• Purchasing a house: The deposit, the home mortgage, and why I couldn't do it.

    Assistance

    Cyprus: buying property

    Info 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 advises prospective buyers to exercise severe care when buying a property if the title deeds are not easily available, as it implies your property could be at risk.

    Home mortgage liability

    It prevails practice for designers to secure home mortgages on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a designer and there is currently a home mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are likely to end up being liable for that home loan ought to the contractor, designer or landowner state personal bankruptcy.

    You should ask your legal representative to check for home loans placed on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is gotten from the Land Pc registry. It ought to be kept in mind that in order to obtain a Land Search Certificate one requires an appropriate authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are made aware of a home mortgage prior to signing a contract it is not likely that you will get the deeds in your name until the home mortgage is paid off.

    Attorneys are not needed to look for mortgages immediately, although good attorneys ought to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government introduced a Specific Efficiency Law to give a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home mortgage however we still strongly suggest that you check no home loans have actually been put on the land prior to acquire to ensure you do not face possible difficulties at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other issues most regularly raised by British nationals include:

    • legal representatives acting for both home builders or suppliers for that reason not independent
    • constructing works occurring without the correct planning consent or structure authorization (eg electrical power or water).
    • changes in currency and rate of interest impacting mortgages.
    • payment plans or charges not being included in the preliminary contract.
    • problem in getting certificates of last completion (deeds can not be released without this).
    • trouble in getting title deeds.
    • difficulty in getting redress after issues are identified.
      With all property purchases, we highly suggest that you seek your own independent legal suggestions.

    If you have actually bought a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you need to look for qualified independent legal advice on your rights and approaches of redress.

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

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

    Buying property in the north of Cyprus.

    The ownership of many residential or commercial properties is disputed in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes could have major financial and legal ramifications. 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.

    Buyers might deal with legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, in addition to efforts to implement judgments from these courts in other places in the EU, including the UK. There has been at least one successful case to enforce rulings in the UK, endangering property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both neighborhoods are currently in negotiations to attempt to resolve the Cyprus concern. One key concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Homeowner and potential purchasers need to also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have serious consequences for property they buy, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to settlement payments. In particular, potential buyers ought to consider the ramifications 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 classified as exchange or ‘present’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Purchasers must guarantee they are completely familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of immigrants purchasing property, consisting of the requirement to obtain grant the transfer of property. Even when acquiring pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be refused approval to purchase the land/property and no factor for the refusal might be given.

    On 20 October 2006, a modification to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code relating to property came into effect. Under the amendment, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the authorization of the owner (the person whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. The optimum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The amendment to the law also states that any effort to undertake such a deal is a criminal offense and might result in a prison sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that happened before 20 October 2006.

    Also files 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 undergo confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone discovered in ownership of these files may be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and might face criminal proceedings under the 20 October amendment.

    Any enquiries relating to 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.

    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 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 call the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you want to try to reclaim your property, they will be able to check your file and recommend on what actions to take.

    The British High Commission is not able to help dual nationals in the nation 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.

    .

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

    Persons considering the purchase of unmovable property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be aware that the authorization of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas is needed under section 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Regulation 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to buy immovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for approval exists whether property is presently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has actually previously acquired 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 consent just in the most exceptional situations.

    You should also understand that it is an offence for persons aside from “acknowledged residents” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, other than in accordance with a permit provided under that Regulation. Again, you may look for a certificate of acknowledged residence or a license, but the Administration only hardly ever grant approving these.

    Additional information.

    Some of the problems that property buyers experience are very similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get involved in individual property problems or legal disputes, however supports community associations that are committed to resolving the issues of property purchasers.

    Associations.

    If the company, or legal advisor, you have actually dealt with is a member of AIPP and you are unhappy with the services provided, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary procedure.

    Legal advice.

    British citizens affected by property issues should take independent legal advice from regional attorneys.

    Local authorities.

    If you believe that you have undergone a property criminal offense, you should make a statement to the local police. Keep in mind to get a copy of the statement and request for the incident number. Please note, there might be a time constraint in between the time of the supposed criminal activity and the time within which you make your complaint.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (also called 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 liberty against actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some limitations) and authorities of the central government and local administrations along with anybody serving as representatives or partners of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact details are on their site.

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

    • whenever the general public administration has actually not been included.
    • in case of disputes or disputes in between people.
    • When the person had understanding of the events of his problem, after one year from the minute.
    • in the event of confidential grievances, without particular claims presenting bad faith or any claims that might harm legitimate rights of 3rd parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • problems against lawyers.

    Grievances against attorneys practicing in the Republic of Cyprus should be resolved 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 versus legal representatives practising in the north of Cyprus may be made in writing to the appropriate regional ‘Bar Association’. There is a different ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Preliminary investigations into complaints take place within the relevant district however they are then passed onto the total organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact information of regional ‘bar associations’:.

    • Nicosia: contact individual: 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 person: Mine Vehit, e-mail: 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

    Problems versus the legal system ought 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 learn more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Help in the UK.

    If you think you have been a victim of property scams, we have released suggestions on which UK authorities to get in touch with.

    If you were residing in the UK when you made your purchase you may want to call the UK European Consumer Centre. This belongs to the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has actually been established by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to help customers with cross-border conflicts. When issues occur if they think it may help, the UK European Consumer Centre gives details and recommendations on problems 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 works, please be aware that it is not meant to be the only guidance for prospective buyers to follow when considering making a purchase. In addition, we make no representation regarding the quality or precision of the information which is offered at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any duty for the material that is hosted on them. We highly suggest that potential buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial suggestions 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 prior to 1974 continue to be regarded 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 potential purchasers must also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem could have serious repercussions for property they purchase, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to payment payments. Under the amendment, buying, selling, renting, 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 suggest that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary recommendations at all phases of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links: