• Hot Properties in Cyprus

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

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

    Home loan liability

    It prevails practice for developers to secure home loans 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 likely to become accountable for that home loan must the contractor, designer or landowner declare insolvency.

    You should ask your lawyer to check for mortgages put on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is acquired from the Land Pc registry. It ought to be noted that in order to get a Land Search Certificate one needs a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made conscious of a home mortgage prior to signing a contract it is not likely that you will obtain the deeds in your name till the mortgage is paid off.

    .

    Lawyers are not needed to check for home mortgages immediately, although great lawyers ought to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government presented a Specific Efficiency Law to offer an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing home mortgage however we still strongly recommend that you check no home mortgages have been placed on the land prior to acquire to ensure you do not face prospective difficulties at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other problems most frequently raised by British nationals include:

    • legal representatives acting for both contractors or suppliers therefore not independent
    • developing works occurring without the proper planning permission or structure permit (eg electrical energy or water).
    • fluctuations in currency and interest rates impacting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or fees not being included in the initial agreement.
    • difficulty in obtaining certificates of last completion (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 strongly advise that you seek your own independent legal suggestions.

    You must seek competent independent legal advice on your rights and techniques of redress if you have actually purchased a property or land and are coming across problems.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to provide legal recommendations or become involved with conflicts in between private parties. We direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to assist and we can raise systemic issues, problems which affect a number of consumers, 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 lots of homes is contested in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes could have major monetary and legal ramifications. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in a number of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus prior to 1974 continue to be considered the legal owners of that property.

    Purchasers might deal with legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, along with efforts to impose judgments from these courts somewhere else in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has actually been at least one successful case to enforce judgments in the UK, endangering property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both communities are presently in negotiations to attempt to solve the Cyprus problem. One crucial concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Homeowner and potential buyers ought to likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern could have severe effects for property they purchase, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to payment 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 subsequently categorized as exchange or ‘present’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

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

    On 20 October 2006, a modification to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code connecting to property entered into effect. Under the change, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the authorization 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. The optimum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The amendment to the law likewise states that any effort to undertake such a deal is a criminal offense and might result in a jail sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that took place before 20 October 2006.

    Also documents relating to the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to associate with the illegal transfer of Greek Cypriot property and might go through confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone discovered in ownership of these documents may be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and might deal with criminal proceedings under the 20 October change.

    Any queries 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 workplace 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 before 1974 (or the successor 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 inspect your file and recommend on what actions to take if you wish to try to reclaim your property.

    The British High Commission is unable to assist dual nationals in the nation of their other nationality. If you are a double 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 Locations (SBAs).

    Persons considering the purchase of stationary property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be aware that the approval of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas is needed under area 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Ordinance 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to purchase unmovable 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 acquired permission. Failure to obtain the permission of the Administrator suggests that the acquisition and registration of the immovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will offer authorization only in the most extraordinary scenarios.

    You should likewise understand that it is an offence for persons aside from “acknowledged residents” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, except in accordance with a license provided under that Ordinance. Again, you may make an application for a certificate of recognised residence or a permit, but the Administration just rarely grant giving these.

    Further information.

    A few of the problems that property purchasers experience are really similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get associated with individual property issues or legal conflicts, however supports neighborhood associations that are dedicated to solving the problems of property purchasers.

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal consultant, you have worked with is a member of AIPP and you are dissatisfied with the services supplied, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary procedure.

    Legal guidance.

    British citizens impacted by property issues should take independent legal advice from local attorneys.

    Local police.

    You ought to make a declaration to the local cops if you believe that you have been subject to a property criminal offense. Keep in mind to acquire a copy of the statement and request for the incident number. Please note, there might be a time constraint in 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 people, including foreign nationals, in order to protect their rights and flexibility versus actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some restrictions) and authorities of the central federal government and regional administrations as well as anyone functioning 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 necessary to keep in mind that the Ombudsman may not step in under the following circumstances:.

    • whenever the public administration has not been involved.
    • in the event of disputes or disagreements between individuals.
    • after one year from the moment when the person had knowledge of the events of his complaint.
    • in the event of anonymous grievances, without particular 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.
    • grievances versus legal representatives.

    Problems versus legal representatives practicing in the Republic of Cyprus ought to be addressed 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.

    Problems versus attorneys practising in the north of Cyprus may be made in writing to the pertinent regional ‘Bar Association’. There is a separate ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Preliminary investigations into grievances happen within the pertinent district however they are then passed onto the total organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact information of regional ‘bar associations’:.

    • Nicosia: contact individual: Arzu İzveren, email: barolarbirligi@hotmail.com phone: 0090392227 73 39.
    • Kyrenia: contact individual: Gürcan Bayramoğlu, e-mail: 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, e-mail: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Grievances 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.

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

    If you were residing in the UK when you made your purchase you might want to contact the UK European Consumer Centre. This belongs to the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist consumers with cross-border disputes. When issues emerge if they believe it might assist, the UK European Consumer Centre gives info and guidance 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 info works, please understand that it is not planned to be the only guidance for prospective buyers to follow when thinking about making a purchase. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or accuracy of the information which is offered at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any duty for the content that is hosted on them. We highly suggest that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary suggestions 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 regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    One key problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible purchasers need to likewise consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem could have major repercussions for property they buy, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to compensation payments. Under the change, 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 offense. We strongly recommend that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary advice at all phases of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

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