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    Assistance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Buying property in Cyprus has a number of potential pitfalls. The British High Commission encourages prospective purchasers to exercise extreme care when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily available, as it means your property could be at risk.

    Home loan liability

    It prevails practice for designers to take out home loans on land or property. If you sign a contract with a designer and there is already a mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to end up being liable for that home loan needs to the builder, developer or landowner declare insolvency.

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

    Legal representatives are not required to look for home loans immediately, although great attorneys must do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government presented a Particular Performance Law to give a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan however we still highly recommend that you inspect no home mortgages have been put on the land prior to buy to guarantee you do not run into possible problems at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most often raised by British nationals include:

    • attorneys acting for both builders or suppliers therefore not independent
    • developing works taking place without the appropriate preparation approval or structure license (eg electrical power or water).
    • variations in currency and interest rates affecting home loans.
    • payment plans or charges not being included in the preliminary contract.
    • problem in getting certificates of final completion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • problem in getting title deeds.
    • trouble in obtaining redress after problems are identified.
      With all property purchases, we strongly recommend that you seek your own independent legal recommendations.

    If you have actually purchased a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you must look for qualified independent legal recommendations on your rights and methods of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to use legal suggestions or become included with disputes in between private celebrations. We direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to assist and we can raise systemic issues, issues which impact a number of consumers, with local authorities.

    You can check on 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 many properties is challenged in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these properties might have serious financial 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 regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers might face legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as efforts to enforce judgments from these courts somewhere else in the EU, including the UK. There has actually been at least one successful case to implement judgments in the UK, threatening property owned in the UK.

    One crucial issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential purchasers should also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern could have major repercussions for property they acquire, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to settlement payments.

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

    Purchasers need to guarantee they are totally aware of the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of immigrants acquiring property, including the requirement to obtain grant the transfer of property. Even when purchasing pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be declined permission to acquire the land/property and no factor for the refusal may be given.

    On 20 October 2006, a change to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code connecting to property entered into result. Under the change, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging a property or promoting without the consent of the owner (the individual whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. The optimum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The amendment to the law likewise mentions that any attempt to undertake such a deal is a criminal offense and could lead to a jail sentence of as much as 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that occurred prior to 20 October 2006.

    Likewise documents connecting to the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to connect to the prohibited transfer of Greek Cypriot property and may undergo confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anybody found in belongings of these documents might be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and might deal with criminal procedures under the 20 October modification.

    Any queries 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.

    Task 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 national and owned a property in the north of Cyprus prior to 1974 (or the beneficiary of somebody conference those requirements), please contact 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 check your file and advise on what steps to take.

    The British High Commission is unable to help dual nationals in the nation of their other citizenship. , if you are a dual British/Cypriot national you ought to approach your regional 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 conscious that the consent of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations is needed under area 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Ordinance 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to purchase 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 gotten authorization. Failure to acquire the approval of the Administrator implies that the acquisition and registration of the immovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will offer consent just in the most exceptional situations.

    You must also be aware that it is an offense for persons other than “identified locals” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, except in accordance with a permit provided under that Ordinance. Once again, you may request a certificate of identified residence or a license, but the Administration just seldom consents to approving these.

    More info.

    A few of the issues that property buyers experience are very similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get involved in specific property issues or legal disagreements, but supports community associations that are devoted to resolving the issues of property purchasers.

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal consultant, you have actually dealt 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 advice.

    British people affected by property issues must take independent legal recommendations from local legal representatives.

    Local police.

    You need to make a statement to the local authorities if you believe that you have actually been subject to a property criminal activity. Remember to get a copy of the declaration and ask for the incident number. Please note, there might be a time constraint between the time of the alleged crime and the time within which you make your complaint.

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

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of people, 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 constraints) and authorities of the central federal government and regional administrations along with anybody serving 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 very important to note that the Ombudsman might not step in under the following scenarios:.

    • whenever the general public administration has actually not been involved.
    • in the event of disputes or disagreements between people.
    • When the person had understanding of the occasions of his problem, after one year from the moment.
    • in the event of anonymous complaints, without particular claims providing bad faith or any claims that might damage legitimate rights of third parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • problems versus lawyers.

    Problems against attorneys practicing 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.

    Website: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

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

    Preliminary investigations into problems happen within the pertinent district but they are then passed onto the general organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact information of local ‘bar associations’:.

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

    Complaints against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Grievances 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 discover more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Help in the UK.

    We have released suggestions(Link) on which UK authorities to call if you think you have actually been a victim of property scams.

    If you were residing in the UK when you made your purchase you may wish to call the UK European Consumer Centre. 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 assist customers with cross-border disagreements. When problems develop if they think it may help, the UK European Consumer Centre offers details and suggestions 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 is useful, please be aware that it is not meant to be the only guidance for prospective purchasers to follow when thinking about purchasing. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or precision of the information which is offered at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any obligation for the material that is hosted on them. We highly recommend that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary advice 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 key concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible buyers must also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem might have major repercussions for property they purchase, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to settlement payments. Under the modification, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the approval 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. We highly suggest that potential buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary recommendations at all stages of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

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