• Tips for Discovering a Good Property for Sale in Cyprus

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Acquiring property in Cyprus has a number of prospective mistakes. The British High Commission advises possible purchasers to work out extreme care when buying a property if the title deeds are not easily available, as it implies your property could be at risk.

    Mortgage liability

    It is common practice for designers to take out mortgages on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a developer and there is already a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to become accountable for that home loan should the contractor, designer or landowner declare personal bankruptcy.

    You need to ask your lawyer to check for home mortgages placed on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is gotten from the Land Computer registry. It must be kept in mind that in order to acquire a Land Search Certificate one requires a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are made aware of a home loan before signing an agreement it is unlikely that you will obtain the deeds in your name till the home loan is paid off.

    Legal representatives are not needed to look for home mortgages automatically, although good attorneys ought to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government introduced a Particular Performance Law to provide a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing mortgage however we still highly recommend that you inspect no home loans have been placed on the land prior to purchase to ensure you do not run into possible difficulties at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most frequently raised by British nationals include:

    • legal representatives acting for both home builders or vendors for that reason not independent
    • building works taking place without the appropriate preparation consent or structure authorization (eg electrical energy or water).
    • variations in currency and rates of interest affecting home loans.
    • payment plans or fees not being included in the preliminary agreement.
    • problem in acquiring certificates of final completion (deeds can not be issued without this).
    • difficulty in acquiring title deeds.
    • trouble in getting redress after problems are identified.
      With all property purchases, we highly suggest that you seek your own independent legal suggestions.

    If you have bought a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you should seek certified independent legal advice on your rights and methods of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to provide legal advice or end up being included with disagreements between private celebrations. Nevertheless, we direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to assist and we can raise systemic problems, problems which affect a variety of clients, with local authorities.

    You can examine 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 lots of residential or commercial properties is contested in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these residential or commercial properties could have major financial 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 as 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 implement judgments from these courts in other places in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has actually been at least one successful case to enforce rulings in the UK, jeopardizing property owned in the UK.

    One crucial issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers should likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have major effects for property they buy, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to compensation payments.

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

    Purchasers should guarantee they are completely familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of immigrants purchasing property, including the requirement to obtain grant the transfer of property. Even when acquiring pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be refused approval to buy the land/property and no factor for the refusal may be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, an amendment to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code connecting to property entered effect. Under the change, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the approval of the owner (the individual whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Windows registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. The maximum prison sentence is 7 years.

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

    Files relating to the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to relate to the prohibited transfer of Greek Cypriot property and might be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone found in ownership of these documents might be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and might face criminal proceedings under the 20 October amendment.

    Any enquiries regarding 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 workplace 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 heir of somebody conference those criteria), please contact the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. They will have the ability to examine your file and encourage on what steps to take if you wish to try to reclaim your property.

    The British High Commission is unable to assist dual nationals in the country of their other nationality. If you are a double British/Cypriot national you should approach your local authorities in respect of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Persons thinking about the purchase of stationary property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be conscious that the approval of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas is required under area 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 consent exists whether property is presently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has actually formerly obtained authorization. Failure to acquire the approval of the Administrator suggests that the acquisition and registration of the immovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide authorization only in the most exceptional scenarios.

    You must likewise know that it is an offense for persons aside from “acknowledged locals” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, except in accordance with a license provided under that Regulation. Again, you may apply for a certificate of recognised residence or a license, however the Administration only seldom consents to granting these.

    More information.

    Some of the issues that property buyers experience are extremely comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get associated with private property problems or legal conflicts, however supports neighborhood associations that are devoted to solving the problems of property buyers.

    Associations.

    If the company, or legal consultant, you have dealt with belongs to AIPP and you are dissatisfied with the services provided, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary procedure.

    Legal advice.

    British residents impacted by property issues ought to take independent legal advice from local attorneys.

    Local cops.

    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 get a copy of the declaration and request for the occurrence number. Please note, there may be a time limitation in between the time of the supposed criminal offense and the time within which you make your complaint.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (likewise called 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 liberty versus actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some limitations) and authorities of the central federal government and regional administrations in addition to anyone functioning 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 important to keep in mind that the Ombudsman may not intervene under the following circumstances:.

    • whenever the general public administration has actually not been included.
    • in case of conflicts or conflicts in between people.
    • When the resident had knowledge of the events of his problem, after one year from the moment.
    • in the event of anonymous complaints, without specific claims providing bad faith or any claims that might damage legitimate rights of third parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • complaints against lawyers.

    Complaints against legal representatives practising in the Republic of Cyprus need to be resolved 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 versus legal representatives practicing in the north of Cyprus might be made in writing to the pertinent regional ‘Bar Association’. There is a different ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Initial investigations into problems happen within the relevant district however they are then passed onto the overall 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 person: Mine Vehit, email: mine-vehit@hotmail.com phone: 0090392366 16 88.
    • Morphou: contact person: Mehtun Muslu, e-mail: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Complaints versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Complaints versus the legal system should 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.

    Help in the UK.

    If you believe you have actually been a victim of property fraud, we have published recommendations on which UK authorities to contact.

    If you were living in the UK when you made your purchase you might wish to contact the UK European Consumer Centre. This is part of the European Customer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to help consumers with cross-border disagreements. The UK European Consumer Centre gives information and guidance on issues with buying across borders and can arbitrate when problems develop if they believe 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 understand that it is not intended to be the only guidance for prospective buyers to follow when thinking about buying. In addition, we make no representation regarding the quality or accuracy of the details which is offered at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any obligation for the material that is hosted on them. We highly recommend that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary recommendations at all phases of their purchase.

    The European Court of Human 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 essential issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible purchasers need to also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem could have severe consequences for property they purchase, including the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to payment payments. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, promoting or mortgaging a property without the approval of the owner (the individual whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We strongly recommend that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary suggestions at all stages of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

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