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    Assistance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Buying property in Cyprus has a number of possible mistakes. The British High Commission advises possible purchasers to exercise extreme caution 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 developers to take out home loans on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a developer and there is currently a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are likely to end up being liable for that home loan ought to the builder, designer or landowner state insolvency.

    You ought to ask your legal representative to check for home loans put on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is obtained from the Land Computer system registry. It ought to be noted that in order to get a Land Browse Certificate one needs a relevant authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made conscious of a mortgage before signing an agreement it is unlikely that you will obtain the deeds in your name up until the mortgage is paid off.

    .

    Attorneys are not needed to check for home loans immediately, although good lawyers should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government introduced a Specific Performance Law to give a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan however we still strongly advise that you inspect no home mortgages have been placed on the land prior to purchase to ensure you do not face potential troubles at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other issues most frequently raised by British nationals consist of:

    • lawyers acting for both suppliers or builders for that reason not independent
    • constructing works occurring without the proper planning consent or building permit (eg electrical power or water).
    • variations in currency and interest rates affecting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or costs not being consisted of in the initial contract.
    • problem in getting certificates of final completion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • trouble in obtaining title deeds.
    • trouble in obtaining redress after issues are identified.
      With all property purchases, we strongly suggest that you seek your own independent legal recommendations.

    You ought to seek certified independent legal guidance on your rights and approaches of redress if you have acquired a property or land and are encountering difficulties.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to offer legal suggestions or end up being involved with disputes between private parties. Nevertheless, we direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to help and we can raise systemic issues, problems which impact a variety of customers, with local authorities.

    You can check on the Association of International Property Professionals website to see if a company or legal consultant are members.

    Buying property in the north of Cyprus.

    The ownership of lots of properties is disputed in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of 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 actually ruled in a variety of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus before 1974 continue to be considered the legal owners of that property.

    Purchasers might face legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, along with attempts to implement judgments from these courts somewhere else in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has been at least one effective case to enforce judgments in the UK, threatening property owned in the UK.

    One essential problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible purchasers need to likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem could have serious effects for property they purchase, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments.

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

    Purchasers must ensure they are fully aware of the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of foreigners buying property, including the requirement to get consent to the transfer of property. Even when buying pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be refused approval to purchase the land/property and no reason for the refusal might be given.

    On 20 October 2006, a change to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code relating to property came into 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 also specifies that any effort to carry out such a transaction is a criminal offense and could lead to a jail sentence of up to 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals 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 illegal transfer of Greek Cypriot property and might be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anybody discovered in belongings of these documents may be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and might face criminal proceedings under the 20 October amendment.

    Any enquiries 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.

    Responsibility 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 before 1974.

    If you are a British national and owned a property in the north of Cyprus before 1974 (or the beneficiary of someone meeting those requirements), please get in touch with the British High Commission by email, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you want to try to reclaim your property, they will be able to inspect your file and encourage on what steps to take.

    The British High Commission is unable to help dual nationals in the nation of their other nationality. If you are a double British/Cypriot national you ought to approach your local authorities in regard of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Individuals thinking about the purchase of stationary property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be mindful that the permission 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 buy immovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for permission exists whether property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has actually previously obtained authorization. Failure to obtain the consent of the Administrator suggests that the acquisition and registration of the unmovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will offer permission only in the most remarkable circumstances.

    You ought to likewise understand that it is an offense for persons besides “identified homeowners” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, other than in accordance with a license issued under that Ordinance. Again, you may make an application for a certificate of identified residence or a permit, however the Administration just hardly ever grant granting these.

    More details.

    Some of the problems that property buyers experience are very similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get involved in private property issues or legal conflicts, however supports community associations that are devoted to fixing the problems of property buyers.

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal advisor, you have actually worked with belongs to AIPP and you are unhappy with the services offered, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary procedure.

    Legal recommendations.

    British people impacted by property issues must take independent legal recommendations from regional lawyers.

    Local police.

    You ought to make a statement to the regional cops if you think that you have been subject to a property criminal offense. Keep in mind to get a copy of the declaration and ask for the occurrence number. Please note, there may be a time limitation 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 Security of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of citizens, including foreign nationals, in order to safeguard their rights and liberty versus actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some constraints) and authorities of the main federal government and regional administrations in addition to 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 site.

    It is essential to keep in mind that the Ombudsman might not step in under the following situations:.

    • whenever the public administration has not been involved.
    • in case of disputes or disputes between people.
    • after one year from the minute when the resident knew the occasions of his grievance.
    • in case of anonymous problems, without particular claims providing bad faith or any claims that may damage genuine rights of 3rd parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • grievances against attorneys.

    Grievances versus lawyers practicing in the Republic of Cyprus must 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.

    Site: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Grievances versus legal representatives practising 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 grievances occur within the appropriate district however they are then passed onto the overall organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact details of local ‘bar associations’:.

    • Nicosia: contact individual: Arzu İzveren, email: 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, email: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Complaints against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Problems against 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.

    Help in the UK.

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

    If you were living in the UK when you made your purchase you might want to get in touch with the UK European Consumer Centre. This becomes part of the European Customer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has actually been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to help consumers with cross-border disputes. The UK European Consumer Centre provides details and recommendations on issues with buying across borders and can arbitrate when problems arise if they think it may help.

    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 meant to be the only assistance for prospective buyers to follow when thinking about purchasing. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or accuracy of the information which is offered at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any responsibility for the content that is hosted on them. We highly advise that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial suggestions at all phases of their purchase.

    The European Court of Human Rights has actually 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 essential concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers ought to likewise consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have serious repercussions for property they buy, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to settlement payments. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the consent 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 offence. We highly suggest that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial advice at all stages of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

    • Caution regarding property purchases in the occupied area of Cyprus(link)
    • Living in Cyprus(link)