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    Assistance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Buying property in Cyprus has a number of potential risks. The British High Commission encourages prospective purchasers to exercise severe caution when buying a property if the title deeds are not easily available, as it implies your property could be at risk.

    Home mortgage liability

    It prevails practice for developers to secure home mortgages on land or property. If you sign a contract with a designer and there is currently a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to end up being responsible for that mortgage needs to the contractor, designer or landowner state bankruptcy.

    You must ask your attorney to look for home mortgages placed on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is acquired from the Land Computer registry. It should be noted that in order to acquire a Land Search Certificate one requires a relevant authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are warned of a home mortgage prior to signing an agreement it is unlikely that you will get the deeds in your name until the mortgage is settled.

    Attorneys are not needed to look for home loans immediately, although good attorneys should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government presented a Particular Efficiency Law to provide a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home mortgage however we still strongly advise that you examine no home mortgages have been put on the land prior to buy to guarantee you do not face prospective problems at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other problems most frequently raised by British nationals include:

    • lawyers acting for both builders or vendors therefore not independent
    • building works occurring without the correct planning permission or structure authorization (eg electrical power or water).
    • fluctuations in currency and interest rates affecting mortgages.
    • payment plans or charges not being included in the initial contract.
    • difficulty in acquiring certificates of last completion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • trouble in getting title deeds.
    • problem in acquiring redress after issues are determined.
      With all property purchases, we highly suggest that you seek your own independent legal guidance.

    If you have actually acquired a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you ought to look for competent independent legal guidance on your rights and approaches of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to provide legal recommendations or become included with disagreements in between personal celebrations. Nevertheless, we direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to help and we can raise systemic issues, problems which affect a variety of clients, with regional authorities.

    You can check on the Association of International Property Professionals website to see if a company or legal consultant are members.

    Buying property in the north of Cyprus.

    The ownership of numerous homes is challenged in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these residential or commercial properties could have serious financial 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 regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers could deal with legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as efforts to implement judgments from these courts somewhere else in the EU, including the UK. There has been at least one successful case to implement judgments in the UK, threatening property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both neighborhoods are presently in settlements to attempt to resolve the Cyprus issue. One essential concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Homeowner and potential purchasers should also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern could have major effects for property they purchase, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to settlement payments. In particular, prospective purchasers 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 national prior to 1974 * ^ that was consequently categorized as exchange or ‘present’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Buyers should guarantee they are totally knowledgeable about the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of foreigners acquiring property, consisting of the requirement to acquire consent to the transfer of property. Even when buying pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be declined permission to buy the land/property and no reason for the refusal might be offered.

    On 20 October 2006, a change to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code relating to 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 signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer system 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 effort to undertake such a transaction is a criminal offence and might lead to a prison sentence of up to 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that took place before 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 illegal transfer of Greek Cypriot property and may undergo confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone discovered in possession of these documents might be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and might face criminal procedures under the 20 October amendment.

    Any queries relating to the scope of this law must 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 prior to 1974 (or the beneficiary of someone conference those criteria), please call the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you wish to try to reclaim your property, they will be able to check your file and advise on what steps to take.

    The British High Commission is unable to assist dual nationals in the nation of their other nationality. , if you are a double British/Cypriot national you must 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 thinking about the purchase of stationary property (such as land) in the SBAs need 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) Regulation 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to acquire 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 formerly acquired authorization. Failure to get the permission of the Administrator suggests that the acquisition and registration of the stationary property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide permission just in the most exceptional scenarios.

    You must also understand that it is an offense for individuals aside from “recognised locals” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, other than in accordance with a permit issued under that Regulation. Once again, you might look for a certificate of identified home or a license, but the Administration only seldom consents to giving these.

    Further info.

    Some of the issues that property buyers experience are very comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get involved in individual property issues or legal conflicts, however supports neighborhood associations that are dedicated to fixing the problems of property buyers.

    Associations.

    If the company, or legal consultant, you have dealt with belongs to AIPP and you are dissatisfied with the services provided, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary procedure.

    Legal recommendations.

    British people affected by property issues ought to take independent legal guidance from local lawyers.

    Local cops.

    You must make a statement to the local police if you believe that you have been subject to a property criminal activity. Remember to acquire a copy of the declaration and ask for the event number. Please note, there might be a time limitation between the time of the alleged criminal activity and the time within which you make your problem.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (also called Commissioner of Administration and Defense of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of people, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to safeguard their rights and flexibility against actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some restrictions) and authorities of the central government and local administrations in addition to 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 very important to note that the Ombudsman might not step in under the following circumstances:.

    • whenever the public administration has actually not been included.
    • in case of conflicts or conflicts between individuals.
    • When the resident had understanding of the occasions of his grievance, after one year from the minute.
    • in the event of anonymous problems, without particular claims presenting bad faith or any claims that might harm genuine rights of third parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • problems against lawyers.

    Complaints against attorneys practicing 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.

    Grievances against lawyers practicing 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.

    Initial investigations into complaints happen within the appropriate district but they are then passed onto the total organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact details of local ‘bar associations’:.

    • Nicosia: contact individual: Arzu İzveren, e-mail: 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, e-mail: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Complaints versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Grievances against 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.

    Assist in the UK.

    We have actually released suggestions(Link) on which UK authorities to get in touch with if you believe you have been a victim of property scams.

    When you made your purchase you may want to get in touch with the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. 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 help consumers with cross-border disputes. When problems develop if they think it might assist, the UK European Consumer Centre gives info 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 is useful, please understand that it is not meant to be the only assistance for potential buyers to follow when thinking about making a purchase. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or accuracy of the info which is available at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any obligation for the material that is hosted on them. We highly suggest that potential buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial recommendations at all stages of their purchase.

    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.

    One key problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and prospective purchasers must also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem could have serious consequences for property they purchase, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to compensation payments. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, promoting or mortgaging a property without the permission of the owner (the individual 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 highly recommend that potential buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary 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)