• TOP 10 IDEAS FOR BUYING AN APARTMENT OR CONDO OR HOME IN Cyprus.

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Acquiring property in Cyprus has a number of prospective pitfalls. The British High Commission advises possible buyers to work out severe care when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily available, as it means your property could be at risk.

    Home loan liability

    It prevails practice for designers to take out mortgages on land or property. If you sign a contract with a designer and there is already a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to become liable for that mortgage should the contractor, designer or landowner declare insolvency.

    You should ask your legal representative to check for home mortgages put on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is gotten from the Land Registry. It needs to be noted that in order to acquire a Land Browse Certificate one requires a relevant authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are warned of a home mortgage prior to signing an agreement it is not likely that you will obtain the deeds in your name up until the home mortgage is settled.

    Attorneys are not needed to look for home loans immediately, although excellent lawyers ought to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government presented a Particular Efficiency Law to give a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home mortgage however we still strongly suggest that you check no mortgages have actually been put on the land prior to buy to ensure you do not face potential problems at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other problems most often raised by British nationals include:

    • legal representatives acting for both contractors or suppliers for that reason not independent
    • constructing works occurring without the right planning approval or structure permit (eg electrical power or water).
    • fluctuations in currency and rates of interest impacting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or costs not being consisted of in the initial contract.
    • trouble in getting certificates of last completion (deeds can not be released without this).
    • problem in acquiring title deeds.
    • difficulty in acquiring redress after issues are identified.
      With all property purchases, we strongly advise that you seek your own independent legal advice.

    If you have purchased a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you need to seek competent independent legal advice on your rights and techniques of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to use legal suggestions or become included with disputes in between personal parties. Nevertheless, we direct British nationals to organisations who may have the ability to help and we can raise systemic concerns, issues which impact a variety of clients, with local authorities.

    You can check on 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 homes 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 might have major monetary and legal ramifications. 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 considered as the legal owners of that property.

    Purchasers might deal with legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, in addition to attempts to impose judgments from these courts elsewhere in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has actually been at least one successful case to enforce judgments in the UK, threatening property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both communities are presently in negotiations to try to resolve the Cyprus issue. One essential problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible purchasers should also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern might have major repercussions for property they purchase, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to payment payments. In particular, prospective buyers must consider the ramifications 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 classified as exchange or ‘gift’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Buyers need to guarantee they are fully aware of the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of foreigners buying property, including the requirement to obtain grant the transfer of property. Even when acquiring pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be refused consent to buy the land/property and no reason for the refusal may be offered.

    On 20 October 2006, a change to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code relating to property entered into effect. Under the modification, 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 Computer registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. The maximum jail sentence is 7 years.

    The change to the law likewise mentions that any attempt to undertake such a deal is a criminal offence and could lead to a prison sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions 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 illegal transfer of Greek Cypriot property and may be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anybody discovered in ownership of these files might be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and might face criminal procedures under the 20 October amendment.

    Any queries regarding the scope of this law need 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 before 1974.

    If you are a British nationwide and owned a property in the north of Cyprus before 1974 (or the beneficiary of somebody meeting those requirements), please contact the British High Commission by email, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. They will have the ability to examine your file and advise on what actions to take if you wish to try to recover your property.

    The British High Commission is unable to help dual nationals in the nation of their other nationality. If you are a double British/Cypriot nationwide you ought to approach your local authorities in regard 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 permission 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 approval exists whether property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has formerly obtained consent. Failure to obtain the permission of the Administrator indicates that the acquisition and registration of the immovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will offer consent just in the most exceptional situations.

    You should also understand that it is an offense for individuals besides “recognised residents” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, other than in accordance with a permit issued under that Regulation. Again, you may get a certificate of identified house or a license, but the Administration just seldom consents to giving these.

    Further details.

    A few of the issues that property purchasers experience are very similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get associated with private property issues or legal conflicts, however supports neighborhood associations that are dedicated to resolving the issues of property buyers.

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal consultant, you have actually worked with belongs to AIPP and you are unhappy with the services provided, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary treatment.

    Legal guidance.

    British people impacted by property issues must take independent legal recommendations from regional attorneys.

    Regional cops.

    If you think that you have gone through a property crime, you should make a declaration to the local police. Keep in mind to obtain a copy of the declaration and ask for the event number. Please note, there might be a time limitation between the time of the alleged criminal offense and the time within which you make your problem.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (likewise known as Commissioner of Administration and Protection of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of people, including foreign nationals, in order to defend their rights and liberty against 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 local administrations along with anybody 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 website.

    It is necessary to keep in mind that the Ombudsman may not step in under the following circumstances:.

    • whenever the public administration has not been involved.
    • in case of conflicts or disagreements in between people.
    • When the person had knowledge of the events of his problem, after one year from the moment.
    • in case of confidential complaints, without specific claims providing bad faith or any claims that might damage genuine rights of 3rd parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • problems versus legal representatives.

    Problems versus lawyers practicing in the Republic of Cyprus should be addressed 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.

    Website: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Problems versus legal representatives practising in the north of Cyprus may be made in writing to the appropriate regional ‘Bar Association’. There is a different ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Preliminary investigations into grievances occur within the relevant district but they are then passed onto the general organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact details of regional ‘bar associations’:.

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

    Problems against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Problems versus 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 learn more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Help in the UK.

    If you think you have been a victim of property scams, we have published guidance on which UK authorities to call.

    If you were residing in the UK when you made your purchase you may want to get in touch with the UK European Consumer Centre. This belongs to the European Customer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist customers with cross-border conflicts. The UK European Consumer Centre gives info and recommendations on issues with buying across borders and can arbitrate when issues emerge if they think 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 details is useful, please be aware that it is not planned to be the only assistance for prospective buyers to follow when thinking about buying. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or accuracy of the details which is available at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any obligation for the content that is hosted on them. We highly suggest that potential buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary advice at all stages of their purchase.

    The European Court of Human Rights has actually ruled in a number of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus before 1974 continue to be regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    One key problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers must likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem might have major repercussions for property they acquire, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to payment payments. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, promoting or mortgaging a property without the consent of the owner (the individual whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Pc registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. We strongly recommend that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and financial suggestions 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)