• Prime location: the best houses to buy in Cyprus this month.

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Purchasing property in Cyprus has a variety of prospective mistakes. The British High Commission encourages possible buyers to exercise extreme caution when buying a property if the title deeds are not easily available, as it means your property could be at risk.

    Home loan 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 already a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to end up being liable for that home loan must the contractor, developer or landowner declare insolvency.

    You must ask your lawyer to look for home mortgages put on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is acquired from the Land Pc registry. It should be noted that in order to obtain a Land Browse Certificate one needs a relevant authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made conscious of a home mortgage before signing an agreement it is not likely that you will obtain the deeds in your name up until the home mortgage is paid off.

    .

    Lawyers are not required to look for home loans immediately, although excellent attorneys should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government introduced a Particular Performance Law to provide an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing mortgage however we still highly recommend that you check no home loans have actually been put on the land prior to purchase to ensure you do not face possible problems at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most frequently raised by British nationals consist of:

    • lawyers acting for both home builders or vendors therefore not independent
    • constructing works happening without the appropriate preparation authorization or structure authorization (eg electricity or water).
    • fluctuations in currency and rates of interest affecting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or costs not being included in the preliminary agreement.
    • problem in getting certificates of last conclusion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • trouble in obtaining title deeds.
    • difficulty in getting redress after issues are determined.
      With all property purchases, we strongly advise that you seek your own independent legal recommendations.

    If you have actually purchased a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you need to seek certified independent legal guidance on your rights and techniques of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to provide legal suggestions or end up being included with disagreements in between personal parties. We direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to help and we can raise systemic issues, issues which impact a number of consumers, with local 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 homes is contested in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these properties might have serious monetary and legal implications. The European Court of Human Rights has actually ruled in a variety of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus prior to 1974 continue to be regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    Purchasers might deal with legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as attempts to impose judgments from these courts in other places 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 presently in negotiations to attempt to solve the Cyprus problem. One crucial concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers ought to also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem could have serious repercussions for property they buy, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to payment payments. In particular, prospective purchasers must consider the implications of any future settlement on land/property:.

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

    Purchasers must ensure they are totally familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of immigrants buying property, including the requirement to get consent to the transfer of property. Even when buying pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be refused authorization to acquire the land/property and no factor for the rejection might be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, an amendment to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code associating with property entered into impact. Under the amendment, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the approval of the owner (the individual whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Pc 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 also states that any effort to undertake such a transaction is a criminal offence and could result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that took place prior to 20 October 2006.

    Likewise documents associating with the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to connect to the illegal transfer of Greek Cypriot property and might undergo confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anybody found in belongings of these files might be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and might face criminal proceedings under the 20 October change.

    Any queries regarding the scope of this law ought 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.

    Responsibility 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 prior to 1974 (or the heir of somebody meeting those criteria), please call the British High Commission by email, 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 encourage on what steps to take.

    The British High Commission is not able to help dual nationals in the nation of their other nationality. 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).

    Persons considering the purchase of stationary property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be aware that the permission of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas is required under area 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Regulation 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to acquire unmovable 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 formerly obtained permission. Failure to obtain the approval of the Administrator means that the acquisition and registration of the unmovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide consent just in the most exceptional situations.

    You should likewise know that it is an offense for persons other than “recognised homeowners” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, other than in accordance with a permit released under that Regulation. Once again, you may look for a certificate of acknowledged residence or a permit, but the Administration only rarely consents to granting these.

    Further information.

    Some of the issues that property buyers experience are very similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get associated with individual property issues or legal disputes, however supports community associations that are dedicated to fixing the problems of property purchasers.

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal consultant, you have worked with belongs to AIPP and you are dissatisfied with the services supplied, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary procedure.

    Legal recommendations.

    British citizens affected by property problems must take independent legal suggestions from local legal representatives.

    Local police.

    If you believe that you have actually undergone a property criminal offense, you must make a statement to the local police. Remember to acquire a copy of the declaration and request the incident number. Please note, there might be a time constraint in between the time of the alleged criminal offense and the time within which you make your complaint.

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

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of citizens, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to protect their rights and flexibility versus 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 local administrations as well as anyone acting as agents 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 important to keep in mind that the Ombudsman may not intervene under the following scenarios:.

    • whenever the general public administration has actually not been included.
    • in case of disputes or disagreements between individuals.
    • When the person had understanding of the occasions of his problem, after one year from the minute.
    • in case of anonymous complaints, without specific 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.
    • complaints against lawyers.

    Grievances against legal representatives practicing in the Republic of Cyprus must be dealt with 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 versus 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 occur within the pertinent district however they are then passed onto the general 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, e-mail: 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 versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Complaints versus the legal system should 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 find out more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Assist in the UK.

    We have actually published advice(Link) on which UK authorities to contact if you believe you have actually been a victim of property fraud.

    When you made your purchase you may wish to get in touch with the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. This belongs to the European Consumer 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. The UK European Consumer Centre offers information and suggestions on issues with buying across borders and can arbitrate when problems arise 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 information works, please know that it is not meant to be the only assistance for prospective buyers to follow when thinking about making a purchase. 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 content that is hosted on them. We highly recommend that potential buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial recommendations 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 key issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers should likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem could have severe consequences for property they purchase, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to payment payments. 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 Windows registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We highly recommend that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial recommendations at all phases of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

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