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    Assistance

    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 number of possible mistakes. The British High Commission encourages potential purchasers to exercise extreme care when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily offered, as it means your property could be at risk.

    Home mortgage liability

    It prevails practice for developers to get home mortgages on land or property. If you sign a contract with a designer and there is currently a mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are likely to end up being liable for that mortgage ought to the contractor, developer or landowner declare insolvency.

    You ought to ask your lawyer to check for home loans placed on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is acquired from the Land Pc registry. It ought to be kept in mind that in order to get a Land Browse Certificate one requires a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are made aware of a home loan prior to signing a contract it is unlikely that you will get the deeds in your name till the home mortgage is paid off.

    Legal representatives are not required to look for home mortgages immediately, although excellent lawyers need to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government presented a Specific Performance Law to offer a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan however we still highly recommend that you check no mortgages have been placed on the land prior to purchase 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 consist of:

    • lawyers acting for both contractors or suppliers for that reason not independent
    • constructing works happening without the correct preparation authorization or structure permit (eg electrical power or water).
    • changes in currency and interest rates impacting home loans.
    • payment plans or fees not being included in the preliminary agreement.
    • problem in obtaining certificates of last completion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • difficulty in obtaining title deeds.
    • trouble in getting redress after problems are determined.
      With all property purchases, we highly suggest that you seek your own independent legal guidance.

    You need to seek qualified independent legal advice on your rights and techniques of redress if you have bought a property or land and are coming across difficulties.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to use legal guidance or become involved with disagreements between private celebrations. Nevertheless, we direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to assist and we can raise systemic concerns, issues which affect a number of customers, with regional 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 numerous properties is challenged in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes could 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 considered as the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers could deal with 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, including the UK. There has actually been at least one successful case to impose rulings in the UK, threatening property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both neighborhoods are presently in settlements to try to solve the Cyprus problem. One crucial 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 issue might have major consequences for property they purchase, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to payment payments. In particular, prospective buyers ought to think about the ramifications of any future settlement on land/property:.

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

    Purchasers must ensure they are totally familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of foreigners purchasing property, including the requirement to obtain grant the transfer of property. Even when purchasing pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be declined approval to acquire the land/property and no reason for the rejection may be offered.

    On 20 October 2006, a change to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code associating with property entered into result. Under the change, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the authorization of the owner (the individual 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 offense. The optimum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The modification to the law also specifies that any attempt to carry out such a deal is a criminal offence and could result in a prison sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that occurred prior to 20 October 2006.

    Likewise documents associating with the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to connect to the prohibited transfer of Greek Cypriot property and may undergo confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone found in belongings of these files may be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and could deal with criminal procedures under the 20 October change.

    Any queries concerning 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.

    Task 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 before 1974.

    If you are a British nationwide and owned a property in the north of Cyprus prior to 1974 (or the successor of someone meeting those requirements), please call the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you want to try to reclaim your property, they will be able to check your file and recommend on what actions to take.

    The British High Commission is unable to assist double nationals in the country of their other nationality. If you are a double 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 Locations (SBAs).

    Persons considering the purchase of unmovable property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be aware that the authorization of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations is required under area 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Regulation 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to purchase unmovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for permission exists whether or not property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has previously acquired authorization. Failure to acquire 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 approval only in the most extraordinary scenarios.

    You should likewise know that it is an offence for persons besides “recognised locals” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, except in accordance with a license issued under that Regulation. Once again, you might get a certificate of acknowledged residence or an authorization, but the Administration only hardly ever consents to granting these.

    More details.

    A few of the issues that property buyers experience are extremely comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get associated with specific property problems or legal disagreements, but supports neighborhood associations that are devoted to resolving the problems of property buyers.

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal advisor, you have worked with belongs to AIPP and you are unhappy with the services supplied, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary treatment.

    Legal advice.

    British citizens affected by property issues ought to take independent legal guidance from regional legal representatives.

    Regional authorities.

    If you think that you have undergone a property criminal activity, you need to make a declaration to the local police. Keep in mind to acquire a copy of the statement and request for the incident number. Please note, there might be a time restriction in between the time of the supposed criminal offense and the time within which you make your problem.

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

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of people, including foreign nationals, in order to defend 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 local administrations as well as anybody functioning as agents or partners of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact details are on their website.

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

    • whenever the general public administration has actually not been included.
    • in case of disputes or conflicts between individuals.
    • after one year from the moment when the resident understood the events of his grievance.
    • in case of anonymous problems, without specific claims presenting bad faith or any claims that might damage legitimate rights of 3rd parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • grievances versus attorneys.

    Problems against attorneys practising in the Republic of Cyprus need to 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 practicing in the north of Cyprus may be made in writing to the pertinent regional ‘Bar Association’. There is a different ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Preliminary examinations into complaints take place within the relevant district however they are then passed onto the general organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

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

    Grievances versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Grievances versus 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 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 actually published advice on which UK authorities to call.

    If you were residing in the UK when you made your purchase you might want to get in touch with the UK European Consumer Centre. This is 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 customers with cross-border disagreements. When issues develop if they believe it might help, the UK European Consumer Centre provides information and suggestions 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 information works, please understand that it is not meant to be the only guidance for prospective buyers to follow when considering buying. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or accuracy of the info which is readily available at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any obligation for the material that is hosted on them. We highly advise that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus look for 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 regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    One crucial concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible buyers should likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have serious repercussions for property they acquire, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to settlement payments. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the authorization of the owner (the person whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We strongly advise that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial recommendations at all phases of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

    • Caution regarding property purchases in the occupied area of Cyprus(link)
    • Living in Cyprus(link)