• IS IT BETTER TO RENT OR BUY A HOME IN Cyprus? HOW TO DECIDE.

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Purchasing property in Cyprus has a variety of potential mistakes. The British High Commission recommends prospective buyers to exercise extreme caution when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily offered, as it suggests your property could be at risk.

    Home loan liability

    It is common practice for designers to get 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 most likely to become responsible for that mortgage needs to the home builder, designer or landowner declare bankruptcy.

    You must ask your lawyer to check for mortgages put on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is obtained from the Land Windows registry. It ought to be noted that in order to get a Land Browse Certificate one requires an appropriate authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are warned of a mortgage before signing an agreement it is unlikely that you will acquire the deeds in your name till the home mortgage is settled.

    Legal representatives are not needed to look for home loans automatically, although great attorneys ought to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government presented a Specific Efficiency Law to give an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan however we still strongly suggest that you examine no mortgages have been placed on the land prior to purchase to guarantee you do not run into possible troubles at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other problems most often raised by British nationals consist of:

    • attorneys acting for both builders or suppliers for that reason not independent
    • developing works taking place without the appropriate planning authorization or structure license (eg electrical power or water).
    • variations in currency and rates of interest affecting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or charges not being included in the preliminary contract.
    • trouble in obtaining certificates of last completion (deeds can not be released without this).
    • difficulty in acquiring title deeds.
    • trouble in obtaining redress after problems are recognized.
      With all property purchases, we highly advise that you seek your own independent legal suggestions.

    You need to look for certified independent legal suggestions on your rights and approaches of redress if you have bought 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 suggestions or become involved with conflicts between personal parties. We direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to assist and we can raise systemic problems, problems which impact a number of clients, 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 properties is disputed in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these properties might have major 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 regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    Purchasers might face legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as efforts to enforce judgments from these courts elsewhere in the EU, including the UK. There has actually been at least one effective case to implement rulings in the UK, threatening property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both communities are presently in settlements to try to resolve the Cyprus concern. One essential concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential purchasers ought to also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue might have serious effects for property they acquire, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to compensation payments. In particular, potential buyers need to think about 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 consequently categorized as exchange or ‘present’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Purchasers need to guarantee they are completely knowledgeable about the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of foreigners buying property, including the requirement to obtain consent to the transfer of property. Even when purchasing pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be declined authorization to purchase the land/property and no reason for the rejection might be given.

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

    The modification to the law likewise specifies that any effort to undertake such a deal is a criminal offense and could result in a jail sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that occurred prior to 20 October 2006.

    Also documents connecting 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 undergo confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anybody found in belongings of these documents might be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and could face criminal procedures under the 20 October modification.

    Any queries 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 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 call the British High Commission by email, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you wish to attempt to reclaim your property, they will be able to examine your file and advise on what actions to take.

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

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

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

    You ought to likewise understand that it is an offence for individuals aside from “recognised locals” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, other than in accordance with an authorization released under that Ordinance. Again, you might look for a certificate of identified residence or a permit, however the Administration only hardly ever consents to approving these.

    Additional details.

    Some of the problems that property buyers experience are really similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get involved in specific property issues or legal disputes, but supports neighborhood associations that are committed to fixing the problems of property buyers.

    Associations.

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

    Legal suggestions.

    British people affected by property problems should take independent legal recommendations from regional legal representatives.

    Regional cops.

    You need to make a declaration to the regional authorities if you believe that you have actually been subject to a property criminal activity. Keep in mind to acquire a copy of the statement and ask for the event number. Please note, there may be a time restriction between the time of the supposed crime and the time within which you make your grievance.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (likewise called Commissioner of Administration and Security of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of citizens, including foreign nationals, in order to protect their rights and liberty versus actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some constraints) and authorities of the main federal government and regional administrations in addition to anybody acting as representatives or partners of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact details are on their site.

    It is very important to note that the Ombudsman may not step in under the following situations:.

    • whenever the public administration has not been included.
    • in case of conflicts or disputes between individuals.
    • after one year from the moment when the citizen had knowledge of the occasions of his complaint.
    • in the event of confidential problems, without specific claims presenting bad faith or any claims that might harm genuine rights of 3rd parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • complaints against attorneys.

    Grievances against attorneys practising 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.

    Website: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

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

    Initial examinations into problems happen within the pertinent 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 individual: Gürcan Bayramoğlu, e-mail: gurcanbayramoglu@hotmail.com phone: 0090392816 06 22.
    • Famagusta: contact individual: Mine Vehit, e-mail: mine-vehit@hotmail.com phone: 0090392366 16 88.
    • Morphou: contact individual: Mehtun Muslu, email: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Problems against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Complaints against the legal system need 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 recommendations on which UK authorities to get in touch with.

    If you were residing in the UK when you made your purchase you may want to get in touch with the UK European Consumer Centre. This belongs to the European Consumer 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 conflicts. When issues emerge if they think it may help, the UK European Consumer Centre provides details and advice 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 assistance for potential buyers to follow when considering purchasing. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or accuracy of the details which is available at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any responsibility for the material that is hosted on them. We highly advise that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial 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 issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers should likewise consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern might have major repercussions for property they buy, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to settlement payments. Under the change, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the permission of the owner (the person whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Windows registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. We strongly recommend that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial recommendations at all stages of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

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