• THE LENGTH OF TIME IS THE PROCEDURE FOR ACQUIRING A PROPERTY IN CYPRUS?

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Buying property in Cyprus has a number of possible pitfalls. The British High Commission recommends prospective purchasers to work out severe care when buying a property if the title deeds are not easily offered, as it implies your property could be at risk.

    Home mortgage liability

    It is common practice for developers to secure home mortgages on land or property. If you sign a contract with a developer and there is already a home mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to become responsible for that home loan must the contractor, designer or landowner state personal bankruptcy.

    You ought to ask your attorney to check for home loans put on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is acquired from the Land Pc registry. It needs to be noted that in order to get a Land Browse Certificate one requires an appropriate authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made aware of a home loan before signing a contract it is unlikely that you will acquire the deeds in your name until the home loan is paid off.

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    Attorneys are not required to look for home loans instantly, although excellent attorneys should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government introduced a Specific Efficiency Law to offer a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan however we still strongly recommend that you check no home loans have actually been placed on the land prior to purchase to guarantee you do not face prospective problems at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most often raised by British nationals consist of:

    • lawyers acting for both suppliers or contractors for that reason not independent
    • constructing works taking place without the correct planning authorization or building permit (eg electrical power or water).
    • changes in currency and interest rates impacting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or fees not being included in the initial contract.
    • trouble in obtaining certificates of last conclusion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • difficulty in getting title deeds.
    • difficulty in getting redress after problems are determined.
      With all property purchases, we highly recommend that you seek your own independent legal suggestions.

    You ought to look for competent independent legal guidance on your rights and techniques of redress if you have acquired a property or land and are encountering problems.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to offer legal advice or end up being involved with disputes in between personal parties. Nevertheless, we direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to assist and we can raise systemic concerns, issues which impact a variety of customers, with local authorities.

    You can examine 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 lots of homes is disputed in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes might have serious monetary and legal ramifications. The European Court of Human Rights has 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.

    Purchasers could deal with legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, along with efforts to implement judgments from these courts elsewhere in the EU, including the UK. There has actually been at least one successful case to enforce rulings in the UK, threatening property owned in the UK.

    One crucial concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and prospective buyers should 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 original owner, in addition to settlement payments.

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

    Purchasers need to ensure they are completely knowledgeable about the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of immigrants purchasing property, including the requirement to obtain consent to the transfer of property. Even when buying pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be declined authorization to buy the land/property and no reason for the refusal may be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, an amendment to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code relating to property entered into result. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the authorization 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 offence. The optimum jail sentence is 7 years.

    The modification to the law likewise states that any attempt 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 happened before 20 October 2006.

    Likewise documents connecting to the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to associate with the unlawful transfer of Greek Cypriot property and might undergo confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone found in possession of these files might be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and might face criminal proceedings under the 20 October amendment.

    Any enquiries regarding 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 national and owned a property in the north of Cyprus prior to 1974 (or the heir of someone conference those requirements), please call the British High Commission by email, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you wish to attempt to reclaim your property, they will be able to examine your file and recommend on what steps to take.

    The British High Commission is unable to assist dual nationals in the nation of their other citizenship. , if you are a dual British/Cypriot national you must approach your local authorities in regard of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Individuals considering 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 needed 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 previously obtained authorization. Failure to get 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 only in the most remarkable circumstances.

    You must also understand that it is an offence for persons other than “identified residents” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, except in accordance with a license issued under that Ordinance. Again, you may look for a certificate of recognised house or a license, however the Administration only seldom grant approving these.

    Further information.

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

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal consultant, you have actually worked 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 guidance.

    British citizens impacted by property issues must take independent legal advice from local lawyers.

    Local police.

    If you think that you have actually been subject to a property crime, you ought to make a statement to the local police. Keep in mind to get a copy of the statement and request the incident number. Please note, there might be a time limitation in between the time of the supposed criminal activity 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 residents, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to safeguard their rights and flexibility against actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some constraints) and authorities of the central government and regional administrations along with anyone functioning as representatives 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 important to keep in mind that the Ombudsman might not intervene under the following circumstances:.

    • whenever the general public administration has not been included.
    • in the event of disputes or conflicts between people.
    • When the citizen had knowledge of the events of his complaint, after one year from the minute.
    • in the event of confidential grievances, without particular claims presenting bad faith or any claims that may damage genuine rights of third parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • grievances versus legal representatives.

    Complaints against attorneys practicing in the Republic of Cyprus should be addressed 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.

    Website: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Problems against lawyers 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.

    Preliminary investigations into complaints occur within the pertinent district however they are then passed onto the general organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact information of regional ‘bar associations’:.

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

    Complaints against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Problems against the legal system need to 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 learn more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Assist in the UK.

    We have published guidance(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 might wish to call the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. This belongs to 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. The UK European Consumer Centre offers details and recommendations on problems with buying across borders and can arbitrate when problems develop if they believe it may 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 is useful, please know that it is not planned to be the only assistance for prospective buyers to follow when considering buying. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or precision of the info which is readily available at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any responsibility for the material that is hosted on them. We strongly suggest that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial recommendations at all phases of their purchase.

    The European Court of Person Rights has actually 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 potential buyers should also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue might have serious consequences for property they acquire, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to payment payments. Under the modification, buying, selling, leasing, promoting or mortgaging a property without the approval 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 offense. We strongly recommend that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial guidance at all stages of their purchase.

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