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    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

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

    Mortgage liability

    It prevails practice for designers to take out home loans on land or property. If you sign a contract with a developer and there is already a home mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are likely to end up being accountable for that mortgage needs to the contractor, designer or landowner declare personal bankruptcy.

    You need to ask your lawyer to look for home mortgages placed on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is obtained from the Land Registry. It must be noted that in order to obtain a Land Browse Certificate one needs a pertinent authorisation from the Property’s owner. , if you are made conscious of a home mortgage before signing an agreement it is not likely that you will get the deeds in your name until the home mortgage is paid off.

    .

    Legal representatives are not required to look for mortgages instantly, although excellent attorneys should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government introduced a Specific Performance Law to provide an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing home mortgage nevertheless we still strongly recommend that you inspect no home loans have been placed on the land prior to purchase to guarantee you do not encounter potential problems at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most frequently raised by British nationals consist of:

    • legal representatives acting for both contractors or vendors therefore not independent
    • developing works occurring without the right preparation approval or structure permit (eg electricity or water).
    • fluctuations in currency and rate of interest impacting 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).
    • trouble in acquiring title deeds.
    • difficulty in obtaining redress after problems are identified.
      With all property purchases, we strongly advise that you seek your own independent legal guidance.

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

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to provide legal advice or become involved with disputes between private celebrations. We direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to help and we can raise systemic problems, problems which impact a number of clients, with local authorities.

    You can examine the Association of International Property Professionals website to see if a company or legal advisor are members.

    Buying property in the north of Cyprus.

    The ownership of numerous properties is disputed in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes might have serious 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 before 1974 continue to be considered as the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers might face legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as efforts to enforce judgments from these courts elsewhere in the EU, including the UK. There has actually been at least one effective case to impose judgments in the UK, jeopardizing property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both neighborhoods are presently in negotiations to try to resolve the Cyprus issue. One crucial concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers ought to likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have severe repercussions for property they acquire, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to payment payments. In particular, prospective purchasers should consider the implications 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 consequently classified as exchange or ‘gift’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Purchasers ought to ensure they are fully knowledgeable about the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of foreigners purchasing property, including the requirement to acquire grant the transfer of property. Even when purchasing pre-1974 Turkish title land, you may still be refused approval to buy the land/property and no factor for the rejection may be given.

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

    The amendment to the law also states that any effort to carry out such a deal 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 deals that happened before 20 October 2006.

    Likewise files connecting 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 found in possession of these documents may be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and could face criminal procedures under the 20 October amendment.

    Any queries 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.

    Task 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 national and owned a property in the north of Cyprus before 1974 (or the heir of somebody meeting those requirements), please call the British High Commission by email, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. They will have the ability to check your file and advise on what steps to take if you want to try to reclaim your property.

    The British High Commission is not able to assist double nationals in the country of their other nationality. If you are a double British/Cypriot nationwide you must approach your regional authorities in regard of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Persons considering the purchase of immovable property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be aware 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 purchase stationary 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 authorization. Failure to acquire the permission of the Administrator means that the acquisition and registration of the immovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide permission just in the most extraordinary circumstances.

    You must likewise know that it is an offense for individuals other than “identified homeowners” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, other than in accordance with a license released under that Regulation. Once again, you may apply for a certificate of recognised house or an authorization, however the Administration just hardly ever grant granting these.

    Further info.

    Some of the problems that property purchasers experience are very similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get involved in specific property problems or legal conflicts, but supports community associations that are devoted to dealing with the problems of property buyers.

    Associations.

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

    Legal suggestions.

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

    Regional police.

    If you think that you have gone through a property criminal offense, you should make a statement to the local police. Keep in mind to obtain a copy of the declaration and ask for the occurrence number. Please note, there may be a time limitation in between the time of the supposed criminal activity and the time within which you make your grievance.

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

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of citizens, 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 government and local administrations as well as anybody serving as agents or partners of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public goals or services. Contact information are on their website.

    It is very important to note that the Ombudsman might not intervene under the following situations:.

    • whenever the general public administration has actually not been involved.
    • in the event of disputes or conflicts between people.
    • When the person had understanding of the events of his problem, after one year from the moment.
    • in the event of anonymous grievances, without specific claims providing bad faith or any claims that may harm legitimate rights of third parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • problems against attorneys.

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

    Preliminary examinations into complaints take place within the relevant district however they are then passed onto the total organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact details of local ‘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 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.

    Grievances versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Problems versus the legal system need to 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.

    If you think you have actually been a victim of property scams, we have actually published advice on which UK authorities to contact.

    When you made your purchase you might wish to call the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. 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 assist consumers with cross-border disputes. The UK European Consumer Centre gives info and recommendations on problems with buying across borders and can arbitrate when issues occur 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 info is useful, please understand that it is not planned to be the only assistance for potential buyers to follow when considering purchasing. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or precision 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 strongly suggest that potential buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial suggestions at all stages of their purchase.

    The European Court of Person 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 key problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible purchasers must also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue could have serious repercussions for property they purchase, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging a property or promoting without the authorization of the owner (the individual whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Windows registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We highly advise that prospective buyers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary recommendations at all phases of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

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