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    Assistance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Getting property in Cyprus has a number of possible mistakes. The British High Commission advises possible purchasers to work out extreme care 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 is common practice for developers to take out mortgages on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a designer and there is currently a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are likely to become responsible for that home mortgage needs to the contractor, designer or landowner state personal bankruptcy.

    You should ask your attorney to check for mortgages put on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is gotten from the Land Windows registry. It needs to be noted that in order to acquire a Land Search Certificate one needs a relevant authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made conscious of a home loan before signing an agreement it is not likely that you will obtain the deeds in your name until the home loan is paid off.

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    Lawyers are not required to look for home loans instantly, although great attorneys ought to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government introduced a Particular Performance Law to give a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan however we still strongly suggest that you examine no home mortgages have been put on the land prior to buy to ensure you do not encounter potential problems at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other issues most frequently raised by British nationals include:

    • lawyers acting for both contractors or suppliers therefore not independent
    • developing works occurring without the correct planning authorization or structure authorization (eg electrical energy or water).
    • variations in currency and rates of interest affecting home loans.
    • payment plans or costs not being included in the initial agreement.
    • problem in getting certificates of final completion (deeds can not be issued without this).
    • difficulty in acquiring title deeds.
    • difficulty in obtaining redress after issues are identified.
      With all property purchases, we highly advise that you seek your own independent legal advice.

    You need to look for qualified independent legal suggestions on your rights and techniques of redress if you have acquired a property or land and are coming across difficulties.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to use legal suggestions or become included with conflicts between personal parties. Nevertheless, we direct British nationals to organisations who may have the ability to help and we can raise systemic problems, problems which impact a number of customers, 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 lots of residential or commercial properties is disputed in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes might have major financial and legal implications. 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 might face legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, in addition to attempts to enforce judgments from these courts somewhere else in the EU, including the UK. There has actually been at least one successful case to enforce 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 issue. One key problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and prospective purchasers need to also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue might have severe repercussions for property they purchase, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments. In particular, potential purchasers 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 nationwide prior to 1974 * ^ that was consequently classified as exchange or ‘gift’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Buyers need to ensure they are totally familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of foreigners buying property, consisting of the requirement to obtain consent to the transfer of property. Even when purchasing pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be declined approval to purchase the land/property and no reason for the rejection may be offered.

    On 20 October 2006, an amendment to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code associating with property entered impact. Under the modification, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the authorization of the owner (the individual whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer system registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. The maximum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The modification to the law likewise states that any effort to carry out such a transaction is a criminal offence and might result in a prison sentence of as much as 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that occurred before 20 October 2006.

    Likewise documents relating to the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to relate to the unlawful transfer of Greek Cypriot property and may be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone discovered in possession of these documents may be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and could face criminal proceedings under the 20 October modification.

    Any queries concerning 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.

    Responsibility 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 before 1974 (or the heir of someone conference 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 advise on what steps to take if you wish to try to recover your property.

    The British High Commission is not able to help double nationals in the nation of their other nationality. , if you are a double British/Cypriot nationwide you ought to 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 unmovable property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be conscious that the permission 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 buy unmovable 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 formerly obtained authorization. Failure to obtain the permission of the Administrator implies that the acquisition and registration of the unmovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will give permission only in the most remarkable circumstances.

    You ought to also understand that it is an offence for individuals besides “acknowledged citizens” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, except in accordance with a permit provided under that Ordinance. Once again, you may make an application for a certificate of acknowledged home or a license, but the Administration just rarely consents to approving these.

    Additional information.

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

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal advisor, you have actually dealt with is a member of AIPP and you are unhappy with the services provided, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary treatment.

    Legal recommendations.

    British citizens impacted by property problems need to take independent legal suggestions from local legal representatives.

    Regional cops.

    If you believe that you have undergone a property crime, you ought to make a declaration to the local police. Keep in mind to obtain a copy of the declaration and request for the incident number. Please note, there might be a time restriction in between the time of the alleged criminal activity and the time within which you make your complaint.

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

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of residents, including foreign nationals, in order to protect their rights and flexibility 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 as well as anybody serving as representatives or partners of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public goals or services. Contact information are on their website.

    It is essential to keep in mind that the Ombudsman might not intervene under the following scenarios:.

    • whenever the public administration has not been included.
    • in the event of disputes or disputes in between individuals.
    • after one year from the moment when the person had knowledge of the events of his grievance.
    • in the event of anonymous grievances, without particular claims presenting bad faith or any claims that may harm legitimate rights of third parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • grievances against attorneys.

    Problems versus attorneys practicing in the Republic of Cyprus need to 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.

    Site: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Grievances against lawyers practicing in the north of Cyprus may be made in writing to the pertinent regional ‘Bar Association’. There is a separate ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Preliminary investigations into problems occur within the pertinent district however they are then passed onto the total organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact information of local ‘bar associations’:.

    • Nicosia: contact individual: 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 person: Mine Vehit, e-mail: 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

    Problems against 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.

    We have released suggestions(Link) on which UK authorities to contact if you think you have been a victim of property scams.

    If you were living in the UK when you made your purchase you might want to contact the UK European Consumer Centre. This is part of 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. The UK European Consumer Centre offers info and suggestions on issues with buying across borders and can arbitrate when issues occur if they think it might assist.

    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 be aware that it is not meant to be the only guidance 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 details which is offered at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any responsibility for the content that is hosted on them. We strongly advise that potential buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial guidance at all phases of their purchase.

    The European Court of Human being Rights has 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 essential concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and prospective buyers need to likewise think about 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 compensation payments. Under the amendment, 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 Pc registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. We strongly suggest that potential buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial 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)