• Tips for Foreigners Searching for Limassol Apartment for Sale

    Assistance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

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

    Mortgage liability

    It prevails practice for designers to get mortgages on land or property. If you sign a contract with a designer and there is currently a home mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are likely to end up being liable for that home mortgage should the contractor, designer or landowner declare insolvency.

    You need to ask your lawyer to look for home mortgages placed on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is gotten from the Land Pc registry. It needs to be noted that in order to obtain a Land Browse Certificate one requires a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are made aware of a home mortgage before signing a contract it is unlikely that you will get the deeds in your name until the home loan is settled.

    Legal representatives are not needed to look for home mortgages automatically, although good legal representatives must do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government introduced a Specific Performance Law to give an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing home mortgage nevertheless we still highly recommend that you examine no home loans have been placed on the land prior to buy to guarantee you do not face potential problems at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most often raised by British nationals consist of:

    • legal representatives acting for both suppliers or home builders therefore not independent
    • building works happening without the correct planning permission or structure permit (eg electrical energy or water).
    • fluctuations in currency and rates of interest affecting home loans.
    • payment plans or costs not being consisted of in the initial contract.
    • problem in acquiring certificates of final completion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • problem in acquiring title deeds.
    • difficulty in acquiring redress after issues are identified.
      With all property purchases, we highly advise that you seek your own independent legal recommendations.

    You must seek competent independent legal guidance on your rights and methods of redress if you have acquired a property or land and are encountering problems.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to provide legal recommendations or end up being included with disputes between private parties. We direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to help and we can raise systemic problems, issues which impact a number of consumers, with regional authorities.

    You can check on 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 numerous homes is contested in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes could have serious financial and legal ramifications. 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 considered as the legal owners of that property.

    Purchasers could deal with legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as attempts to enforce judgments from these courts elsewhere in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has been at least one successful case to implement rulings in the UK, putting at risk 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 need to likewise consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have major repercussions 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 national prior to 1974 * ^ that was consequently categorized as exchange or ‘gift’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Buyers need to guarantee they are fully knowledgeable about the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of immigrants purchasing property, including the requirement to get grant the transfer of property. Even when acquiring pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be refused consent to buy the land/property and no reason for the rejection might be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, a modification to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code relating to property entered into result. Under the change, 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 Registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. The optimum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The change to the law also states that any attempt to undertake such a deal is a criminal offence and could lead to a jail sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that occurred before 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 may be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone found in possession of these documents might be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and might face criminal procedures under the 20 October modification.

    Any queries concerning 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.

    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 before 1974.

    If you are a British nationwide and owned a property in the north of Cyprus prior to 1974 (or the successor of somebody meeting those criteria), please contact 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 check your file and encourage on what actions to take.

    The British High Commission is not able to help double nationals in the nation of their other citizenship. If you are a dual British/Cypriot national you need to approach your local authorities in regard of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Individuals considering the purchase of stationary property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be conscious that the authorization of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations is required under section 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Regulation 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to purchase immovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for consent exists whether property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has previously acquired approval. Failure to get the permission of the Administrator indicates that the acquisition and registration of the immovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide consent just in the most extraordinary situations.

    You should likewise know that it is an offence for persons other than “identified citizens” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any duration of 12 months, other than in accordance with a license released under that Ordinance. Once again, you might make an application for a certificate of identified residence or an authorization, however the Administration only rarely grant granting these.

    Additional information.

    Some of the problems that property purchasers experience are extremely similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get associated with private property issues or legal disagreements, however supports neighborhood associations that are dedicated to fixing the issues of property purchasers.

    Associations.

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

    Legal recommendations.

    British citizens affected by property issues ought to take independent legal advice from local lawyers.

    Local authorities.

    If you believe that you have actually undergone a property criminal offense, you must make a statement to the local police. Remember to get a copy of the declaration and request for the event number. Please note, there might be a time restriction between the time of the supposed crime and the time within which you make your problem.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (also referred to as Commissioner of Administration and Defense of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of people, including foreign nationals, in order to safeguard their rights and freedom 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 as well as anyone acting as agents or partners of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact information are on their website.

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

    • whenever the general public administration has actually not been included.
    • in the event of disputes or disputes in between people.
    • after one year from the minute when the resident understood the events of his complaint.
    • in the event of anonymous problems, without specific claims providing bad faith or any claims that might harm genuine rights of third parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • complaints against legal representatives.

    Problems against attorneys practising in the Republic of Cyprus ought to 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.

    Site: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Complaints versus lawyers practising in the north of Cyprus may be made in writing to the relevant regional ‘Bar Association’. There is a separate ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

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

    Contact details 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, e-mail: mine-vehit@hotmail.com phone: 0090392366 16 88.
    • Morphou: contact individual: Mehtun Muslu, email: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Grievances versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Problems against the legal system ought to 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 advice(Link) on which UK authorities to get in touch with if you think you have been a victim of property scams.

    If you were residing in the UK when you made your purchase you might wish to contact the UK European Consumer Centre. This belongs to the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to help customers with cross-border conflicts. When problems emerge if they think it might assist, the UK European Consumer Centre provides info and suggestions on problems 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 info is useful, please be aware that it is not planned to be the only guidance for prospective purchasers to follow when thinking about making a purchase. In addition, we make no representation regarding the quality or precision of the info which is available at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any responsibility for the content that is hosted on them. We strongly recommend that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus look for 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 prior to 1974 continue to be concerned as the legal owners of that property.

    One crucial concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential purchasers need to also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern might have major repercussions for property they buy, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to settlement payments. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the authorization of the owner (the individual 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 offense. We strongly suggest that potential buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary recommendations at all stages of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

    • Caution regarding property purchases in the occupied area of Cyprus(link)
    • Living in Cyprus(link)