• The property purchasing procedure in Cyprus discussed

    Assistance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

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

    Mortgage liability

    It is common 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 most likely to end up being responsible for that home mortgage must the home builder, developer or landowner state insolvency.

    You ought to ask your attorney to look for mortgages put on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is acquired from the Land Computer registry. It must be kept in mind that in order to get a Land Browse Certificate one requires a relevant 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 obtain the deeds in your name up until the home mortgage is paid off.

    Legal representatives are not needed to check for home mortgages automatically, although excellent attorneys ought to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government introduced a Particular Performance Law to give a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan nevertheless we still highly suggest that you inspect no mortgages have actually been put on the land prior to acquire to guarantee you do not face potential 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 home builders or suppliers for that reason not independent
    • building works happening without the proper preparation approval or building permit (eg electricity or water).
    • variations in currency and rate of interest impacting mortgages.
    • payment plans or costs not being consisted of in the preliminary contract.
    • trouble in acquiring certificates of last completion (deeds can not be released without this).
    • problem in obtaining title deeds.
    • trouble in getting redress after problems are determined.
      With all property purchases, we strongly recommend that you seek your own independent legal guidance.

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

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to offer legal advice or become included with disagreements between personal parties. However, we direct British nationals to organisations who may have the ability to help and we can raise systemic problems, issues which impact a number of customers, 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 many residential or commercial properties 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 monetary and legal ramifications. The European Court of Human Rights has actually ruled in a variety of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus prior to 1974 continue to be considered the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers might face legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as efforts to impose 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, endangering property owned in the UK.

    One crucial problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and prospective purchasers must 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 settlement payments.

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

    Buyers must ensure they are completely aware of 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 acquiring pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be refused consent to purchase the land/property and no factor for the refusal might be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, a change to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code relating to property came into impact. Under the modification, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the authorization of the owner (the person whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer system registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. The maximum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The modification to the law also specifies that any attempt to carry out such a deal 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 transactions that occurred 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. Anybody discovered in ownership of these documents may be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and might deal with criminal procedures under the 20 October amendment.

    Any queries 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.

    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 national and owned a property in the north of Cyprus before 1974 (or the beneficiary of someone conference those criteria), please contact the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you want to attempt to reclaim your property, they will be able to inspect your file and recommend on what steps to take.

    The British High Commission is unable to assist double nationals in the country of their other nationality. , if you are a double British/Cypriot nationwide you should approach your local 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 immovable property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be mindful that the consent of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations is needed under area 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Ordinance 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to buy immovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for authorization exists whether property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has formerly acquired consent. Failure to get the approval of the Administrator indicates that the acquisition and registration of the stationary property in question is null and void. The Administrator will give authorization just in the most exceptional scenarios.

    You must likewise be aware that it is an offence for persons other than “acknowledged homeowners” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, other than in accordance with an authorization provided under that Regulation. Once again, you may look for a certificate of identified home or an authorization, but the Administration just rarely consents to giving these.

    Additional info.

    Some of the problems that property purchasers experience are extremely comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get associated with individual property problems or legal conflicts, but supports community associations that are committed to solving the issues of property buyers.

    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 suggestions.

    British residents affected by property issues need to take independent legal suggestions from local legal representatives.

    Regional cops.

    You should make a declaration to the regional police if you think that you have actually been subject to a property criminal activity. Keep in mind to obtain a copy of the declaration and ask for the event number. Please note, there may be a time constraint between the time of the supposed criminal activity and the time within which you make your grievance.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (also called 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 flexibility against actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some restrictions) and authorities of the main federal government and regional administrations in addition to anyone acting as agents or partners of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public goals or services. Contact details are on their site.

    It is essential to note that the Ombudsman might not step in under the following situations:.

    • whenever the general public administration has not been included.
    • in the event of disputes or conflicts between people.
    • after one year from the minute when the citizen understood the events of his grievance.
    • in case of confidential problems, without specific claims presenting bad faith or any claims that may harm legitimate rights of 3rd parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • complaints against legal representatives.

    Problems versus lawyers practising in the Republic of Cyprus need to be dealt with 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.

    Site: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Complaints versus lawyers practising in the north of Cyprus might be made in writing to the appropriate local ‘Bar Association’. There is a different ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

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

    Contact details of regional ‘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 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.

    Problems against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Complaints against the legal system must 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 find out more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Assist in the UK.

    We have actually published suggestions(Link) on which UK authorities to get in touch with if you think you have been a victim of property fraud.

    If you were residing in the UK when you made your purchase you might wish to get in touch with the UK European Consumer Centre. This becomes part of the European Customer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has actually been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist consumers with cross-border conflicts. The UK European Consumer Centre gives details and advice on issues with buying across borders and can arbitrate when problems emerge if they think it might help.

    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 purchasers to follow when thinking about buying. In addition, we make no representation regarding the quality or accuracy of the info which is offered at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any responsibility for the content that is hosted on them. We highly suggest that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary advice at all phases 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 related to as the legal owners of that property.

    One crucial problem 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 problem could have major repercussions for property they purchase, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to settlement payments. Under the change, buying, selling, leasing, promoting or mortgaging a property without the permission of the owner (the individual whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Windows registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We highly suggest that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial guidance 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)