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    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Buying property in Cyprus has a variety of possible mistakes. The British High Commission recommends possible purchasers to exercise extreme care when buying a property if the title deeds are not easily available, as it implies your property could be at risk.

    Home loan liability

    It is common practice for developers to get home loans on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a designer and there is already a home mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to become liable for that home loan should the contractor, designer or landowner declare personal bankruptcy.

    You must ask your lawyer to look for home mortgages placed on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is acquired from the Land Computer registry. It ought to be noted that in order to acquire a Land Search Certificate one needs an appropriate authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made aware of a home mortgage before signing an agreement it is unlikely that you will get the deeds in your name till the home loan is paid off.

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    Attorneys are not needed to look for home loans instantly, although excellent lawyers ought to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government introduced a Specific Performance Law to provide a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing mortgage nevertheless we still highly recommend that you inspect no mortgages have been put 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 often raised by British nationals include:

    • lawyers acting for both builders or suppliers for that reason not independent
    • constructing works happening without the appropriate planning permission or building license (eg electricity or water).
    • fluctuations in currency and interest rates affecting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or costs not being included in the preliminary agreement.
    • difficulty in obtaining certificates of last completion (deeds can not be issued without this).
    • trouble in getting title deeds.
    • trouble in acquiring redress after problems are identified.
      With all property purchases, we highly recommend that you seek your own independent legal recommendations.

    If you have purchased a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you ought to seek certified independent legal guidance on your rights and techniques of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to provide legal guidance or end up being involved with disputes in between personal parties. We direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to assist and we can raise systemic concerns, problems which impact a number of consumers, with local authorities.

    You can look at the Association of International Property Professionals website to see if a business or legal advisor are members.

    Buying property in the north of Cyprus.

    The ownership of numerous properties is disputed in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these properties could have severe 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 considered the legal owners of that property.

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

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

    Purchasers should ensure they are completely knowledgeable about the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of immigrants buying property, including the requirement to acquire grant the transfer of property. Even when buying pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be refused permission to acquire the land/property and no reason for the rejection may be given.

    On 20 October 2006, a modification to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code relating to property entered into impact. Under the amendment, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the authorization of the owner (the individual whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Windows registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. The optimum jail sentence is 7 years.

    The amendment to the law also mentions that any attempt to undertake such a deal is a criminal offence and might result in a jail sentence of as much as 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that happened 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 unlawful transfer of Greek Cypriot property and might be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone discovered in ownership of these files might be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and might face criminal proceedings under the 20 October modification.

    Any queries relating to 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.

    Duty 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 beneficiary of somebody conference those criteria), please get in touch with the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you wish to attempt to reclaim your property, they will be able to inspect your file and recommend on what actions to take.

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

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

    Individuals thinking about the purchase of unmovable property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be conscious that the consent of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations is required under section 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Ordinance 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to buy 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 consent. Failure to get the authorization of the Administrator means that the acquisition and registration of the unmovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will offer approval just in the most remarkable scenarios.

    You ought to likewise be aware that it is an offence for individuals besides “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 issued under that Ordinance. Again, you might get a certificate of recognised home or a license, however the Administration only hardly ever consents to giving these.

    Additional details.

    Some of the problems that property buyers experience are extremely comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get involved in private property problems or legal conflicts, but supports community associations that are committed to resolving the problems of property buyers.

    Associations.

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

    Legal recommendations.

    British people affected by property problems ought to take independent legal advice from local lawyers.

    Local police.

    If you think that you have actually gone through a property criminal offense, you need to make a declaration to the local police. Keep in mind to obtain a copy of the statement and ask for the occurrence number. Please note, there may be a time restriction in between the time of the alleged criminal activity and the time within which you make your complaint.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (also referred to 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 protect 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 anybody serving as agents or collaborators of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact details are on their website.

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

    • whenever the public administration has not been involved.
    • in case of disputes or disagreements between individuals.
    • after one year from the moment when the citizen understood the events of his complaint.
    • in case of confidential 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 judgment.
    • grievances versus lawyers.

    Problems against legal representatives practising in the Republic of Cyprus ought to be addressed 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 attorneys practicing in the north of Cyprus may be made in writing to the pertinent regional ‘Bar Association’. There is a different ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Initial investigations into complaints happen within the relevant district but they are then passed onto the general organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact information of local ‘bar associations’:.

    • Nicosia: contact individual: Arzu İzveren, email: barolarbirligi@hotmail.com phone: 0090392227 73 39.
    • Kyrenia: contact person: 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, e-mail: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Complaints against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Grievances against 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.

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

    When you made your purchase you might wish to call 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 actually been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to help customers with cross-border disagreements. The UK European Consumer Centre offers info and recommendations on problems with buying across borders and can arbitrate when problems develop if they think it might 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 works, please know that it is not planned to be the only guidance for prospective buyers to follow when considering purchasing. In addition, we make no representation regarding the quality or precision of the information which is available at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any obligation for the content that is hosted on them. We strongly recommend that potential buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary guidance at all stages 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 regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    One essential issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers need to likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have serious effects for property they purchase, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to payment payments. Under the amendment, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging a property or promoting without the consent of the owner (the person whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Windows registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We highly recommend that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial guidance at all stages of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

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