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    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Buying property in Cyprus has a number of possible pitfalls. The British High Commission advises potential 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.

    Mortgage liability

    It prevails practice for designers to secure home mortgages on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a developer and there is already a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to become liable for that mortgage needs to the contractor, developer or landowner declare insolvency.

    You ought to ask your attorney to look for mortgages put on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is acquired from the Land Computer system registry. It should be kept in mind that in order to get a Land Search Certificate one requires a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made mindful of a home loan prior to signing a contract it is not likely that you will get the deeds in your name till the mortgage is paid off.

    .

    Legal representatives are not required to check for home loans immediately, although great lawyers ought to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government introduced a Particular Efficiency Law to offer a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home mortgage however we still strongly recommend that you check no mortgages have actually been put on the land prior to acquire to guarantee you do not encounter prospective troubles at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other issues most regularly raised by British nationals include:

    • attorneys acting for both suppliers or home builders for that reason not independent
    • developing works occurring without the right preparation approval or structure authorization (eg electrical power or water).
    • variations in currency and rates of interest impacting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or costs not being consisted of in the initial contract.
    • trouble in acquiring certificates of last completion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • difficulty in acquiring title deeds.
    • problem in obtaining redress after problems are identified.
      With all property purchases, we highly suggest that you seek your own independent legal recommendations.

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

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to provide legal recommendations or become included with disputes in between private parties. However, we direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to assist and we can raise systemic problems, problems which affect a number of clients, with local authorities.

    You can check on 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 numerous 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 residential or commercial properties might have severe monetary and legal implications. 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 considered the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers could deal with legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as attempts to enforce judgments from these courts elsewhere in the EU, including the UK. There has been at least one effective case to enforce rulings in the UK, threatening property owned in the UK.

    One essential problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible purchasers must also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue might have severe effects for property they acquire, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to settlement payments.

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

    Buyers should guarantee they are totally familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of foreigners purchasing property, including the requirement to acquire consent to the transfer of property. Even when acquiring pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be refused permission to buy the land/property and no reason for the rejection might be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, a change to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code relating to property came into result. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging a property or promoting without the permission of the owner (the individual whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. The optimum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The modification to the law also specifies that any attempt to carry out such a transaction is a criminal offence and might result in a prison sentence of as much as 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that took place prior to 20 October 2006.

    Likewise files 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 statement to the Cypriot authorities and might deal with criminal proceedings under the 20 October amendment.

    Any enquiries relating to the scope of this law should 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 prior to 1974.

    If you are a British nationwide and owned a property in the north of Cyprus prior to 1974 (or the beneficiary of someone meeting those requirements), please contact the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you want to try to recover your property, they will be able to check your file and encourage on what steps to take.

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

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

    Persons considering the purchase of immovable property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be mindful that the permission of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations 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 authorization exists whether property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has previously obtained authorization. Failure to acquire the consent of the Administrator means that the acquisition and registration of the stationary property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide permission just in the most remarkable circumstances.

    You need to also be aware that it is an offense for persons aside from “recognised citizens” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, except in accordance with an authorization issued under that Ordinance. Again, you may look for a certificate of recognised house or a permit, but the Administration just hardly ever grant giving these.

    Additional details.

    Some of the issues that property purchasers experience are very comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get involved in specific property problems or legal disputes, but supports community associations that are devoted to resolving the issues of property purchasers.

    Associations.

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

    Legal guidance.

    British residents affected by property issues need to take independent legal advice from regional lawyers.

    Regional cops.

    You must make a statement to the regional police if you think that you have actually been subject to a property criminal offense. Remember to acquire a copy of the declaration and request for the incident number. Please note, there may be a time restriction between the time of the alleged crime and the time within which you make your problem.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (also referred to as Commissioner of Administration and Defense 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 restrictions) and authorities of the main government and local 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 essential to keep in mind that the Ombudsman may not intervene under the following situations:.

    • whenever the general public administration has not been included.
    • in the event of conflicts or disputes between individuals.
    • after one year from the moment when the resident knew the occasions of his grievance.
    • in the event of confidential problems, without particular claims presenting bad faith or any claims that might damage genuine rights of third parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • problems versus lawyers.

    Problems against lawyers practicing in the Republic of Cyprus ought to 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.

    Website: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Grievances against attorneys practising in the north of Cyprus may be made in writing to the appropriate local ‘Bar Association’. There is a separate ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Initial investigations into problems occur within the relevant district however they are then passed onto the total 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 person: Gürcan Bayramoğlu, email: gurcanbayramoglu@hotmail.com phone: 0090392816 06 22.
    • Famagusta: contact individual: Mine Vehit, email: mine-vehit@hotmail.com phone: 0090392366 16 88.
    • Morphou: contact individual: Mehtun Muslu, e-mail: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Complaints versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Complaints against 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 discover 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 actually published suggestions on which UK authorities to contact.

    When you made your purchase you may want to contact the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. This belongs to the European Customer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist customers with cross-border disputes. The UK European Consumer Centre provides information and recommendations on issues with buying across borders and can arbitrate when problems emerge if they believe it may 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 info works, please understand that it is not meant to be the only assistance for potential buyers to follow when thinking about buying. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or precision of the details which is offered at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any duty for the material that is hosted on them. We strongly advise that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary recommendations 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 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 possible buyers must also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have serious consequences for property they purchase, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to settlement payments. Under the change, buying, selling, renting, 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. We highly suggest that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary suggestions at all phases of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

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