• THE LENGTH OF TIME IS THE TREATMENT FOR BUYING A PROPERTY IN CYPRUS?

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Getting property in Cyprus has a variety of possible pitfalls. The British High Commission encourages potential purchasers to work out extreme care when buying a property if the title deeds are not easily offered, as it implies your property could be at risk.

    Home loan liability

    It is common practice for designers to get home mortgages on land or property. If you sign a contract with a designer and there is already a mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to become accountable for that mortgage must the home builder, designer or landowner state insolvency.

    You ought to ask your attorney to check for home mortgages placed on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is obtained from the Land Windows registry. It needs to be noted that in order to acquire a Land Search Certificate one requires a relevant authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made aware of a 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.

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    Attorneys are not needed to look for home loans instantly, although good legal representatives should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government introduced a Specific Efficiency Law to provide an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing home mortgage nevertheless we still strongly recommend that you inspect no mortgages have been put on the land prior to acquire to ensure you do not face possible problems at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other issues most frequently raised by British nationals consist of:

    • attorneys acting for both builders or vendors therefore not independent
    • building works taking place without the appropriate planning authorization or building license (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 acquiring certificates of final completion (deeds can not be issued without this).
    • trouble in acquiring title deeds.
    • difficulty in getting redress after problems are recognized.
      With all property purchases, we highly suggest that you seek your own independent legal recommendations.

    If you have purchased a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you must look for competent independent legal suggestions on your rights and approaches of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to offer legal recommendations or become involved with disagreements between private parties. We direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to assist and we can raise systemic issues, problems which impact a number of clients, with regional authorities.

    You can look at 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 numerous homes is challenged in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these residential or commercial properties might have severe financial and legal ramifications. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in a variety of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus before 1974 continue to be regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    Purchasers could face legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, in addition to efforts to implement judgments from these courts elsewhere in the EU, including the UK. There has been at least one effective case to implement judgments in the UK, putting at risk property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both communities are presently in negotiations to attempt to resolve the Cyprus problem. One key concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Homeowner and possible buyers should also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern 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 particular, prospective buyers must consider the implications of any future settlement on land/property:.

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

    Buyers should guarantee they are completely knowledgeable about the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of foreigners acquiring property, consisting of the requirement to obtain grant the transfer of property. Even when purchasing pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be declined permission to purchase the land/property and no factor for the refusal might be offered.

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

    The modification to the law also states that any effort to carry out such a deal is a criminal offence and could lead to a prison sentence of up to 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that occurred before 20 October 2006.

    Also files connecting to the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to associate with the prohibited transfer of Greek Cypriot property and might be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone found in belongings of these documents may be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and could deal with criminal proceedings under the 20 October change.

    Any queries 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.

    Task 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 heir of somebody conference those criteria), please call 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 examine your file and encourage on what steps to take.

    The British High Commission is not able to assist double nationals in the nation of their other citizenship. , if you are a double British/Cypriot nationwide you must approach your local authorities in respect 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 immovable property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be aware that the authorization of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas is required under section 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Regulation 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to acquire stationary property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for permission exists whether property is presently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has previously obtained permission. Failure to acquire the consent of the Administrator means that the acquisition and registration of the immovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will give approval just in the most remarkable scenarios.

    You need to also know that it is an offense for individuals aside from “acknowledged residents” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, except in accordance with a permit provided under that Ordinance. Again, you might get a certificate of recognised house or an authorization, however the Administration just seldom grant giving these.

    Additional details.

    Some of the issues that property purchasers experience are extremely comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get involved in individual property issues or legal conflicts, however supports community associations that are dedicated to dealing with the problems of property buyers.

    Associations.

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

    Legal recommendations.

    British people impacted by property issues should take independent legal guidance from regional attorneys.

    Regional authorities.

    If you believe that you have actually gone through a property criminal activity, you must make a declaration to the local police. Keep in mind to obtain a copy of the declaration and request 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 known as Commissioner of Administration and Security of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of citizens, including foreign nationals, in order to defend 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 acting as agents or collaborators 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 circumstances:.

    • whenever the public administration has actually not been involved.
    • in the event of conflicts or disagreements between people.
    • after one year from the minute when the person understood the events of his grievance.
    • in the event of confidential complaints, without particular claims providing bad faith or any claims that may harm genuine rights of third parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • grievances versus attorneys.

    Grievances against legal representatives practising in the Republic of Cyprus ought to 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.

    Site: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Problems versus attorneys practicing in the north of Cyprus may be made in writing to the pertinent local ‘Bar Association’. There is a separate ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Initial examinations into complaints happen within the pertinent district but they are then passed onto the overall 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 person: 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.

    Problems versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Complaints 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.

    Assist in the UK.

    If you believe you have been a victim of property fraud, we have released advice on which UK authorities to contact.

    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 been established by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist consumers with cross-border disagreements. When issues arise if they believe it may help, the UK European Consumer Centre provides information and recommendations 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 works, please know that it is not meant to be the only guidance for potential purchasers to follow when thinking about making a purchase. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or accuracy of the info which is available at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any obligation for the content that is hosted on them. We highly advise that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary recommendations at all stages of their purchase.

    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 concerned as the legal owners of that property.

    One essential problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible purchasers must also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem might have major effects for property they purchase, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to settlement payments. Under the amendment, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging a property or promoting without the consent of the owner (the individual whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer system registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We highly recommend that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial suggestions at all phases of their purchase.

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