• Guide to Purchasing Property in Cyprus.

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Purchasing property in Cyprus has a variety of possible risks. The British High Commission recommends possible purchasers to work out severe caution when buying a property if the title deeds are not easily offered, as it indicates your property could be at risk.

    Home mortgage liability

    It is common practice for developers to secure home mortgages on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a designer and there is already a home mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to become accountable for that home mortgage should the home builder, developer or landowner state bankruptcy.

    You ought to ask your lawyer to look for home mortgages put on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is obtained from the Land Computer registry. It needs to be kept in mind that in order to obtain a Land Browse Certificate one requires a relevant authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are warned of a home mortgage before signing a contract it is unlikely that you will get the deeds in your name up until the home loan is settled.

    Attorneys are not required to check for home mortgages immediately, although great lawyers should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government introduced a Particular Efficiency Law to offer an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing mortgage however we still highly recommend that you inspect no mortgages have actually been put on the land prior to purchase to ensure you do not face prospective difficulties at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other problems most often raised by British nationals include:

    • legal representatives acting for both contractors or vendors for that reason not independent
    • constructing works occurring without the proper preparation permission or building permit (eg electrical energy or water).
    • fluctuations in currency and rate of interest affecting home loans.
    • payment plans or fees not being included in the preliminary agreement.
    • trouble in getting certificates of last conclusion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • difficulty in getting title deeds.
    • problem in obtaining redress after problems are determined.
      With all property purchases, we highly recommend that you seek your own independent legal recommendations.

    If you have actually acquired a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you must seek competent independent legal guidance on your rights and approaches of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to offer legal advice or end up being included with disputes between personal parties. We direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to help and we can raise systemic issues, issues which affect a number of clients, with regional authorities.

    You can look at 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 challenged in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these residential or commercial properties might 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 considered the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers could face legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as efforts to impose judgments from these courts somewhere else in the EU, including the UK. There has been at least one successful case to implement 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 possible purchasers must likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem might have serious effects for property they buy, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments.

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

    Buyers need to ensure they are fully familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of foreigners acquiring property, consisting of the requirement to obtain grant the transfer of property. Even when acquiring pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be refused approval to acquire the land/property and no reason for the refusal might be given.

    On 20 October 2006, a change to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code connecting to property entered into effect. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the permission of the owner (the individual whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Pc registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. The optimum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The modification to the law likewise specifies that any attempt to carry out such a deal is a criminal offense and might lead to a jail sentence of up to 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that happened before 20 October 2006.

    Likewise 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 might undergo confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anybody found in ownership of these files may be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and could deal with criminal procedures under the 20 October change.

    Any enquiries relating to 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.

    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 before 1974.

    If you are a British national and owned a property in the north of Cyprus before 1974 (or the heir of somebody meeting those criteria), please call the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you want to try to reclaim your property, they will be able to check your file and recommend on what steps to take.

    The British High Commission is not able to assist dual nationals in the country of their other citizenship. If you are a double British/Cypriot nationwide you must approach your regional authorities in regard of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Individuals thinking about the purchase of immovable property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be aware that the authorization of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas is required under area 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Regulation 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to buy immovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for consent exists whether property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has formerly gotten permission. Failure to get the permission of the Administrator suggests that the acquisition and registration of the stationary property in question is null and void. The Administrator will give consent only in the most remarkable circumstances.

    You must likewise understand that it is an offense for individuals aside from “acknowledged homeowners” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, other than in accordance with a permit provided under that Regulation. Again, you may apply for a certificate of recognised home or a license, however the Administration just rarely consents to giving these.

    Additional information.

    A few of the issues that property purchasers experience are extremely similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get involved in private property problems or legal conflicts, but supports community associations that are committed to dealing with the issues of property buyers.

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal consultant, you have worked 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 suggestions.

    British citizens impacted by property issues must take independent legal guidance from local lawyers.

    Local authorities.

    If you believe that you have actually been subject to a property criminal activity, you need to make a statement to the local police. Remember to obtain a copy of the declaration and request for the incident number. Please note, there may be a time limitation between the time of the supposed criminal activity and the time within which you make your grievance.

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

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of citizens, including foreign nationals, in order to protect 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 main government and local administrations in addition to anybody acting as representatives or partners of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact details are on their website.

    It is very important to note that the Ombudsman may not step in under the following situations:.

    • whenever the general public administration has actually not been included.
    • in the event of conflicts or conflicts in between individuals.
    • When the resident had knowledge of the events of his complaint, after one year from the moment.
    • in case of anonymous problems, without specific claims presenting bad faith or any claims that may harm genuine rights of 3rd parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • complaints against lawyers.

    Problems against lawyers practicing in the Republic of Cyprus must 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 attorneys practising in the north of Cyprus may be made in writing to the appropriate regional ‘Bar Association’. There is a separate ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Preliminary investigations into complaints take place within the pertinent 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, email: barolarbirligi@hotmail.com phone: 0090392227 73 39.
    • Kyrenia: contact individual: 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 person: Mehtun Muslu, e-mail: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Grievances versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Grievances versus 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 learn more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Help in the UK.

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

    When you made your purchase you might wish to call 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 actually been established by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to help consumers with cross-border conflicts. When issues emerge if they believe it may help, the UK European Consumer Centre offers info and guidance on problems 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 details is useful, please know that it is not planned to be the only guidance for potential purchasers to follow when thinking about purchasing. In addition, we make no representation regarding the quality or accuracy of the details which is available at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any obligation for the content that is hosted on them. We strongly advise that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary guidance 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 related to 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 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 original owner, in addition to settlement payments. Under the modification, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the authorization of the owner (the person whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Windows registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. We highly suggest that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary guidance at all stages of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

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