• How to purchase a home or flat: a guide for newbie purchasers in 2020.

    Assistance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Purchasing property in Cyprus has a variety of prospective risks. The British High Commission recommends prospective buyers to exercise 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 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 already a mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are likely to end up being responsible for that home loan needs to the contractor, designer or landowner state personal bankruptcy.

    You must ask your legal representative to check for home mortgages put on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is obtained from the Land Registry. It needs to be kept in mind that in order to obtain a Land Search Certificate one needs a relevant authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made aware of a home mortgage before signing a contract it is not likely that you will obtain the deeds in your name until the home loan is paid off.

    .

    Lawyers are not needed to check for home mortgages automatically, although good lawyers ought to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government introduced a Particular Performance Law to offer a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan nevertheless we still highly recommend that you check no mortgages have actually been put on the land prior to purchase to guarantee you do not run into potential problems 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 vendors or contractors for that reason not independent
    • building works taking place without the appropriate planning approval or building authorization (eg electrical power or water).
    • changes in currency and rates of interest affecting mortgages.
    • payment plans or fees not being included in the initial contract.
    • problem in getting certificates of last completion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • difficulty in acquiring title deeds.
    • trouble in acquiring redress after problems are recognized.
      With all property purchases, we highly suggest that you seek your own independent legal advice.

    You ought to look for competent independent legal guidance on your rights and approaches of redress if you have acquired a property or land and are coming across problems.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to provide legal guidance or end up being included with conflicts in between personal parties. We direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to help and we can raise systemic problems, problems 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 consultant are members.

    Buying property in the north of Cyprus.

    The ownership of numerous homes is contested in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes could have severe monetary and legal ramifications. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in a variety of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus prior to 1974 continue to be considered as the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers might deal with legal proceedings 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 rulings in the UK, threatening property owned in the UK.

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

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

    Purchasers should ensure they are fully aware of the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of immigrants acquiring property, including the requirement to get grant the transfer of property. Even when purchasing pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be refused permission to acquire the land/property and no factor for the rejection may be offered.

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

    The change to the law also states that any attempt to carry out such a transaction is a criminal offense and might result in a prison sentence of as much as 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that took place before 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 unlawful transfer of Greek Cypriot property and may be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone discovered in ownership of these documents might be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and might face criminal proceedings under the 20 October modification.

    Any queries 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 workplace 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 before 1974 (or the successor of someone conference those requirements), please get in touch with 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 examine your file and encourage on what actions 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 national you ought to approach your local 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 unmovable property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be conscious that the approval of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations is needed under area 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Ordinance 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to buy unmovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for consent exists whether or not property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has actually previously acquired consent. Failure to get the authorization of the Administrator indicates that the acquisition and registration of the immovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will offer consent only in the most remarkable circumstances.

    You should also know that it is an offence for individuals besides “acknowledged residents” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, except in accordance with an authorization released under that Regulation. Again, you may request a certificate of identified residence or a license, however the Administration only seldom consents to approving these.

    Further info.

    Some of the issues that property purchasers experience are extremely similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get involved in specific property problems or legal disputes, however supports community associations that are committed to solving the issues of property purchasers.

    Associations.

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

    Legal recommendations.

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

    Local police.

    If you think that you have been subject to a property criminal activity, you need to make a statement to the local police. Remember to acquire a copy of the declaration and ask for the incident number. Please note, there might be a time restriction in between the time of the alleged crime and the time within which you make your complaint.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (also referred to as Commissioner of Administration and Security of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of residents, 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 limitations) and authorities of the main federal government and local administrations in addition to anyone functioning as agents or collaborators of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public goals or services. Contact details are on their website.

    It is necessary to keep in mind that the Ombudsman may not step in under the following situations:.

    • whenever the public administration has actually not been involved.
    • in case of conflicts or conflicts between individuals.
    • When the citizen had understanding of the occasions of his problem, after one year from the moment.
    • in the event of confidential problems, without specific claims providing bad faith or any claims that may damage genuine rights of third parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • grievances against attorneys.

    Complaints versus attorneys practicing in the Republic of Cyprus must be addressed to:.

    The Cyprus Bar Association.
    Florinis 11, off.101, 1st Floor,.
    1065, Nicosia P.O.Box. 21446,.
    1508, Nicosia– Cyprus.

    Telephone: +357 22873300 Fax: +35722873013.

    Email: cybar3@cytanet.com.cy.

    Site: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Grievances versus legal representatives practising in the north of Cyprus might be made in writing to the relevant regional ‘Bar Association’. There is a separate ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Preliminary investigations into grievances occur within the appropriate district but they are then passed onto the general organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact details of regional ‘bar associations’:.

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

    Problems versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Complaints versus the legal system should 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 released recommendations(Link) on which UK authorities to contact 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 wish to call the UK European Consumer Centre. This is part of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to help customers with cross-border disputes. The UK European Consumer Centre provides information and suggestions on issues with buying across borders and can arbitrate when problems emerge if they believe it might 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 information is useful, please be aware that it is not meant to be the only assistance for potential purchasers to follow when considering buying. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or accuracy of the details which is available at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any obligation for the content that is hosted on them. We highly suggest that potential buyers of property in Cyprus seek 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 before 1974 continue to be concerned as the legal owners of that property.

    One key issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible purchasers should likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue might have severe effects for property they buy, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to compensation payments. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the approval of the owner (the person whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We highly suggest that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary 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)