• How challenging is the property purchase process in Cyprus?

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Buying property in Cyprus has a number of prospective mistakes. The British High Commission encourages potential purchasers to exercise severe care when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily available, as it implies your property could be at risk.

    Home loan liability

    It is common practice for designers to take out home mortgages on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a developer and there is currently a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are likely to end up being accountable for that home loan should the builder, developer or landowner declare insolvency.

    You need to ask your lawyer to look for mortgages placed on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is acquired from the Land Computer registry. It ought to be kept in mind that in order to acquire a Land Browse Certificate one requires a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made conscious of a home mortgage before signing a contract it is unlikely that you will acquire the deeds in your name until the mortgage is paid off.

    .

    Lawyers are not needed to check for home loans immediately, although good legal representatives must do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government introduced a Particular Efficiency Law to give a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing mortgage nevertheless we still strongly advise that you inspect no mortgages have been placed on the land prior to purchase to ensure you do not run into potential difficulties at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most regularly raised by British nationals include:

    • lawyers acting for both vendors or builders therefore not independent
    • developing works taking place without the appropriate planning approval or structure authorization (eg electrical energy or water).
    • changes in currency and interest rates impacting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or fees not being included in the initial contract.
    • trouble in getting certificates of final completion (deeds can not be issued without this).
    • problem in obtaining title deeds.
    • trouble in getting redress after problems are identified.
      With all property purchases, we highly advise that you seek your own independent legal guidance.

    If you have bought a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you must look for certified independent legal advice on your rights and methods of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to offer legal advice or become included with conflicts in between private parties. However, we direct British nationals to organisations who may have the ability to help and we can raise systemic concerns, problems which impact a number of customers, with regional authorities.

    You can examine 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 numerous homes is contested in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes might have severe financial 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 as the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers could face legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, in addition to efforts to implement judgments from these courts somewhere else in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has been at least one effective case to impose judgments in the UK, threatening property owned in the UK.

    One essential concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers should also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern might have major repercussions for property they acquire, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to compensation payments.

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

    Buyers must ensure they are totally aware of the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of foreigners acquiring property, consisting of the requirement to get grant the transfer of property. Even when buying pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be refused consent to buy the land/property and no factor for the rejection might be offered.

    On 20 October 2006, an amendment to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code relating to property entered effect. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the authorization 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 offence. The maximum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The amendment to the law likewise mentions that any effort to undertake such a deal is a criminal offence and could lead to a jail sentence of up to 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that took place 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 illegal transfer of Greek Cypriot property and may be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anybody discovered in ownership of these files might be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and could deal with criminal procedures under the 20 October amendment.

    Any enquiries relating to the scope of this law ought 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.

    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 national and owned a property in the north of Cyprus prior to 1974 (or the beneficiary of somebody conference those criteria), please contact the British High Commission by email, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you want to try to recover your property, they will be able to examine your file and advise on what steps to take.

    The British High Commission is unable to help dual nationals in the nation of their other nationality. If you are a double British/Cypriot nationwide you should approach your local authorities in respect 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 need to be mindful that the authorization 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 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 actually previously gotten approval. Failure to get the authorization of the Administrator implies that the acquisition and registration of the unmovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will give permission just in the most remarkable situations.

    You should likewise understand that it is an offense for individuals other than “recognised locals” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, except in accordance with a permit provided under that Ordinance. Again, you might get a certificate of acknowledged residence or a license, however the Administration only seldom grant approving these.

    Further details.

    A few of the problems that property purchasers experience are really comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get associated with individual property issues or legal disagreements, 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 treatment.

    Legal recommendations.

    British people impacted by property problems ought to take independent legal suggestions from local lawyers.

    Local authorities.

    You must make a declaration to the local cops if you believe that you have been subject to a property criminal offense. Keep in mind to get a copy of the declaration and request the event number. Please note, there might be a time restriction between the time of the supposed criminal activity and the time within which you make your problem.

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

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of citizens, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to defend their rights and freedom 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 in addition to anyone acting as agents or collaborators of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact information are on their website.

    It is important to note that the Ombudsman might not intervene under the following situations:.

    • whenever the general public administration has actually not been included.
    • in the event of disputes or disputes between individuals.
    • after one year from the moment when the resident understood the occasions of his grievance.
    • in the event of confidential complaints, without specific claims presenting bad faith or any claims that might harm genuine rights of 3rd parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • complaints against legal representatives.

    Complaints versus attorneys practising in the Republic of Cyprus must 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.

    Site: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Problems against attorneys practicing in the north of Cyprus might be made in writing to the appropriate local ‘Bar Association’. There is a different ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Preliminary investigations into problems take place within the appropriate district however they are then passed onto the general organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact details of local ‘bar associations’:.

    • Nicosia: contact individual: Arzu İzveren, email: 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, email: mine-vehit@hotmail.com phone: 0090392366 16 88.
    • Morphou: contact individual: Mehtun Muslu, e-mail: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Complaints against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Problems 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 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 released suggestions on which UK authorities to get in touch with.

    If you were living in the UK when you made your purchase you might 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 assist consumers with cross-border disputes. The UK European Consumer Centre provides info and guidance on problems with buying across borders and can arbitrate when problems occur if they believe it may help.

    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 is useful, please understand that it is not intended to be the only assistance for potential purchasers to follow when thinking about making a purchase. In addition, we make no representation regarding the quality or precision of the information which is offered at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any duty for the content that is hosted on them. We strongly suggest that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary guidance at all phases of their purchase.

    The European Court of Person Rights has actually 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 problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers must also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern could have severe effects for property they buy, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments. Under the amendment, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging a property or promoting without the permission of the owner (the person 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 offence. We strongly advise that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary advice at all phases of their purchase.

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