• Lady's Personal Guide to Buying a Flat in Cyprus.

    Assistance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Purchasing property in Cyprus has a variety of potential pitfalls. The British High Commission encourages potential buyers to exercise extreme care 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 take out mortgages on land or property. If you sign a contract with a developer and there is currently a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to become liable for that home loan ought to the builder, developer or landowner declare personal bankruptcy.

    You need to ask your lawyer to check for home mortgages placed on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is obtained from the Land Computer registry. It needs to be kept in mind that in order to acquire a Land Browse Certificate one needs an appropriate authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are made aware of a home loan prior to signing an agreement it is unlikely that you will obtain the deeds in your name until the home mortgage is settled.

    Legal representatives are not needed to check for home mortgages automatically, although great legal representatives ought to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government introduced a Specific Efficiency Law to offer an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan however we still strongly recommend that you check no home loans have actually been placed on the land prior to buy to ensure you do not encounter possible troubles at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other issues most often raised by British nationals include:

    • attorneys acting for both suppliers or contractors for that reason not independent
    • building works taking place without the right planning authorization or structure license (eg electrical energy or water).
    • changes in currency and rate of interest affecting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or fees not being consisted of in the preliminary agreement.
    • problem in getting certificates of last completion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • problem in getting title deeds.
    • problem in acquiring redress after issues are determined.
      With all property purchases, we strongly advise that you seek your own independent legal advice.

    You should look for competent independent legal recommendations on your rights and approaches of redress if you have acquired a property or land and are encountering troubles.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to provide legal recommendations or become involved with conflicts in between private celebrations. We direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to help and we can raise systemic problems, issues which impact a number of consumers, with local 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 many properties is disputed in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes might have severe monetary and legal ramifications. The European Court of Human Rights has actually ruled in a number of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus before 1974 continue to be considered as the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers could deal with legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, along with efforts to implement judgments from these courts elsewhere in the EU, including the UK. There has been at least one effective case to enforce judgments in the UK, putting at risk property owned in the UK.

    One key problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and prospective buyers must likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue might have major consequences for property they buy, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to payment 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 should guarantee they are fully aware of the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of immigrants purchasing property, including the requirement to get consent to the transfer of property. Even when buying pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be declined approval to acquire the land/property and no factor for the rejection may be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, a modification to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code relating to property came into result. Under the modification, buying, selling, leasing, promoting or mortgaging a property without the consent of the owner (the individual whose ownership is registered 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 modification to the law likewise states that any effort to undertake such a deal is a criminal offence and could result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that occurred prior to 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 prohibited transfer of Greek Cypriot property and might be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone discovered in possession of these files may be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and could deal with criminal procedures under the 20 October amendment.

    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.

    Task 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 meeting those requirements), please call the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. They will have the ability to check your file and encourage on what steps to take if you want to attempt to reclaim your property.

    The British High Commission is not able to help dual nationals in the country 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).

    Individuals considering the purchase of unmovable property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be mindful that the consent 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 buy unmovable 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 previously acquired permission. Failure to obtain the authorization of the Administrator suggests that the acquisition and registration of the immovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will offer consent just in the most remarkable situations.

    You need to likewise understand that it is an offence for individuals besides “acknowledged homeowners” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, other than in accordance with a permit issued under that Regulation. Again, you may request a certificate of recognised residence or a license, but the Administration only hardly ever consents to granting these.

    More info.

    Some of the issues that property buyers experience are extremely similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get associated with individual property problems or legal disputes, but supports neighborhood associations that are devoted to resolving the problems of property buyers.

    Associations.

    If the company, or legal consultant, you have worked with belongs to AIPP and you are dissatisfied with the services offered, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary treatment.

    Legal recommendations.

    British residents affected by property issues should take independent legal recommendations from regional lawyers.

    Local police.

    You ought to make a declaration to the regional police if you think that you have actually been subject to a property criminal offense. Remember to get a copy of the statement and ask for the event number. Please note, there might be a time constraint in between the time of the alleged criminal activity and the time within which you make your problem.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (also referred to 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 constraints) and authorities of the main government and regional administrations in addition to anyone serving as agents or partners of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public goals or services. Contact details are on their website.

    It is very important to keep in mind that the Ombudsman might not step in under the following circumstances:.

    • whenever the public administration has not been included.
    • in the event of disputes or disagreements between people.
    • after one year from the minute when the citizen had knowledge of the occasions of his grievance.
    • in the event of anonymous grievances, without particular claims providing bad faith or any claims that may damage genuine rights of 3rd parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • complaints versus attorneys.

    Complaints against legal representatives 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.

    Problems against legal representatives practising in the north of Cyprus might be made in writing to the pertinent local ‘Bar Association’. There is a separate ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Preliminary investigations into problems happen within the appropriate district but 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 person: 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

    Grievances versus the legal system should 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 learn more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Assist in the UK.

    If you believe you have actually been a victim of property scams, we have published recommendations on which UK authorities to call.

    If you were living in the UK when you made your purchase you may want to contact the UK European Consumer Centre. 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 assist customers with cross-border disputes. When problems arise if they believe 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 details works, please know that it is not intended to be the only assistance for potential purchasers to follow when thinking about purchasing. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or precision of the info which is offered at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any obligation for the material that is hosted on them. We highly recommend that potential buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary guidance at all stages of their purchase.

    The European Court of Human Rights has actually ruled in a number of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus before 1974 continue to be related to as the legal owners of that property.

    One crucial issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and prospective buyers ought to also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern might have serious consequences for property they buy, consisting of 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 authorization of the owner (the person whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. We strongly recommend that potential buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary guidance 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)