• Live in Cyprus ... LEASE in Cyprus ... BUY in other places.

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Getting property in Cyprus has a variety of potential mistakes. The British High Commission recommends prospective purchasers to exercise extreme caution when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily offered, as it implies your property could be at risk.

    Home mortgage liability

    It is common practice for designers to take out mortgages on land or property. If you sign a contract with a developer and there is currently a mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to end up being accountable for that home loan must the home builder, developer or landowner state bankruptcy.

    You need to ask your legal representative to check for mortgages placed on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is obtained from the Land Pc registry. It should be kept in mind that in order to obtain a Land Search Certificate one requires a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are warned of a home mortgage before signing a contract it is unlikely that you will get the deeds in your name till the home loan is settled.

    Attorneys are not needed to check for mortgages instantly, although good lawyers need to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government presented a Particular Performance Law to give an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing mortgage nevertheless we still highly recommend that you examine no mortgages have actually been placed on the land prior to buy to ensure you do not run into potential troubles at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other issues most frequently raised by British nationals consist of:

    • legal representatives acting for both builders or vendors therefore not independent
    • building works occurring without the proper preparation permission or building license (eg electrical power or water).
    • fluctuations in currency and interest rates affecting mortgages.
    • payment plans or charges not being included in the initial contract.
    • difficulty in obtaining certificates of last conclusion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • difficulty in obtaining title deeds.
    • difficulty in acquiring redress after problems are identified.
      With all property purchases, we highly suggest that you seek your own independent legal advice.

    If you have purchased a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you need to seek qualified independent legal advice on your rights and approaches of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to use legal guidance or become involved with disputes between private parties. Nevertheless, we direct British nationals to organisations who might have the ability to help and we can raise systemic concerns, problems which affect a variety of clients, with regional 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 many properties is challenged in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these residential or commercial properties could have severe 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.

    Purchasers might face legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, in addition to attempts to implement judgments from these courts in other places in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has actually been at least one effective case to impose rulings in the UK, putting at risk property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both communities are presently in settlements to attempt to fix the Cyprus problem. One crucial 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 concern might 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 consequently classified as exchange or ‘gift’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Buyers must ensure they are fully knowledgeable about the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of immigrants purchasing property, consisting of the requirement to get consent to the transfer of property. Even when purchasing pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be refused consent to purchase the land/property and no reason for the rejection may be given.

    On 20 October 2006, an amendment to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code associating with property came into result. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the permission of the owner (the person 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 optimum jail sentence is 7 years.

    The change to the law also states that any effort to undertake 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 prior to 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 illegal transfer of Greek Cypriot property and might be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone discovered in possession of these documents might be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and could face criminal procedures under the 20 October modification.

    Any queries regarding the scope of this law must 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 contact 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 encourage on what steps to take if you wish to attempt to recover your property.

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

    .

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

    Individuals thinking about the purchase of unmovable property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be mindful that the approval 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 purchase unmovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for permission exists whether or not property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has actually previously gotten approval. 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 approval just in the most extraordinary scenarios.

    You must also understand that it is an offence for persons besides “acknowledged residents” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, other than in accordance with a license released under that Ordinance. Again, you might apply for a certificate of identified home or a license, however the Administration just seldom consents to giving these.

    Further information.

    Some of the problems that property buyers experience are extremely similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get involved in private property issues or legal conflicts, but supports community associations that are devoted to solving the issues of property buyers.

    Associations.

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

    Legal guidance.

    British residents affected by property issues ought to take independent legal advice from local legal representatives.

    Local police.

    You ought to make a statement to the local police if you believe that you have been subject to a property criminal offense. Remember to get a copy of the statement and request for the incident number. Please note, there might be a time limitation between the time of the supposed crime and the time within which you make your grievance.

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

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of citizens, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to protect their rights and freedom versus actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some constraints) and authorities of the central federal government and regional administrations as well as anybody serving as agents 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 necessary to keep in mind that the Ombudsman may not step in under the following circumstances:.

    • whenever the general public administration has not been involved.
    • in the event of conflicts or disagreements in between individuals.
    • When the person had understanding of the occasions of his problem, after one year from the moment.
    • in case of anonymous complaints, without specific claims providing bad faith or any claims that might damage legitimate rights of third parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • problems against attorneys.

    Problems versus legal representatives practicing in the Republic of Cyprus need to 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.

    Site: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

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

    Preliminary investigations into grievances take place within the appropriate district but they are then passed onto the total 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 individual: Gürcan Bayramoğlu, email: gurcanbayramoglu@hotmail.com phone: 0090392816 06 22.
    • Famagusta: contact person: 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 against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Grievances versus 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 discover more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Assist in the UK.

    If you think you have actually been a victim of property fraud, we have actually released suggestions on which UK authorities to call.

    If you were living in the UK when you made your purchase you might wish to call the UK European Consumer Centre. This belongs to the European Customer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to help consumers with cross-border conflicts. When issues arise if they think it might assist, the UK European Consumer Centre offers info and suggestions 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 information is useful, please understand that it is not intended to be the only assistance for prospective buyers to follow when considering purchasing. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or precision of the information which is offered at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any duty for the material that is hosted on them. We highly recommend that potential buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary recommendations 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 prior to 1974 continue to be regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    One crucial 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 could have major repercussions for property they acquire, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to payment payments. Under the modification, buying, selling, leasing, promoting or mortgaging a property without the approval of the owner (the individual whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We highly advise that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial recommendations at all phases of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

    • Caution regarding property purchases in the occupied area of Cyprus(link)
    • Living in Cyprus(link)