• Live in Cyprus ... LEASE in Cyprus ... BUY somewhere else.

    Assistance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Buying property in Cyprus has a number of possible mistakes. The British High Commission advises potential buyers to exercise extreme care when buying a property if the title deeds are not easily available, as it indicates your property could be at risk.

    Mortgage liability

    It is common practice for developers to take out home mortgages on land or property. If you sign a contract with a developer and there is currently a home mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to become accountable for that mortgage needs to the home builder, developer or landowner declare personal bankruptcy.

    You need to ask your lawyer to look for home loans placed on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is obtained from the Land Windows registry. It needs to be kept in mind that in order to obtain a Land Search Certificate one needs a relevant authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are warned of a home loan prior to signing a contract it is unlikely that you will get the deeds in your name till the mortgage is paid off.

    Lawyers are not required to look for home loans automatically, although good lawyers should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government introduced a Specific Efficiency Law to offer an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan nevertheless we still highly advise that you examine no home mortgages have actually been put on the land prior to acquire to guarantee you do not encounter possible troubles at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other issues most regularly raised by British nationals consist of:

    • legal representatives acting for both suppliers or contractors for that reason not independent
    • building works occurring without the right planning approval or structure authorization (eg electrical energy or water).
    • variations in currency and interest rates affecting home loans.
    • payment plans or charges not being consisted of in the initial agreement.
    • trouble in getting certificates of final completion (deeds can not be issued without this).
    • difficulty in obtaining title deeds.
    • problem in acquiring redress after problems are identified.
      With all property purchases, we highly recommend that you seek your own independent legal advice.

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

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to use legal suggestions or become involved with disagreements between private parties. Nevertheless, we direct British nationals to organisations who might have the ability to assist and we can raise systemic issues, problems which impact 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 countless claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these properties could have severe financial and legal ramifications. The European Court of Human Rights has actually ruled in a number of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus before 1974 continue to be considered as the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers could deal with legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, along with attempts to enforce judgments from these courts in other places in the EU, including the UK. There has been at least one effective case to impose judgments in the UK, endangering property owned in the UK.

    One essential problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential purchasers should likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern could have serious consequences for property they purchase, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to settlement payments.

    • in the north of Cyprus that was owned by a Greek Cypriot nationwide prior to 1974 * ^ that was subsequently categorized as exchange or ‘gift’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Buyers ought to guarantee they are completely aware of the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of immigrants purchasing property, including the requirement to acquire grant the transfer of property. Even when buying pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be refused approval to purchase the land/property and no reason for the refusal might be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, a modification to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code connecting to property came into impact. Under the modification, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the authorization of the owner (the person whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. The optimum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The change to the law likewise states that any attempt to carry out such a deal is a criminal offence and could lead to a prison sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that happened prior to 20 October 2006.

    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 belongings of these documents may be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and could face criminal proceedings under the 20 October change.

    Any queries regarding 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.

    Task Officer: +357 99 660129 (for emergency assistance and strictly after workplace 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 before 1974 (or the beneficiary of someone conference those requirements), please contact 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 inspect your file and advise on what steps to take.

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

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

    Individuals considering the purchase of unmovable property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be conscious that the authorization of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations is needed under section 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 authorization exists whether or not property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has actually formerly obtained approval. Failure to acquire the approval of the Administrator means that the acquisition and registration of the immovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide permission just in the most remarkable scenarios.

    You need to also be aware that it is an offence for persons besides “acknowledged residents” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, other than in accordance with an authorization released under that Ordinance. Once again, you might request a certificate of identified home or an authorization, however the Administration just hardly ever grant giving these.

    Further info.

    A few of the issues that property buyers experience are very comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get associated with private property issues or legal conflicts, however supports neighborhood associations that are dedicated to solving the issues of property purchasers.

    Associations.

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

    Legal recommendations.

    British residents affected by property problems should take independent legal advice from regional legal representatives.

    Regional police.

    If you believe that you have actually gone through a property criminal offense, you should make a statement to the local police. Remember to acquire a copy of the declaration and ask for the incident number. Please note, there might be a time restriction between the time of the alleged criminal activity and the time within which you make your problem.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (also referred to 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 liberty against actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some constraints) and authorities of the central government and regional administrations as well as anybody serving as representatives or collaborators of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public goals or services. Contact information are on their site.

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

    • whenever the public administration has actually not been involved.
    • in case of conflicts or disputes in between people.
    • after one year from the minute when the citizen understood the occasions of his problem.
    • in the event of confidential complaints, without specific claims providing bad faith or any claims that may harm genuine rights of 3rd parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • complaints against legal representatives.

    Grievances against lawyers practising in the Republic of Cyprus ought to 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 versus lawyers practicing in the north of Cyprus might be made in writing to the appropriate local ‘Bar Association’. There is a different ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Initial investigations into complaints take place within the pertinent 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 person: Mine Vehit, e-mail: 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 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 find out more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Help in the UK.

    We have released guidance(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 call the UK European Consumer Centre. This is part of the European Customer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been established by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist customers with cross-border disagreements. The UK European Consumer Centre provides details and recommendations on issues with buying across borders and can arbitrate when issues arise if they think it may 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 is useful, please understand that it is not intended to be the only assistance for potential buyers to follow when considering making a purchase. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or accuracy of the info 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 highly advise that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial recommendations at all phases of their purchase.

    The European Court of Person Rights has actually ruled in a number of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus prior to 1974 continue to be related to as the legal owners of that property.

    One crucial concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and prospective buyers need to also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue might have serious effects for property they acquire, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to payment payments. Under the modification, buying, selling, leasing, promoting or mortgaging a property without the permission of the owner (the individual whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We highly suggest that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary advice at all phases of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

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