• Professional assistance - How to deal with professionals in the real estate sector Cyprus

    Assistance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Purchasing property in Cyprus has a variety of potential risks. The British High Commission advises prospective purchasers to work out extreme caution when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily available, as it means your property could be at risk.

    Mortgage liability

    It is common practice for designers to get mortgages on land or property. If you sign a contract with a developer and there is currently a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are likely to end up being responsible for that home loan should the contractor, designer or landowner state personal bankruptcy.

    You must ask your lawyer to check for mortgages placed on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is acquired from the Land Computer registry. It ought to be noted that in order to obtain a Land Search Certificate one needs a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are made aware of a home mortgage before signing a contract it is not likely that you will get the deeds in your name up until the home loan is settled.

    Attorneys are not required to look for mortgages immediately, although good legal representatives ought to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government introduced a Specific Performance Law to provide a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan however we still highly recommend that you check no home mortgages have actually been placed on the land prior to acquire to guarantee you do not run into potential difficulties at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other problems most regularly raised by British nationals include:

    • lawyers acting for both vendors or home builders therefore not independent
    • developing works happening without the appropriate preparation authorization or structure authorization (eg electrical energy or water).
    • fluctuations in currency and rates of interest affecting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or charges not being included in the initial agreement.
    • trouble in obtaining certificates of last conclusion (deeds can not be issued without this).
    • difficulty in obtaining title deeds.
    • difficulty in acquiring redress after problems are determined.
      With all property purchases, we highly advise that you seek your own independent legal advice.

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

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to provide legal suggestions or end up being involved with disagreements in between private celebrations. We direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to help and we can raise systemic issues, problems which impact a number of customers, with local authorities.

    You can examine 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 numerous homes is challenged in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these properties could have serious monetary and legal ramifications. 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 considered as the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers might face legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, in addition to efforts to impose 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, endangering property owned in the UK.

    One essential concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers need to also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have severe repercussions for property they purchase, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to payment payments.

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

    Buyers should ensure they are fully 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 may still be refused consent to purchase the land/property and no factor for the refusal may be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, an amendment to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code associating with property entered effect. Under the change, buying, selling, leasing, promoting or mortgaging a property without the consent of the owner (the person whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land 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 likewise mentions that any attempt to undertake such a transaction is a criminal offence and could lead to a jail sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that took place before 20 October 2006.

    Likewise files connecting to the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to associate with 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 statement to the Cypriot authorities and could deal with criminal proceedings under the 20 October change.

    Any queries concerning 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 prior to 1974.

    If you are a British national and owned a property in the north of Cyprus before 1974 (or the beneficiary of somebody conference those criteria), please contact the British High Commission by email, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. They will be able to examine your file and encourage on what steps to take if you want to attempt to recover your property.

    The British High Commission is not able to help dual nationals in the country of their other nationality. 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 Locations (SBAs).

    Persons considering the purchase of stationary property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be conscious that the permission of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations is required under area 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Ordinance 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 presently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has actually previously acquired approval. Failure to acquire the permission of the Administrator means that the acquisition and registration of the stationary property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide approval only in the most remarkable situations.

    You ought to likewise be aware that it is an offense for persons other than “identified citizens” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, other than in accordance with an authorization released under that Regulation. Again, you may look for a certificate of acknowledged home or a permit, but the Administration only hardly ever grant approving these.

    Further info.

    A few of the issues that property purchasers experience are very comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get associated with specific property issues or legal disputes, but supports community associations that are devoted to solving the issues of property buyers.

    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 suggestions.

    British residents affected by property issues ought to take independent legal guidance from local attorneys.

    Local cops.

    If you believe that you have actually been subject to a property criminal activity, you ought to make a statement to the local police. Remember to acquire a copy of the declaration and ask for the occurrence 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 (also referred to as Commissioner of Administration and Defense of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of residents, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to safeguard their rights and freedom against actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some limitations) and authorities of the main federal government and local administrations along with anyone functioning as agents 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 necessary to note that the Ombudsman may not step in under the following scenarios:.

    • whenever the general public administration has not been involved.
    • in case of disputes or conflicts between individuals.
    • When the citizen had knowledge of the events of his problem, after one year from the moment.
    • in the event of confidential grievances, without particular claims presenting bad faith or any claims that may harm legitimate rights of 3rd parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • grievances versus attorneys.

    Grievances versus legal representatives practising in the Republic of Cyprus should be dealt with 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.

    Grievances versus attorneys practicing in the north of Cyprus might be made in writing to the relevant regional ‘Bar Association’. There is a different ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Initial investigations into complaints happen within the appropriate district however they are then passed onto the general organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact details 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, email: mine-vehit@hotmail.com phone: 0090392366 16 88.
    • Morphou: contact individual: Mehtun Muslu, e-mail: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Complaints against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Problems against the legal system ought to 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 discover more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Assist in the UK.

    If you believe you have been a victim of property scams, we have actually released recommendations on which UK authorities to get in touch with.

    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 becomes part of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been established by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist consumers with cross-border disagreements. When problems arise if they think it might help, the UK European Consumer Centre gives details and recommendations 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 works, please be aware that it is not meant to be the only guidance for potential purchasers to follow when thinking about buying. In addition, we make no representation regarding the quality or accuracy of the details which is available at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any duty for the content that is hosted on them. We highly advise that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial recommendations at all phases of their purchase.

    The European Court of Human being Rights has 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 crucial concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential purchasers must also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have major consequences for property they buy, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to settlement payments. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, promoting or mortgaging a property without the consent of the owner (the person whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Windows registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We highly suggest that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial suggestions 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)