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

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Getting property in Cyprus has a number of potential mistakes. The British High Commission recommends potential buyers to exercise severe caution 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 prevails practice for developers to secure mortgages on land or property. If you sign a contract with a developer and there is already a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are likely to become accountable for that home mortgage ought to the home builder, developer or landowner declare insolvency.

    You ought to ask your legal representative to check for home loans placed on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is obtained from the Land Pc registry. It must be kept in mind that in order to obtain a Land Search Certificate one needs a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made conscious of a mortgage before signing a contract it is not likely that you will acquire the deeds in your name until the home mortgage is paid off.

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    Attorneys are not required to check for home mortgages immediately, although good attorneys must do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government presented a Particular Efficiency Law to offer an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan however we still strongly advise that you check no home loans have actually been put on the land prior to purchase to ensure you do not face potential difficulties at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other problems most regularly raised by British nationals consist of:

    • attorneys acting for both vendors or builders therefore not independent
    • constructing works occurring without the right planning authorization or building permit (eg electrical energy or water).
    • variations in currency and rates of interest affecting mortgages.
    • payment plans or charges not being consisted of in the preliminary agreement.
    • problem in acquiring certificates of last completion (deeds can not be released without this).
    • difficulty in acquiring title deeds.
    • problem in obtaining redress after problems are determined.
      With all property purchases, we highly suggest that you seek your own independent legal advice.

    You need to seek certified independent legal suggestions on your rights and approaches of redress if you have acquired a property or land and are coming across troubles.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are not able to provide legal suggestions or end up being involved with disputes between private parties. We direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to assist and we can raise systemic concerns, issues which affect 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 advisor are members.

    Buying property in the north of Cyprus.

    The ownership of lots of properties is contested in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these properties could have major monetary and legal implications. 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 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 enforce judgments from these courts in other places in the EU, including the UK. There has actually been at least one effective case to impose rulings in the UK, jeopardizing property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both communities are presently in negotiations to attempt to resolve the Cyprus issue. One essential problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Homeowner and prospective purchasers must likewise consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern might have major effects for property they buy, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to payment payments. In particular, prospective purchasers need to consider the ramifications of any future settlement on land/property:.

    • 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”.

    Purchasers need to ensure they are fully familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of foreigners acquiring property, including the requirement to obtain consent to the transfer of property. Even when buying pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be declined permission to purchase the land/property and no factor for the rejection might be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, a change to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code associating with property entered into result. Under the change, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the approval of the owner (the person 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 offence. The optimum jail sentence is 7 years.

    The modification to the law likewise specifies that any attempt to carry out such a transaction is a criminal offence and might result in a jail sentence of as much as 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that occurred before 20 October 2006.

    Also 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 may undergo confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone discovered in possession of these files might be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and could deal with criminal procedures under the 20 October amendment.

    Any enquiries 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.

    Duty 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 beneficiary of somebody meeting those requirements), please call the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. They will have the ability to check your file and recommend on what steps to take if you wish to try to recover your property.

    The British High Commission is not able to assist double nationals in the country of their other citizenship. , if you are a dual British/Cypriot nationwide you ought to approach your local authorities in regard of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Individuals thinking about the purchase of unmovable property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be conscious that the consent of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations is required under area 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Ordinance 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to purchase unmovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for consent exists whether or not property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has actually previously acquired permission. Failure to obtain the consent of the Administrator suggests that the acquisition and registration of the unmovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will offer approval only in the most extraordinary circumstances.

    You should also be aware that it is an offence for individuals besides “identified locals” to live in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, except in accordance with a permit released under that Ordinance. Again, you may look for a certificate of acknowledged home or a license, but the Administration only rarely consents to granting these.

    Additional details.

    A few of the problems that property buyers experience are very similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get associated with private property problems or legal disputes, but supports neighborhood associations that are committed to dealing with the issues of property buyers.

    Associations.

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

    Legal suggestions.

    British residents affected by property problems need to take independent legal suggestions from regional legal representatives.

    Regional cops.

    If you believe that you have gone through a property crime, you ought to make a statement to the local police. Remember to get a copy of the declaration and ask for the event number. Please note, there may be a time limitation in between the time of the alleged criminal activity and the time within which you make your complaint.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (likewise called Commissioner of Administration and Security of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of residents, including foreign nationals, in order to defend their rights and freedom against actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some limitations) and authorities of the main government and regional administrations as well as anybody functioning 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 keep in mind that the Ombudsman may not intervene under the following scenarios:.

    • whenever the general public administration has not been included.
    • in case of disputes or conflicts between individuals.
    • after one year from the moment when the resident understood the occasions of his grievance.
    • in the event of confidential grievances, without particular claims presenting bad faith or any claims that might damage genuine rights of third parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • complaints against legal representatives.

    Complaints against lawyers practising in the Republic of Cyprus ought 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 lawyers practicing in the north of Cyprus might be made in writing to the relevant local ‘Bar Association’. There is a separate ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Preliminary examinations into complaints occur within the pertinent district but they are then passed onto the total 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 individual: Gürcan Bayramoğlu, e-mail: gurcanbayramoglu@hotmail.com phone: 0090392816 06 22.
    • Famagusta: contact individual: 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.

    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.

    Assist in the UK.

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

    When you made your purchase you may wish to contact the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. This becomes 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. The UK European Consumer Centre offers details and suggestions 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 information works, please understand that it is not intended to be the only guidance for potential buyers to follow when considering buying. In addition, we make no representation regarding the quality or precision of the details which is offered at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any duty for the content that is hosted on them. We highly advise that prospective buyers 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 related to as the legal owners of that property.

    One key concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and prospective purchasers should likewise consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern could have major consequences for property they purchase, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to compensation payments. Under the change, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging a property or promoting without the approval of the owner (the person 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 offence. We highly recommend that potential 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)