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    Assistance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Acquiring property in Cyprus has a variety of potential pitfalls. The British High Commission advises potential buyers to work out extreme care when buying a property if the title deeds are not easily available, as it indicates your property could be at risk.

    Home loan liability

    It prevails practice for developers to take out 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 likely to end up being accountable for that home loan must the contractor, developer or landowner state bankruptcy.

    You must ask your lawyer to check for mortgages put on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is obtained from the Land Windows registry. It should be kept in mind that in order to obtain a Land Browse Certificate one requires a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made conscious of a home loan prior to signing an agreement it is unlikely that you will get the deeds in your name until the home mortgage is paid off.

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    Lawyers are not required to check for home loans automatically, although good attorneys should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government presented a Particular Performance Law to provide a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home 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 difficulties at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most regularly raised by British nationals consist of:

    • attorneys acting for both home builders or vendors for that reason not independent
    • developing works taking place without the proper preparation authorization or structure license (eg electrical energy or water).
    • fluctuations in currency and rate of interest affecting home loans.
    • payment plans or costs not being included in the initial contract.
    • trouble in getting certificates of final completion (deeds can not be issued without this).
    • trouble in acquiring title deeds.
    • difficulty in acquiring redress after issues are recognized.
      With all property purchases, we strongly recommend that you seek your own independent legal guidance.

    If you have actually bought a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you must seek competent independent legal guidance on your rights and approaches of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to provide legal guidance or become involved with disagreements between private parties. We direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to help and we can raise systemic issues, problems which affect a number of consumers, with regional authorities.

    You can examine the Association of International Property Professionals website to see if a business or legal consultant are members.

    Buying property in the north of Cyprus.

    The ownership of lots of properties is challenged in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these residential or commercial properties might have severe monetary and legal implications. The European Court of Human Rights has 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.

    Purchasers might deal with legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as efforts to impose judgments from these courts elsewhere in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has actually been at least one effective case to impose judgments in the UK, threatening property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both neighborhoods are currently in negotiations to attempt to fix the Cyprus issue. One crucial problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Homeowner and prospective purchasers should likewise consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem might have major repercussions for property they buy, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to settlement payments. In particular, prospective buyers ought to consider 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 subsequently categorized as exchange or ‘gift’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Purchasers must guarantee they are totally aware of the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of immigrants acquiring property, consisting of the requirement to obtain consent to the transfer of property. Even when buying pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be declined permission to buy the land/property and no factor for the refusal might be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, an amendment to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code relating to property entered into result. Under the amendment, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the permission of the owner (the person whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Pc registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. The optimum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The modification to the law also mentions that any attempt to carry out such a transaction is a criminal offence and could result in a prison sentence of as much as 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that happened prior to 20 October 2006.

    Files 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 might be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anybody found in possession of these documents might be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and might deal with criminal proceedings under the 20 October modification.

    Any enquiries relating to the scope of this law need 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.

    Duty 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 prior to 1974 (or the beneficiary of someone meeting 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 attempt to reclaim your property, they will be able to inspect your file and recommend on what steps to take.

    The British High Commission is unable to help double nationals in the country of their other citizenship. , if you are a dual British/Cypriot nationwide you must approach your regional authorities in regard of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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    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 conscious that the approval 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 acquire immovable property in the SBAs.

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

    You should also understand that it is an offence for individuals aside from “recognised locals” to live 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. Once again, you may make an application for a certificate of identified residence or a permit, but the Administration only rarely grant approving these.

    Further details.

    A few of the problems that property purchasers experience are very comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get involved in private property problems or legal disagreements, but supports neighborhood associations that are committed to resolving the problems of property purchasers.

    Associations.

    If the company, or legal advisor, 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 guidance.

    British people affected by property problems should take independent legal recommendations from regional legal representatives.

    Local cops.

    If you think that you have actually undergone a property criminal offense, you ought to make a declaration to the local police. Keep in mind to acquire a copy of the declaration and request for the occurrence number. Please note, there may be a time restriction in between the time of the alleged criminal offense and the time within which you make your problem.

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

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of people, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to defend their rights and flexibility against 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 local administrations as well as anyone serving 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 essential to note that the Ombudsman may not step in under the following circumstances:.

    • whenever the public administration has not been involved.
    • in the event of disputes or disagreements between people.
    • after one year from the minute when the citizen knew the occasions of his grievance.
    • in the event of confidential grievances, without particular claims presenting bad faith or any claims that might damage genuine rights of third parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • grievances against legal representatives.

    Grievances 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.

    Website: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Problems versus attorneys practising in the north of Cyprus may be made in writing to the pertinent regional ‘Bar Association’. There is a different ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Preliminary examinations into grievances occur within the pertinent district however they are then passed onto the overall organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact information of regional ‘bar associations’:.

    • Nicosia: contact individual: Arzu İzveren, e-mail: barolarbirligi@hotmail.com phone: 0090392227 73 39.
    • Kyrenia: contact person: 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.

    Grievances versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Grievances versus the legal system must 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.

    Help in the UK.

    If you think you have actually been a victim of property scams, we have actually released guidance on which UK authorities to contact.

    When you made your purchase you might wish to get in touch with the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. This is part of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has actually been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to help customers with cross-border disagreements. When issues arise if they think it may assist, 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 info works, please be aware that it is not intended to be the only assistance for prospective purchasers to follow when thinking about buying. In addition, we make no representation regarding the quality or accuracy of the details which is readily available at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any responsibility for the content that is hosted on them. We strongly recommend that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial advice at all stages 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 concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible purchasers should also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern might have severe repercussions for property they buy, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to payment payments. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the authorization of the owner (the person whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Windows registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We strongly advise that potential buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial advice at all stages of their purchase.

    Related Links:

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    • Housing Schemes(link)