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    Assistance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Buying property in Cyprus has a number of potential pitfalls. The British High Commission recommends possible purchasers to exercise severe care when buying a property if the title deeds are not easily offered, as it suggests your property could be at risk.

    Home mortgage liability

    It is common practice for designers to take out 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 likely to end up being responsible for that mortgage should the builder, designer or landowner state insolvency.

    You need to ask your attorney to check for home mortgages put on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is obtained from the Land Windows registry. It ought to be kept in mind that in order to get a Land Browse Certificate one requires a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made aware of a home loan before signing a contract it is unlikely that you will acquire the deeds in your name up until the home loan is paid off.

    .

    Attorneys are not required to check for mortgages automatically, although excellent lawyers ought to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government presented a Specific Efficiency Law to offer an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan nevertheless we still strongly advise that you examine no mortgages have actually been placed on the land prior to buy to ensure you do not run into potential difficulties at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most often raised by British nationals consist of:

    • attorneys acting for both vendors or builders therefore not independent
    • building works occurring without the proper planning permission or structure authorization (eg electrical power or water).
    • changes in currency and rates of interest affecting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or costs not being consisted of in the initial agreement.
    • problem in obtaining certificates of final conclusion (deeds can not be issued without this).
    • trouble in getting title deeds.
    • difficulty in getting redress after problems are recognized.
      With all property purchases, we strongly recommend that you seek your own independent legal guidance.

    You ought to look for certified independent legal advice on your rights and methods of redress if you have actually acquired a property or land and are encountering problems.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to offer legal advice or end up being involved with disagreements in between personal celebrations. We direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to help 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 company or legal advisor are members.

    Buying property in the north of Cyprus.

    The ownership of many homes is contested in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these residential or commercial properties could have serious monetary and legal ramifications. 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 regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers could deal with legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, along with efforts to enforce judgments from these courts elsewhere in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has actually been at least one successful case to enforce rulings in the UK, putting at risk property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both neighborhoods are currently in negotiations to try to fix the Cyprus problem. One key issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers need to also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern could have major consequences for property they buy, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments. In particular, potential buyers should 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”.

    Buyers must ensure they are fully familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of foreigners acquiring property, consisting of the requirement to get consent to the transfer of property. Even when acquiring pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be refused authorization to buy the land/property and no factor for the rejection may be offered.

    On 20 October 2006, an amendment to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code connecting to property entered impact. 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 offence. The optimum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The modification to the law likewise mentions that any attempt to undertake such a deal is a criminal offence and might lead to a prison sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that occurred before 20 October 2006.

    Files 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 may be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone found 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 amendment.

    Any queries 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 before 1974.

    If you are a British nationwide and owned a property in the north of Cyprus before 1974 (or the beneficiary of someone meeting 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 recover your property, they will be able to examine your file and encourage on what steps to take.

    The British High Commission is unable to assist double nationals in the nation of their other citizenship. If you are a dual British/Cypriot nationwide you must approach your regional authorities in regard of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

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

    The requirement for approval exists whether or not property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has previously obtained consent. Failure to obtain the permission of the Administrator means that the acquisition and registration of the stationary property in question is null and void. The Administrator will offer permission only in the most extraordinary circumstances.

    You should also know that it is an offence for individuals other than “acknowledged homeowners” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, other than in accordance with an authorization provided under that Ordinance. Again, you may request a certificate of acknowledged house or an authorization, but the Administration just hardly ever consents to granting these.

    Further info.

    A few of the problems that property purchasers experience are very similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get associated with private property issues or legal conflicts, but supports neighborhood associations that are devoted to fixing the issues of property buyers.

    Associations.

    If the company, or legal advisor, you have actually dealt with belongs to AIPP and you are unhappy with the services supplied, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary treatment.

    Legal suggestions.

    British residents affected by property problems must take independent legal recommendations from local legal representatives.

    Local authorities.

    You ought to make a statement to the local authorities if you believe that you have been subject to a property criminal activity. Keep in mind to acquire a copy of the declaration and ask for the incident number. Please note, there may be a time restriction in between the time of the supposed crime and the time within which you make your complaint.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (likewise called Commissioner of Administration and Protection of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of people, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to protect their rights and liberty against actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some restrictions) and authorities of the main federal government and regional administrations in addition to anybody functioning as representatives or partners of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact information are on their website.

    It is very important to keep in mind that the Ombudsman may not intervene under the following situations:.

    • whenever the general public administration has not been included.
    • in case of disputes or conflicts in between people.
    • after one year from the moment when the person had knowledge of the events of his complaint.
    • in the event of anonymous complaints, without particular claims presenting bad faith or any claims that might damage genuine rights of third parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • problems versus lawyers.

    Complaints versus attorneys practicing in the Republic of Cyprus should be addressed 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 versus attorneys practising in the north of Cyprus might be made in writing to the appropriate local ‘Bar Association’. There is a separate ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Initial investigations into grievances happen within the appropriate district but they are then passed onto the general 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 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 individual: Mehtun Muslu, email: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Complaints versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Problems against the legal system need 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.

    If you think you have been a victim of property scams, we have actually published guidance on which UK authorities to call.

    When you made your purchase you might want to contact the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. This is part of the European Customer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist customers with cross-border disagreements. The UK European Consumer Centre gives info and recommendations on problems with buying across borders and can arbitrate when problems arise if they think 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 information is useful, please be aware that it is not meant to be the only guidance for prospective purchasers to follow when thinking about purchasing. In addition, we make no representation regarding the quality or precision of the info which is offered at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any obligation for the content that is hosted on them. We highly recommend that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary advice at all stages of their purchase.

    The European Court of Human being Rights has actually ruled in a number of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus before 1974 continue to be concerned 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 possible purchasers ought to also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern could have serious repercussions for property they purchase, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the approval of the owner (the individual 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 strongly recommend that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary 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)