• Property auction pointers: how to buy or sell a house and exchange secrets within 28 days.

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Purchasing property in Cyprus has a number of potential risks. The British High Commission recommends prospective buyers to work out severe caution when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily available, as it suggests your property could be at risk.

    Mortgage liability

    It is common practice for designers to take out home mortgages on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a designer and there is already a mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to become responsible for that home mortgage should the contractor, designer or landowner declare bankruptcy.

    You should ask your lawyer to look for mortgages put on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is gotten from the Land Computer registry. It ought to be noted that in order to obtain a Land Search Certificate one requires an appropriate authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are warned of a mortgage prior to signing a contract it is unlikely that you will acquire the deeds in your name until the home loan is paid off.

    Lawyers are not required to check for mortgages instantly, although good attorneys should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government presented a Specific Efficiency Law to provide a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan nevertheless we still strongly suggest that you examine no mortgages have actually been placed on the land prior to purchase to ensure you do not run into potential troubles at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other issues most regularly raised by British nationals include:

    • lawyers acting for both vendors or home builders for that reason not independent
    • building works happening without the proper planning consent or building license (eg electrical power or water).
    • changes in currency and rate of interest impacting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or fees not being consisted of in the preliminary agreement.
    • difficulty in getting certificates of last completion (deeds can not be released without this).
    • problem in obtaining title deeds.
    • difficulty in obtaining redress after problems are recognized.
      With all property purchases, we strongly recommend that you seek your own independent legal suggestions.

    If you have purchased a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you must seek certified independent legal recommendations on your rights and approaches of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to provide legal suggestions or become included with conflicts in between private parties. However, we direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to assist and we can raise systemic issues, issues which impact a number of clients, with local authorities.

    You can look at 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 numerous properties is challenged in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these properties could have severe financial and legal implications. 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 regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers could face legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, in addition to attempts to enforce judgments from these courts somewhere else in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has been at least one effective case to impose rulings in the UK, putting at risk property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both neighborhoods are currently in settlements to attempt to fix the Cyprus problem. One crucial issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers should likewise consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem could have severe effects for property they acquire, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments. In particular, prospective purchasers ought to 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 consequently categorized as exchange or ‘gift’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Buyers should ensure they are fully knowledgeable about the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of immigrants acquiring property, consisting of the requirement to obtain consent to the transfer of property. Even when purchasing pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be refused authorization to acquire the land/property and no factor for the rejection may be given.

    On 20 October 2006, a modification to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code relating to property entered result. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the permission of the owner (the individual 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 jail sentence is 7 years.

    The modification to the law likewise mentions that any attempt to undertake such a deal is a criminal offense and might lead to a prison sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that took place 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 may 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 procedures under the 20 October amendment.

    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.

    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 heir of somebody meeting those requirements), please get in touch with the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you want to try to recover your property, they will be able to examine your file and advise on what actions to take.

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

    .

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

    Persons considering the purchase of unmovable property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be mindful that the authorization of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas is required under section 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Ordinance 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to acquire stationary 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 actually formerly obtained approval. Failure to obtain the permission of the Administrator suggests that the acquisition and registration of the unmovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will offer consent only in the most extraordinary situations.

    You must also know that it is an offense for persons besides “acknowledged residents” 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 Ordinance. Once again, you might apply for a certificate of recognised residence or a permit, but the Administration only hardly ever grant granting these.

    Additional info.

    Some of the problems that property buyers experience are very similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get associated with specific property problems or legal disputes, however supports neighborhood associations that are dedicated 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 suggestions.

    British residents affected by property issues need to take independent legal recommendations from regional attorneys.

    Regional police.

    If you think that you have actually been subject to a property criminal offense, you must make a declaration to the local police. Remember to obtain a copy of the declaration and request for the occurrence number. Please note, there might be a time limitation in between the time of the alleged crime and the time within which you make your problem.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (likewise known 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 freedom versus actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some restrictions) and authorities of the central federal government and regional administrations in addition to anyone functioning as representatives or partners of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact information are on their site.

    It is very important to keep in mind that the Ombudsman may not step in under the following situations:.

    • whenever the general public administration has not been included.
    • in the event of conflicts or disputes between people.
    • after one year from the minute when the person had knowledge of the events of his problem.
    • in case of confidential complaints, without particular claims providing 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.
    • complaints against legal representatives.

    Problems versus lawyers practising in the Republic of Cyprus ought to 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 against lawyers practising 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 problems happen within the pertinent district however they are then passed onto the total 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 individual: Gürcan Bayramoğlu, email: gurcanbayramoglu@hotmail.com phone: 0090392816 06 22.
    • Famagusta: contact individual: Mine Vehit, email: 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 against the legal system must 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 actually released recommendations(Link) on which UK authorities to call if you think you have been a victim of property fraud.

    When you made your purchase you might wish to call the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. This belongs to the European Customer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been established by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to help customers with cross-border conflicts. The UK European Consumer Centre offers info and suggestions on issues with buying across borders and can arbitrate when issues arise if they think it may assist.

    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 be aware that it is not intended to be the only guidance for prospective purchasers to follow when thinking about purchasing. In addition, we make no representation regarding the quality or accuracy of the information which is readily available at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any obligation for the material that is hosted on them. We highly advise that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary guidance 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 prior to 1974 continue to be concerned as the legal owners of that property.

    One crucial issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential purchasers need to likewise consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem might have severe effects for property they purchase, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to settlement payments. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, promoting or mortgaging a property without the permission of the owner (the person whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Pc registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. We highly recommend that potential buyers 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)