• Leading pointers for Cyprus's novice purchasers.

    Assistance

    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 number of potential pitfalls. The British High Commission encourages prospective purchasers to work out severe care 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 is common practice for developers to get mortgages on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a designer and there is currently a mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are likely to become responsible for that home mortgage must the builder, developer or landowner declare personal bankruptcy.

    You need to ask your attorney to look for mortgages put on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is obtained from the Land Pc registry. It should be noted that in order to obtain a Land Search Certificate one requires a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made mindful of a home mortgage before signing a contract it is unlikely that you will get the deeds in your name up until the home loan is paid off.

    .

    Legal representatives are not needed to check for home mortgages instantly, although great legal representatives must do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government presented a Particular Efficiency Law to give an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing mortgage nevertheless we still strongly recommend that you check no mortgages have been placed on the land prior to buy to ensure you do not encounter potential difficulties at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other problems most often raised by British nationals consist of:

    • legal representatives acting for both contractors or vendors therefore not independent
    • building works taking place without the right planning approval or structure permit (eg electricity or water).
    • variations in currency and interest rates affecting mortgages.
    • payment plans or charges not being consisted of in the preliminary contract.
    • difficulty in obtaining certificates of final conclusion (deeds can not be issued without this).
    • difficulty in obtaining title deeds.
    • trouble in getting redress after problems are identified.
      With all property purchases, we highly recommend that you seek your own independent legal advice.

    You should look for certified independent legal recommendations on your rights and techniques of redress if you have acquired a property or land and are experiencing difficulties.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to provide legal advice or become included with disagreements between private celebrations. However, we direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to help and we can raise systemic issues, issues which impact a variety of consumers, with regional authorities.

    You can examine 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 residential or commercial properties is disputed in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes might have severe monetary and legal implications. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in a number of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus prior to 1974 continue to be considered as the legal owners of that property.

    Purchasers might face legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as efforts to enforce judgments from these courts somewhere else in the EU, including the UK. There has been at least one successful case to impose judgments in the UK, threatening property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both neighborhoods are presently in negotiations to attempt to resolve the Cyprus issue. One crucial problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible purchasers ought to also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern could have severe repercussions for property they purchase, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to settlement payments. In particular, potential purchasers ought to think about the implications 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 subsequently classified as exchange or ‘gift’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Purchasers ought to ensure they are totally familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of immigrants acquiring property, consisting of the requirement to acquire grant the transfer of property. Even when purchasing pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be refused permission to purchase 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 impact. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging a property or promoting without the consent of the owner (the individual whose ownership is registered 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 prison sentence is 7 years.

    The modification to the law likewise specifies that any effort to undertake such a transaction is a criminal offence and might result in a jail sentence of as much as 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that happened before 20 October 2006.

    Also documents 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 undergo confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anybody discovered in ownership of these documents may be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and could deal with criminal proceedings under the 20 October modification.

    Any enquiries 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.

    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 beneficiary of somebody meeting those requirements), please get in touch with the British High Commission by email, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. They will have the ability to check your file and advise on what actions to take if you want to try to recover your property.

    The British High Commission is unable to assist double nationals in the country of their other citizenship. If you are a dual British/Cypriot national you should approach your local authorities in respect of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Persons considering the purchase of stationary property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be mindful that the consent of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas is required 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 authorization exists whether property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has previously acquired authorization. Failure to obtain the approval of the Administrator indicates that the acquisition and registration of the stationary property in question is null and void. The Administrator will give consent only in the most exceptional situations.

    You must also know that it is an offense for individuals besides “acknowledged residents” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, except in accordance with an authorization provided under that Regulation. Once again, you might make an application for a certificate of acknowledged home or a permit, however the Administration just hardly ever grant approving these.

    Further information.

    A few of the problems that property purchasers experience are very similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get associated with private property issues or legal disagreements, but supports community associations that are devoted to dealing with the problems of property purchasers.

    Associations.

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

    Legal guidance.

    British people impacted by property problems should take independent legal suggestions from local legal representatives.

    Regional cops.

    You need to make a declaration to the regional cops if you believe that you have actually been subject to a property criminal activity. Remember to obtain a copy of the declaration and ask for the occurrence number. Please note, there may be a time constraint between the time of the supposed criminal offense and the time within which you make your grievance.

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

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of residents, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to safeguard their rights and freedom versus actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some limitations) and authorities of the central government and local administrations as well as anybody serving as representatives or collaborators of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact details are on their site.

    It is important to note that the Ombudsman might not step in under the following situations:.

    • whenever the public administration has not been included.
    • in the event of conflicts or conflicts in between people.
    • When the resident had knowledge of the events of his complaint, after one year from the minute.
    • in the event of anonymous problems, without particular claims providing bad faith or any claims that may damage legitimate rights of 3rd parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • grievances versus legal representatives.

    Complaints versus legal representatives practising in the Republic of Cyprus should be resolved 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.

    Site: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

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

    Initial investigations into problems take place within the relevant district however they are then passed onto the overall 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 person: Gürcan Bayramoğlu, email: gurcanbayramoglu@hotmail.com phone: 0090392816 06 22.
    • Famagusta: contact individual: Mine Vehit, e-mail: mine-vehit@hotmail.com phone: 0090392366 16 88.
    • Morphou: contact person: Mehtun Muslu, email: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Grievances against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Grievances versus the legal system ought to 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.

    Help in the UK.

    We have actually published guidance(Link) on which UK authorities to call if you think you have actually been a victim of property scams.

    If you were residing in the UK when you made your purchase you may 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 conflicts. The UK European Consumer Centre gives information and guidance on problems with buying across borders and can arbitrate when issues emerge if they believe it might help.

    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 works, please know that it is not intended to be the only assistance for potential buyers to follow when thinking about buying. In addition, we make no representation regarding the quality or accuracy of the details which is offered at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any obligation for the material that is hosted on them. We strongly advise that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary guidance at all stages of their purchase.

    The European Court of Person 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 concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers should also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern could have major effects for property they buy, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to settlement payments. Under the change, buying, selling, leasing, promoting or mortgaging a property without the approval of the owner (the person 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 offense. We highly recommend that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial guidance at all phases of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

    • Land and Property(link)
    • Housing Schemes(link)