a time restriction between the time of the alleged criminal activity and the time within which you make your grievance.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (likewise known 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 safeguard their rights and freedom versus actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some constraints) and authorities of the central federal government and regional administrations in addition to anyone acting as representatives or collaborators of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact information are on their site.

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

    • whenever the general public administration has actually not been included.
    • in the event of conflicts or disputes between individuals.
    • after one year from the minute when the resident had knowledge of the events of his complaint.
    • in case of anonymous problems, without particular claims providing bad faith or any claims that might harm legitimate rights of third parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • complaints versus lawyers.

    Problems versus lawyers practicing in the Republic of Cyprus should be dealt with 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 lawyers 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.

    Initial examinations into problems happen within the pertinent district however they are then passed onto the total organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact details of local ‘bar associations’:.

    • Nicosia: contact individual: Arzu İzveren, e-mail: 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, email: mine-vehit@hotmail.com phone: 0090392366 16 88.
    • Morphou: contact person: Mehtun Muslu, email: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Complaints against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Grievances versus 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.

    We have actually published advice(Link) on which UK authorities to call if you believe you have actually been a victim of property scams.

    When you made your purchase you may wish to contact 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 been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to help customers with cross-border conflicts. The UK European Consumer Centre gives information and suggestions on problems with buying across borders and can arbitrate when problems develop if they think it may 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 information is useful, please be aware that it is not planned to be the only guidance for prospective purchasers to follow when considering making a purchase. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or precision of the details which is readily available at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any duty for the content that is hosted on them. We highly recommend that potential buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial guidance at all phases of their purchase.

    The European Court of Human being Rights has actually ruled in a number of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus prior to 1974 continue to be concerned as the legal owners of that property.

    One essential issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers must likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern could have severe consequences for property they purchase, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments. Under the change, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the approval 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 offense. We strongly recommend that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary guidance at all phases of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links: