• Leading locations to buy property in Cyprus

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Acquiring property in Cyprus has a variety of possible risks. The British High Commission recommends potential buyers to exercise severe caution when buying a property if the title deeds are not easily available, as it suggests your property could be at risk.

    Mortgage liability

    It prevails practice for designers to take out mortgages on land or property. If you sign a contract with a designer and there is already a mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to end up being accountable for that home mortgage should the home builder, designer or landowner declare insolvency.

    You should ask your lawyer to check for home mortgages placed on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is obtained from the Land Registry. It must be kept in mind that in order to obtain a Land Search Certificate one needs an appropriate authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are made aware of a mortgage before signing a contract it is unlikely that you will obtain the deeds in your name up until the mortgage is paid off.

    Attorneys are not required to check for home mortgages automatically, although great attorneys should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government presented a Specific Efficiency Law to provide an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing home mortgage however we still strongly recommend that you examine no home loans have actually been put on the land prior to acquire to ensure you do not encounter prospective problems at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most frequently raised by British nationals include:

    • lawyers acting for both vendors or contractors therefore not independent
    • developing works taking place without the correct preparation authorization or building license (eg electricity or water).
    • fluctuations in currency and interest rates impacting mortgages.
    • payment plans or costs not being included in the initial agreement.
    • difficulty in acquiring certificates of final conclusion (deeds can not be released without this).
    • problem in acquiring title deeds.
    • difficulty in obtaining redress after problems are determined.
      With all property purchases, we strongly recommend that you seek your own independent legal advice.

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

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to provide legal recommendations or end up being involved with disagreements in between private celebrations. Nevertheless, we direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to assist and we can raise systemic concerns, issues which affect a number of customers, with local authorities.

    You can check on 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 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 might have serious financial and legal implications. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in a variety of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus before 1974 continue to be considered 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 enforce judgments from these courts in other places in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has been at least one successful case to implement judgments in the UK, jeopardizing property owned in the UK.

    One crucial concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible buyers must also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem could have severe effects for property they buy, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original 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 categorized as exchange or ‘present’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Purchasers ought to guarantee they are completely knowledgeable about the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of immigrants buying property, including the requirement to obtain consent to the transfer of property. Even when buying pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be refused approval to buy the land/property and no reason for the refusal might be given.

    On 20 October 2006, a change to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code associating with property entered effect. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging a property or promoting without the consent of the owner (the person whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. The maximum jail sentence is 7 years.

    The change to the law also specifies that any attempt to carry out such a deal is a criminal offense and might result in a jail sentence of as much as 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that occurred 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 relate to the unlawful transfer of Greek Cypriot property and might be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anybody discovered in belongings of these documents might be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and could deal with criminal procedures under the 20 October amendment.

    Any enquiries relating to 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.

    Duty 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 nationwide and owned a property in the north of Cyprus prior to 1974 (or the successor of someone meeting those criteria), please contact the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. They will have the ability to examine your file and advise on what steps to take if you wish to attempt to reclaim your property.

    The British High Commission is not able to assist dual nationals in the country of their other citizenship. , if you are a double British/Cypriot nationwide you should approach your regional authorities in regard of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Persons considering the purchase of stationary property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be mindful that the permission of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas 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 stationary property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for consent exists whether or not property is presently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has formerly obtained permission. Failure to get the consent of the Administrator implies that the acquisition and registration of the stationary property in question is null and void. The Administrator will give approval just in the most extraordinary circumstances.

    You should likewise be aware that it is an offence for persons other than “recognised locals” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, except in accordance with a permit issued under that Ordinance. Again, you may make an application for a certificate of identified house or a permit, however the Administration only hardly ever consents to giving these.

    Additional information.

    A few of the problems that property buyers experience are very comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get involved in specific property problems or legal disputes, but supports community associations that are devoted to dealing with the issues of property buyers.

    Associations.

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

    Legal advice.

    British residents impacted by property issues need to take independent legal suggestions from regional legal representatives.

    Regional authorities.

    You ought to make a statement to the local cops if you think that you have actually been subject to a property crime. Remember to acquire a copy of the declaration and request the event number. Please note, there may be a time limitation between the time of the supposed crime and the time within which you make your problem.

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

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of people, including foreign nationals, in order to defend their rights and freedom versus actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some restrictions) and authorities of the main government and regional administrations in addition to anyone functioning as representatives or collaborators of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public goals or services. Contact information are on their website.

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

    • whenever the public administration has actually not been involved.
    • in case of disputes or disputes between people.
    • after one year from the moment when the citizen knew the occasions of his grievance.
    • in the event of confidential grievances, without particular 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 ruling.
    • grievances against legal representatives.

    Grievances versus lawyers practising in the Republic of Cyprus must be resolved 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.

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

    Initial examinations into grievances take place within the relevant district however they are then passed onto the total organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact details of regional ‘bar associations’:.

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

    Problems 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 learn 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 fraud.

    If you were residing in the UK when you made your purchase you might want to call the UK European Consumer Centre. This becomes part of the European Customer 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 issues emerge if they believe it may help, the UK European Consumer Centre gives info and recommendations 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 planned to be the only guidance for prospective purchasers to follow when considering making a purchase. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or accuracy of the details which is readily available at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any responsibility for the material that is hosted on them. We strongly recommend that potential buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial advice at all phases 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 related to as the legal owners of that property.

    One essential problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible purchasers should also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have serious repercussions for property they buy, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to payment payments. Under the change, 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 Registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We highly suggest that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial suggestions 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)