• GUIDE TO PROPERTY PURCHASING IN CYPRUS

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Purchasing property in Cyprus has a variety of prospective 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 indicates your property could be at risk.

    Mortgage liability

    It prevails practice for developers to take out mortgages on land or property. If you sign a contract with a developer and there is already a mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to end up being liable for that home mortgage ought to the home builder, developer or landowner state bankruptcy.

    You must ask your lawyer to look for home mortgages put on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is gotten from the Land Windows registry. It needs to be kept in mind that in order to get a Land Search Certificate one needs an appropriate authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made aware of a home loan prior to signing an agreement it is unlikely that you will obtain the deeds in your name until the mortgage is paid off.

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    Lawyers are not needed to look for home mortgages instantly, although good legal representatives must do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government introduced a Particular Performance Law to give a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing mortgage nevertheless we still highly advise that you check no mortgages have actually been put on the land prior to buy to ensure you do not face possible troubles at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other problems most often raised by British nationals include:

    • lawyers acting for both suppliers or builders therefore not independent
    • constructing works happening without the appropriate planning approval or building authorization (eg electrical energy or water).
    • fluctuations in currency and rates of interest affecting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or fees not being consisted of in the preliminary agreement.
    • trouble in obtaining certificates of last conclusion (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 strongly recommend that you seek your own independent legal guidance.

    You should seek competent independent legal guidance on your rights and approaches of redress if you have acquired a property or land and are coming across troubles.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to use legal suggestions or become involved with conflicts in between personal celebrations. Nevertheless, we direct British nationals to organisations who may have the ability to assist and we can raise systemic concerns, problems which affect a variety of clients, with regional authorities.

    You can examine 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 numerous homes is disputed in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these properties could have serious financial and legal implications. The European Court of Human Rights has actually 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 could deal with legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, along with efforts to implement judgments from these courts elsewhere in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has been at least one successful case to implement judgments in the UK, putting at risk property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both neighborhoods are currently in settlements to attempt to fix the Cyprus concern. One key problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Homeowner and prospective buyers need to also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have severe effects for property they purchase, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to compensation payments. In particular, potential buyers ought to think about the implications of any future settlement on land/property:.

    • 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 should guarantee they are fully familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of foreigners buying property, including the requirement to acquire grant the transfer of property. Even when purchasing pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be refused approval to purchase the land/property and no reason for the refusal might be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, a modification to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code associating with property came into effect. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, promoting or mortgaging a property without the consent 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 offence. The maximum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The amendment to the law also mentions that any effort to undertake such a deal is a criminal offense and might result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that happened prior to 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 might be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone found in belongings of these documents may be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and could deal with criminal procedures under the 20 October change.

    Any enquiries regarding 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 workplace 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 someone conference those requirements), please call the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you want to attempt to recover your property, they will be able to inspect your file and recommend on what steps to take.

    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 must approach your local authorities in respect of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Individuals considering 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 needed under section 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 property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has formerly gotten approval. Failure to get the consent of the Administrator implies that the acquisition and registration of the stationary property in question is null and void. The Administrator will offer approval just in the most extraordinary scenarios.

    You should also understand that it is an offence for individuals other than “acknowledged citizens” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, except in accordance with a permit released under that Regulation. Once again, you may make an application for a certificate of recognised home or a license, however the Administration only seldom grant giving these.

    More info.

    Some of the issues that property buyers experience are very similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get involved in specific property problems or legal disagreements, but supports community associations that are devoted to dealing with the problems of property buyers.

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal advisor, you have actually dealt with is a member of AIPP and you are unhappy with the services provided, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary procedure.

    Legal guidance.

    British people impacted by property issues ought to take independent legal suggestions from regional attorneys.

    Local authorities.

    If you believe that you have actually gone through a property criminal activity, you ought to make a statement to the local police. Remember to get a copy of the statement and ask for the incident number. Please note, there may be a time constraint in between the time of the supposed criminal activity and the time within which you make your complaint.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (likewise called Commissioner of Administration and Protection of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of people, including foreign nationals, in order to defend their rights and flexibility against actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some limitations) and authorities of the main government and regional administrations as well as anyone serving 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 necessary to keep in mind that the Ombudsman might not step in under the following situations:.

    • whenever the general public administration has not been involved.
    • in case of conflicts or disagreements in between people.
    • after one year from the moment when the person understood the events of his problem.
    • in case of confidential complaints, without specific claims providing bad faith or any claims that might harm legitimate rights of 3rd parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • problems against lawyers.

    Grievances against lawyers practicing in the Republic of Cyprus need to be resolved 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 against legal representatives practicing in the north of Cyprus may 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 pertinent district however they are then passed onto the general organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact information of local ‘bar associations’:.

    • Nicosia: contact person: 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 person: Mehtun Muslu, email: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Problems against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Grievances against the legal system need 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 fraud, we have actually released recommendations on which UK authorities to get in touch with.

    If you were residing in the UK when you made your purchase you may want to get in touch with the UK European Consumer Centre. This is 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 assist customers with cross-border disagreements. When problems arise if they believe it may assist, the UK European Consumer Centre provides details and recommendations on issues with buying across borders and can arbitrate.

    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 understand that it is not planned to be the only guidance for potential purchasers to follow when thinking about buying. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or accuracy of the details which is offered at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any duty for the material that is hosted on them. We highly recommend that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary guidance at all phases of their purchase.

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

    One key concern 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 severe effects for property they purchase, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to settlement payments. Under the change, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the permission of the owner (the person whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Windows registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. We strongly recommend that potential purchasers 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)