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    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Purchasing property in Cyprus has a number of prospective risks. The British High Commission encourages prospective buyers to exercise severe caution when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily offered, as it indicates your property could be at risk.

    Home loan liability

    It prevails practice for designers to secure home loans on land or property. If you sign a contract with a designer and there is already a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to become responsible for that home loan should the home builder, developer or landowner declare personal bankruptcy.

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

    Lawyers are not required to look for mortgages instantly, although excellent attorneys must do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government introduced a Specific Performance Law to provide an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing mortgage nevertheless we still highly advise that you check no mortgages have been put on the land prior to buy to ensure you do not run into prospective troubles at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other problems most frequently raised by British nationals consist of:

    • lawyers acting for both suppliers or home builders therefore not independent
    • building works occurring without the proper preparation permission or structure license (eg electrical power or water).
    • changes in currency and rate of interest impacting mortgages.
    • payment plans or fees not being consisted of in the preliminary agreement.
    • trouble in getting certificates of last conclusion (deeds can not be released without this).
    • trouble in obtaining title deeds.
    • difficulty in getting redress after issues are recognized.
      With all property purchases, we strongly advise that you seek your own independent legal advice.

    If you have actually bought a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you ought to look for qualified independent legal advice on your rights and methods of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to offer legal suggestions or end up being included with disputes between private celebrations. We direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to help and we can raise systemic issues, problems 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 numerous homes is contested in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these properties could have serious financial and legal ramifications. The European Court of Human Rights has actually ruled in a variety of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus before 1974 continue to be regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers might deal with legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, in addition to attempts to implement judgments from these courts somewhere else in the EU, including the UK. There has been at least one effective case to implement rulings in the UK, endangering property owned in the UK.

    One key issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers must likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have serious effects for property they acquire, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments.

    • 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 need to ensure they are totally aware of the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of foreigners acquiring property, consisting of the requirement to acquire grant the transfer of property. Even when buying pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be declined approval to buy the land/property and no reason for the rejection might be offered.

    On 20 October 2006, a change to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code relating to property entered impact. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging a property or promoting without the consent of the owner (the person whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Pc registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. The optimum jail sentence is 7 years.

    The amendment to the law also mentions that any attempt to undertake such a transaction is a criminal offence and could lead to a prison sentence of up to 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that took place before 20 October 2006.

    Documents 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. Anybody discovered in possession of these files might be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and could deal with criminal proceedings under the 20 October modification.

    Any enquiries relating to the scope of this law need 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 before 1974.

    If you are a British national and owned a property in the north of Cyprus prior to 1974 (or the heir of someone meeting those requirements), please get in touch with the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you wish to try to recover your property, they will be able to check your file and advise on what actions to take.

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

    .

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

    Persons thinking about the purchase of unmovable property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be aware that the approval of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations is needed under section 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Regulation 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to acquire immovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for permission exists whether property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has actually formerly obtained authorization. Failure to acquire the consent of the Administrator indicates that the acquisition and registration of the stationary property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide authorization just in the most remarkable situations.

    You must also know that it is an offence for individuals other than “identified citizens” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, other than in accordance with an authorization released under that Regulation. Once again, you might make an application for a certificate of acknowledged house or an authorization, however the Administration just seldom consents to granting these.

    Further information.

    A few of the problems that property buyers experience are extremely comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get associated with individual property issues or legal disagreements, however supports community associations that are devoted to solving the problems of property purchasers.

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal consultant, 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 treatment.

    Legal guidance.

    British residents affected by property problems need to take independent legal advice from local legal representatives.

    Local cops.

    If you believe that you have actually been subject to a property criminal activity, you should make a statement to the local police. Keep in mind to obtain a copy of the statement and request the event number. Please note, there may be a time constraint between the time of the alleged crime and the time within which you make your complaint.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (likewise referred to as Commissioner of Administration and Defense of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of residents, including foreign nationals, in order to safeguard their rights and liberty 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 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 essential to keep in mind that the Ombudsman might not step in under the following scenarios:.

    • whenever the general public administration has not been included.
    • in case of conflicts or disputes in between people.
    • When the citizen had knowledge of the occasions of his complaint, after one year from the minute.
    • in the event of confidential complaints, without specific claims presenting bad faith or any claims that might harm legitimate rights of 3rd parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • grievances versus legal representatives.

    Grievances against legal representatives practising in the Republic of Cyprus must be dealt with 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.

    Grievances against attorneys practising in the north of Cyprus may be made in writing to the relevant regional ‘Bar Association’. There is a different ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Preliminary examinations into problems happen 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 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, email: 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

    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.

    Assist in the UK.

    We have actually published recommendations(Link) on which UK authorities to contact if you believe you have actually been a victim of property scams.

    When you made your purchase you might want to contact the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. This belongs to the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist consumers with cross-border disagreements. When problems occur if they think it may help, the UK European Consumer Centre provides details 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 info is useful, please be aware that it is not planned to be the only assistance for potential purchasers to follow when considering purchasing. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or accuracy of the information 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 recommend that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary advice 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 regarded 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 purchasers must also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern could have major effects for property they acquire, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to payment payments. Under the amendment, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the approval of the owner (the person whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Windows registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. We strongly advise that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary guidance at all phases of their purchase.

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