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    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Getting property in Cyprus has a variety of potential risks. The British High Commission recommends potential purchasers to exercise severe care when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily offered, as it means your property could be at risk.

    Home mortgage liability

    It is common practice for developers to take out mortgages on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a developer and there is currently a home mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to end up being accountable for that mortgage must the home builder, developer or landowner state personal bankruptcy.

    You ought to ask your legal representative to check for home loans put on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is obtained from the Land Registry. It ought to be kept in mind that in order to obtain a Land Browse Certificate one needs an appropriate authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are warned of a home loan prior to signing a contract it is not likely that you will obtain the deeds in your name until the mortgage is settled.

    Lawyers are not required to look for mortgages instantly, although good attorneys need to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government presented a Particular Performance Law to give a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan however we still strongly advise that you check no home loans have been put on the land prior to buy to ensure you do not face prospective difficulties at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other problems most frequently raised by British nationals include:

    • lawyers acting for both suppliers or contractors therefore not independent
    • building works occurring without the proper planning permission or building authorization (eg electrical power or water).
    • variations in currency and rates of interest impacting home loans.
    • payment plans or fees not being consisted of in the preliminary contract.
    • difficulty in getting certificates of final conclusion (deeds can not be issued without this).
    • trouble in acquiring title deeds.
    • trouble in getting redress after issues are determined.
      With all property purchases, we highly recommend that you seek your own independent legal recommendations.

    If you have acquired a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you ought to seek competent independent legal suggestions 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 end up being included with disputes in between personal parties. We direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to assist and we can raise systemic problems, issues which affect a number of customers, with regional 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 homes 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 serious financial and legal implications. 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 regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    Purchasers might deal with legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, in addition to attempts to implement judgments from these courts elsewhere in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has been at least one successful case to impose judgments in the UK, threatening property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both communities are presently in negotiations to attempt to fix the Cyprus issue. One crucial issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Homeowner and possible buyers must also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern could have severe effects for property they acquire, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to settlement payments. In particular, prospective purchasers need to think about 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 consequently categorized as exchange or ‘present’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Purchasers need to guarantee they are fully knowledgeable about the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of foreigners acquiring property, consisting of the requirement to acquire grant the transfer of property. Even when buying pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be declined authorization 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 connecting to property came into result. Under the modification, buying, selling, leasing, promoting or mortgaging a property without the authorization of the owner (the person 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. The optimum jail sentence is 7 years.

    The modification to the law likewise specifies that any attempt to undertake such a transaction is a criminal offense and might result in a jail sentence of up to 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that took place before 20 October 2006.

    Likewise documents relating 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 possession of these files may be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and might deal with criminal procedures under the 20 October amendment.

    Any enquiries relating to 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.

    Responsibility 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 prior to 1974 (or the beneficiary of somebody conference those requirements), please call the British High Commission by email, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. They will have the ability to inspect your file and encourage on what steps to take if you wish to try to recover your property.

    The British High Commission is unable to help double nationals in the country of their other citizenship. , if you are a double British/Cypriot nationwide you should 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 Locations (SBAs).

    Persons considering the purchase of immovable property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be aware that the consent of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations is needed under section 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 consent exists whether property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has actually previously obtained permission. Failure to acquire the permission of the Administrator suggests that the acquisition and registration of the unmovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide permission just in the most extraordinary scenarios.

    You must also understand that it is an offence for individuals besides “recognised residents” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, except in accordance with a permit provided under that Ordinance. Again, you might obtain a certificate of identified residence or a permit, but the Administration only seldom consents to granting these.

    Further details.

    A few of the problems that property buyers experience are very comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get associated with individual property problems or legal disagreements, however supports neighborhood associations that are committed to solving the problems of property purchasers.

    Associations.

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

    Legal suggestions.

    British people impacted by property problems need to take independent legal suggestions from regional lawyers.

    Local authorities.

    If you think that you have undergone a property criminal activity, you must make a statement to the local police. Remember to acquire a copy of the statement and ask for the occurrence number. Please note, there might be a time restriction in between the time of the alleged crime and the time within which you make your problem.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (also referred to as Commissioner of Administration and Protection of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of people, including 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 main federal government and regional administrations as well as anyone serving as representatives or collaborators of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact information are on their website.

    It is necessary to note that the Ombudsman might not intervene under the following scenarios:.

    • whenever the public administration has actually not been included.
    • in case of disputes or conflicts in between individuals.
    • When the citizen had knowledge of the occasions of his grievance, after one year from the moment.
    • in case of confidential problems, without particular claims providing bad faith or any claims that may harm legitimate rights of third parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • problems against legal representatives.

    Complaints against legal representatives 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.

    Site: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Grievances versus lawyers 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.

    Preliminary investigations into complaints occur within the appropriate 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, e-mail: gurcanbayramoglu@hotmail.com phone: 0090392816 06 22.
    • Famagusta: contact individual: 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.

    Complaints versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Problems versus the legal system need to 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.

    Assist in the UK.

    We have actually published recommendations(Link) on which UK authorities to contact if you think you have actually been a victim of property fraud.

    When you made your purchase you may want to contact 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 been established by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist consumers with cross-border disagreements. When issues develop if they believe it may assist, 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 understand that it is not intended to be the only guidance for prospective buyers to follow when considering purchasing. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or precision of the info which is offered at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any obligation for the content that is hosted on them. We strongly suggest that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial advice 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 before 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 prospective buyers should likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue might have serious effects for property they acquire, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to compensation payments. Under the change, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging a property or promoting without the approval 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 strongly advise that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial recommendations at all phases of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

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