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    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Getting property in Cyprus has a number of possible mistakes. The British High Commission recommends possible purchasers to exercise extreme care 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 secure home loans on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a designer and there is already a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are likely to become liable for that home mortgage ought to the contractor, designer or landowner state insolvency.

    You must ask your attorney to look for home mortgages put on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is acquired from the Land Computer registry. It ought to be kept in mind that in order to get a Land Search Certificate one needs a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made conscious of a home loan prior to signing a contract it is unlikely that you will obtain the deeds in your name until the home loan is paid off.

    .

    Attorneys are not needed to check for home mortgages immediately, although excellent attorneys should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government presented a Particular Efficiency Law to give a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing mortgage however we still strongly recommend that you check no mortgages have been placed on the land prior to purchase to ensure you do not face possible difficulties at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other issues most often raised by British nationals consist of:

    • lawyers acting for both vendors or home builders therefore not independent
    • constructing works occurring without the proper preparation authorization or building license (eg electricity or water).
    • changes in currency and interest rates affecting mortgages.
    • payment plans or fees not being included in the preliminary contract.
    • trouble in acquiring certificates of last completion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • trouble in acquiring title deeds.
    • problem in obtaining redress after issues are recognized.
      With all property purchases, we strongly suggest that you seek your own independent legal advice.

    If you have actually acquired a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you need to seek competent independent legal suggestions on your rights and approaches of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to use legal recommendations or become involved with disputes between private celebrations. We direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to assist and we can raise systemic issues, issues which affect a number of clients, with regional 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 many residential or commercial properties is disputed in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes 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 prior to 1974 continue to be considered 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 elsewhere in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has been at least one effective case to impose judgments in the UK, jeopardizing property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both neighborhoods are presently in negotiations to try to solve the Cyprus problem. One crucial issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and prospective purchasers must likewise consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have severe consequences for property they purchase, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to compensation payments. In particular, potential purchasers must think about 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 ‘gift’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Buyers must ensure they are fully aware of the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of immigrants buying property, consisting of the requirement to acquire grant the transfer of property. Even when buying pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be declined approval to buy the land/property and no factor for the refusal may be given.

    On 20 October 2006, a modification to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code associating with property entered result. Under the change, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the permission of the owner (the person whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. The maximum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The amendment to the law likewise mentions that any effort to undertake such a deal is a criminal offence and might result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that occurred 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 prohibited transfer of Greek Cypriot property and may be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anybody discovered in ownership of these documents might be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and might face criminal proceedings under the 20 October change.

    Any enquiries 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.

    Task 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 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 email, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you want to attempt to reclaim your property, they will be able to check your file and recommend on what steps to take.

    The British High Commission is not able to assist dual nationals in the country of their other nationality. If you are a double British/Cypriot nationwide you must approach your regional authorities in respect of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Individuals considering the purchase of unmovable property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be mindful that the consent 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 acquire immovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for consent exists whether or not property is presently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has previously gotten permission. Failure to acquire the permission of the Administrator implies that the acquisition and registration of the unmovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide consent only in the most remarkable scenarios.

    You need to likewise be aware that it is an offence for persons besides “identified citizens” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, except in accordance with an authorization issued under that Ordinance. Again, you may apply for a certificate of recognised house or a permit, however the Administration only seldom consents to granting these.

    Further information.

    Some of the problems that property buyers experience are really similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get associated with specific property problems or legal disputes, however supports neighborhood associations that are dedicated to dealing with the issues of property buyers.

    Associations.

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

    Legal guidance.

    British residents impacted by property issues must take independent legal recommendations from local attorneys.

    Local police.

    If you think that you have been subject to a property criminal activity, you must make a statement to the local police. Remember to obtain a copy of the declaration and request for the event number. Please note, there may be a time restriction between the time of the alleged criminal activity and the time within which you make your complaint.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (likewise referred to as Commissioner of Administration and Security of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of people, including foreign nationals, in order to protect their rights and flexibility against actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some restrictions) and authorities of the central government and regional administrations in addition to anybody 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 website.

    It is necessary to note that the Ombudsman might not step in under the following circumstances:.

    • whenever the public administration has not been included.
    • in the event of conflicts or disagreements in between individuals.
    • after one year from the minute when the person knew the events of his problem.
    • in case of anonymous problems, without particular claims presenting 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.
    • problems against attorneys.

    Complaints against attorneys practicing in the Republic of Cyprus need to 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.

    Site: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Grievances versus legal representatives practicing in the north of Cyprus may be made in writing to the appropriate regional ‘Bar Association’. There is a separate ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Initial investigations into complaints occur within the relevant 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, 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, e-mail: mine-vehit@hotmail.com phone: 0090392366 16 88.
    • Morphou: contact person: Mehtun Muslu, e-mail: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Grievances versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Problems versus the legal system should 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.

    Assist in the UK.

    We have published advice(Link) on which UK authorities to call 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 contact the UK European Consumer Centre. This is part of the European Customer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has actually been established by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist consumers with cross-border conflicts. When problems occur if they think it may help, the UK European Consumer Centre offers information and guidance 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 details is useful, please understand that it is not intended to be the only assistance for potential purchasers to follow when considering buying. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or accuracy of the information which is 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 recommend that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary suggestions at all stages of their purchase.

    The European Court of Person Rights has ruled in a number of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus prior to 1974 continue to be concerned 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 ought to also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern could have major effects for property they acquire, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to settlement 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, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. We strongly recommend that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary recommendations at all phases of their purchase.

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