• For How Long IS THE PROCEDURE FOR BUYING A PROPERTY IN CYPRUS?

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

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

    Home loan liability

    It is common practice for designers to get mortgages on land or property. If you sign a contract with a designer and there is currently a home mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to end up being responsible for that home mortgage ought to the contractor, designer or landowner declare personal bankruptcy.

    You must ask your legal representative to look for home loans put on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is acquired from the Land Registry. It needs to be kept in mind that in order to obtain a Land Search Certificate one needs a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are made aware of a home loan before signing a contract it is not likely that you will obtain the deeds in your name until the home mortgage is settled.

    Lawyers are not needed to check for home mortgages automatically, although excellent legal representatives should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government presented a Particular Performance Law to offer a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan however we still strongly recommend that you inspect no home mortgages have been placed on the land prior to purchase to guarantee you do not encounter prospective problems at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most frequently raised by British nationals include:

    • legal representatives acting for both builders or suppliers for that reason not independent
    • developing works occurring without the right planning approval or building permit (eg electrical energy or water).
    • variations in currency and rates of interest impacting home loans.
    • payment plans or costs not being included in the preliminary contract.
    • trouble in getting certificates of final conclusion (deeds can not be issued without this).
    • problem in getting title deeds.
    • trouble in getting redress after issues are determined.
      With all property purchases, we highly advise that you seek your own independent legal recommendations.

    You ought to look for certified independent legal guidance on your rights and techniques of redress if you have actually purchased a property or land and are experiencing problems.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to offer legal recommendations or end up being involved with conflicts between private celebrations. However, we direct British nationals to organisations who may have the ability to help and we can raise systemic problems, issues which impact a number of consumers, with local authorities.

    You can check on the Association of International Property Professionals website to see if a business or legal advisor 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 thousands of claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes might have serious 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.

    Purchasers might deal with legal procedures 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 been at least one effective case to impose rulings in the UK, putting at risk property owned in the UK.

    One essential concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible purchasers need to likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem might have major consequences for property they buy, consisting of 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 nationwide prior to 1974 * ^ that was subsequently categorized as exchange or ‘present’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Buyers need to ensure they are fully aware of the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of foreigners buying property, consisting of the requirement to obtain grant 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 given.

    On 20 October 2006, an amendment to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code associating with property came into impact. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the consent of the owner (the individual whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Windows registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. The optimum jail sentence is 7 years.

    The change to the law also mentions that any attempt to carry out such a transaction is a criminal offense and might lead to a prison sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that occurred before 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 prohibited transfer of Greek Cypriot property and may be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anybody found in ownership of these documents might be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and might deal with criminal procedures under the 20 October change.

    Any enquiries concerning the scope of this law need 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 before 1974.

    If you are a British nationwide and owned a property in the north of Cyprus prior to 1974 (or the heir of someone meeting those requirements), please get in touch with the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. They will have the ability to examine your file and encourage on what actions to take if you want to try to reclaim your property.

    The British High Commission is unable to help double nationals in the country of their other nationality. If you are a double British/Cypriot nationwide 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 thinking about the purchase of stationary property (such as land) in the SBAs need 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) Ordinance 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to acquire stationary property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for consent exists whether property is presently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has previously acquired permission. Failure to obtain the consent of the Administrator implies that the acquisition and registration of the stationary property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide approval only in the most extraordinary situations.

    You need to also be aware that it is an offense for individuals besides “recognised locals” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, except in accordance with an authorization provided under that Ordinance. Again, you may get a certificate of acknowledged home or a permit, but the Administration just seldom grant granting these.

    Further details.

    Some of the issues that property buyers experience are extremely similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get associated with individual property problems or legal disagreements, however supports neighborhood associations that are devoted to fixing the problems of property purchasers.

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal consultant, 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 recommendations.

    British residents affected by property problems must take independent legal recommendations from regional attorneys.

    Local police.

    If you believe that you have actually gone through a property criminal offense, you need to make a statement to the local police. Remember to obtain a copy of the declaration and request for the event number. Please note, there may be a time restriction between the time of the supposed criminal offense and the time within which you make your complaint.

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

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of residents, including 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 constraints) and authorities of the central government and regional administrations in addition to anybody acting as agents or collaborators of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact details are on their website.

    It is essential to keep in mind that the Ombudsman may not intervene under the following circumstances:.

    • whenever the public administration has actually not been included.
    • in the event of disputes or conflicts between people.
    • When the citizen had understanding of the events of his complaint, after one year from the moment.
    • in the event of anonymous problems, without specific claims providing bad faith or any claims that may harm genuine rights of third parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • complaints versus attorneys.

    Grievances against legal representatives practising in the Republic of Cyprus must be dealt with 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.

    Site: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Complaints versus attorneys practicing in the north of Cyprus may be made in writing to the relevant regional ‘Bar Association’. There is a different ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Initial examinations into grievances occur within the appropriate district but they are then passed onto the general 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, e-mail: 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, e-mail: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Problems against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Complaints against 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.

    Help in the UK.

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

    If you were residing in the UK when you made your purchase you may wish to call the UK European Consumer Centre. This becomes part of the European Customer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has actually been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to help customers with cross-border disagreements. The UK European Consumer Centre gives details and advice on problems with buying across borders and can arbitrate when problems occur if they think 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 know that it is not meant to be the only guidance for prospective buyers to follow when thinking about buying. In addition, we make no representation regarding the quality or accuracy of the details which is readily available at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any obligation for the material that is hosted on them. We strongly suggest that potential buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial recommendations at all stages of their purchase.

    The European Court of Person Rights has actually ruled in a number of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus before 1974 continue to be related to as the legal owners of that property.

    One crucial issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and prospective buyers must likewise consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern might have major repercussions for property they buy, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the consent of the owner (the individual 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 offense. We strongly recommend that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial advice at all phases of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

    • Land and Property(link)
    • Housing Schemes(link)