• Important guide to purchase Cyprus.

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Buying property in Cyprus has a variety of prospective mistakes. The British High Commission advises possible purchasers to work out extreme 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 prevails practice for designers to secure home loans on land or property. If you sign a contract with a developer and there is currently a home mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to end up being accountable for that home mortgage must the home builder, designer or landowner state personal bankruptcy.

    You ought to ask your legal representative to look for home mortgages placed on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is acquired from the Land Computer system registry. It needs to be noted that in order to get a Land Browse Certificate one needs a relevant authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are made aware of a home loan before signing an agreement it is not likely that you will obtain the deeds in your name until the home mortgage is paid off.

    Legal representatives are not needed to check for home loans automatically, although good lawyers ought to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government presented a Particular Performance Law to give a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan however we still strongly recommend that you check no home mortgages have been put on the land prior to buy to ensure you do not encounter prospective problems at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most often raised by British nationals consist of:

    • legal representatives acting for both builders or vendors for that reason not independent
    • constructing works taking place without the correct preparation approval or structure license (eg electricity or water).
    • fluctuations in currency and rates of interest affecting home loans.
    • payment plans or charges not being included in the preliminary agreement.
    • difficulty in obtaining certificates of last conclusion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • problem in obtaining title deeds.
    • problem in getting redress after problems are determined.
      With all property purchases, we highly advise that you seek your own independent legal guidance.

    You must look for qualified independent legal guidance on your rights and methods of redress if you have actually purchased a property or land and are encountering problems.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to use legal advice or become included with disagreements in between personal celebrations. Nevertheless, we direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to assist and we can raise systemic issues, issues which affect a variety of clients, with local authorities.

    You can check on 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 many residential or commercial properties is challenged in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes could have severe monetary and legal implications. 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 could face legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, along with efforts to enforce judgments from these courts elsewhere in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has 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 settlements to try to resolve the Cyprus problem. One essential concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and prospective buyers ought to likewise consider 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 payment payments. In particular, prospective purchasers ought to consider the ramifications 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 consequently categorized as exchange or ‘present’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Buyers ought to ensure they are fully knowledgeable about the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of foreigners buying property, including the requirement to acquire grant the transfer of property. Even when acquiring pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be declined consent to purchase the land/property and no factor for the refusal may be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, an amendment to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code associating with property entered impact. Under the change, buying, selling, leasing, promoting or mortgaging a property without the consent of the owner (the person whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Pc registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. The maximum jail sentence is 7 years.

    The amendment to the law likewise mentions that any attempt to carry out such a deal is a criminal offense and might lead to a jail sentence of as much as 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that occurred prior to 20 October 2006.

    Likewise files connecting to the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to connect to the unlawful transfer of Greek Cypriot property and might undergo confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anybody discovered in possession of these documents might be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and might deal with criminal procedures under the 20 October change.

    Any queries concerning 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 before 1974.

    If you are a British national and owned a property in the north of Cyprus before 1974 (or the successor of somebody conference those criteria), 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 advise on what actions to take if you wish to attempt to reclaim your property.

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

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

    Individuals considering the purchase of immovable property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be mindful that the consent of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas is needed under section 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Regulation 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to purchase immovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for approval exists whether property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has actually previously obtained approval. Failure to acquire the authorization of the Administrator means that the acquisition and registration of the immovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide approval just in the most extraordinary scenarios.

    You must also be aware that it is an offence for individuals besides “acknowledged homeowners” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, except in accordance with a permit released under that Regulation. Once again, you might request a certificate of acknowledged home or a permit, but the Administration just rarely consents to approving these.

    Additional information.

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

    Associations.

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

    Legal advice.

    British people affected by property issues should take independent legal recommendations from local legal representatives.

    Local police.

    If you think that you have actually been subject to a property crime, you need to make a declaration to the local police. Remember to obtain a copy of the statement and request 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 grievance.

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

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of residents, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to protect their rights and freedom versus 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 local administrations along with anybody serving as representatives or collaborators of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public goals or services. Contact information are on their site.

    It is necessary to note that the Ombudsman might not step in under the following circumstances:.

    • whenever the general public administration has not been involved.
    • in the event of disputes or disagreements in between individuals.
    • When the citizen had understanding of the events of his complaint, after one year from the minute.
    • in the event of confidential grievances, without particular claims providing bad faith or any claims that may harm legitimate rights of third parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • problems against attorneys.

    Complaints versus legal representatives practising 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.

    Complaints versus lawyers practicing in the north of Cyprus might be made in writing to the appropriate regional ‘Bar Association’. There is a separate ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Preliminary examinations into complaints happen within the appropriate district but they are then passed onto the general organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact details of local ‘bar associations’:.

    • Nicosia: contact person: Arzu İzveren, e-mail: 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.

    Problems versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Grievances versus the legal system ought to 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 discover more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Assist in the UK.

    If you think you have actually been a victim of property fraud, we have released advice on which UK authorities to call.

    When you made your purchase you might wish to contact the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. This becomes part of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has actually been established by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to help customers with cross-border conflicts. When problems develop if they think it may help, the UK European Consumer Centre offers info and recommendations 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 information is useful, please be aware that it is not meant to be the only guidance for potential purchasers to follow when considering buying. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or precision of the details which is readily available at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any responsibility for the content that is hosted on them. We strongly advise that potential buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial suggestions 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 regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    One crucial problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers need to also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have major repercussions for property they buy, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to payment payments. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging a property or promoting without the approval of the owner (the individual whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. We highly suggest that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial suggestions 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)